Hostess Brands, which makes Twinkies and Wonder Bread, is going to U.S. Bankruptcy Court this morning to ask permission to end business. According to the NY Post, "Hostess is seeking a shutdown of the money-losing business after members of the Bakers Union started striking this week... If it gains court approval, Hostess would start liquidating during the last week in November, the sources said."
The strike over a contract—that would have forced workers to accept reduced pension benefits, outsourced deliveries, an 8% pay cut and other changes—prompted Hostess to shut down three bakeries. Now, with the liquidation on the horizon, this would mean that Hostess brands, like Dolly Madison, Drake's, and Butternut, would be sold and pretty much every Hostess employee would lose his/her job. Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn said, "We deeply regret the necessity of today's decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike. Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders."
Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers' International Union President Frank Hurt blasted Hostess for blaming the workers, saying, "The crisis facing Hostess Brands is the result of nearly a decade of financial and operational mismanagement that resulted in two bankruptcies, mountains of debt, declining sales and lost market share.
"The Wall Street investors who took over the company after the last bankruptcy attempted to resolve the mess by attacking the company's most valuable asset - its workers. They sought to force the workers, who had already taken significant wage and benefit cuts, to absorb even greater cuts including the loss of their pension contributions. I have said consistently throughout this process that the BCTGM is a highly democratic organization and that our Hostess members themselves would determine their future. By an overwhelming majority, 92 percent, these workers rejected the company's outrageous proposal, fully aware of the potential consequences."