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Maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread going out of business

By: Olga Michail and AP Email
By: Olga Michail and AP Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Hostess, the makers of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, is going out of business

The announcement comes after workers on strike did not return to work by deadline.

Now, the company says it will shut down 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers and 570 bakery outlet stores across the Nation.

"When we were kids, we didn't get hostess Twinkies, or things like that very oft, but when we did it was always a treat, so I'm sad to see that they are not going to be on the shelves anymore,” said consumer Rene Hamman.

The shelves at local stores that carry hostess product already do look pretty empty. Festival Foods was completely sold out of Twinkies before noon Friday, and there are just a few of other products left.

"As a kid, you always had some, for those to be gone; it is like the part of your childhood is gone,” said consumer Kyle Carr.

Hostess workers walked off their job last Friday after turning down the latest contract offer that cut pay by 8% and benefits by 16%. The company did warn the employees that if they don't return to work by Thursday evening, hostess would have to file for bankruptcy.

"People have said hey you're threatening with liquidation and I've said all along this is a consequence of the strike but the economy is where it is. I think it's a very tough time for those families and for those employees to be out of work,” said Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn.

It's hard to tell how soon Hostess products will sell out, but people already started stocking up on their favorite snacks, leaving stores like the Hostess Bakery Outlet in Eau Claire half-empty.

"I can't imagine a child going through life not being able to have some of these products as they are growing up,” said Hamman.

More than 18,000 people will lose their jobs when hostess closes.
Many consumers are really hoping that someone buys Hostess products brand names, like “Twinkies”, and puts them back on the market.

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IRVING, Texas (AP) -- Hostess Brands says it is going out of business, closing plants that make Twinkies and Wonder Bread and laying off all of its 18,500 workers.

The Irving, Texas, company says a nationwide worker strike crippled its ability to make and deliver its products at several locations.

Hostess had warned employees that it would file a motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to unwind its business and sell assets if plant operations didn't return to normal levels by Thursday evening.

The privately held company filed for Chapter 11 protection in January, its second trip through bankruptcy court in less than a decade.

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STORY FROM 11/16/12
Hostess, the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, is going out of business.

The company announced its move Friday morning after failing to reach an agreement with thousands of employees who were on strike. Hostess threatened to close permanently if employees do not return to their jobs. The company originally set a deadline of 5 p.m. Thursday, saying it would file for bankruptcy if normal operations did not resume. But, the more than 5,000 employees on strike weren’t backing down, saying they wanted to protect their wages and pensions.

Todd Moore with the Local 399 Operating Engineers said, "I'm afraid they've drawn the line in the sand. But, you know, I don't see why they want... America's gonna let 18,000 jobs go out of here with a good name like Hostess, it's just crazy. The fat cats keep getting fatter. CEOs, they keep making money. We've had six CEOs in ten
years, what's that tell ya?"

The union had released a statement saying the company’s failure is the fault of its management, and that workers would only return if pay and benefit cuts were reversed.


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