No more Twinkies? Hostess may liquidate if strikes persist - KCTV5

No more Twinkies? Hostess may liquidate if strikes persist

Posted: Updated:
LENEXA, KS (KCTV/AP) -

It is deadline day for Hostess, and if workers don't end their strike, the company says the brand behind Ho-Ho's and Twinkies could be history.

The company said they will be forced to make some big changes if workers on strike don't return to work by 4 p.m. Thursday.

One of those changes includes liquidation.

Thousands of members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union went on strike Nov. 9 to protest cuts to wages and benefits under a new "unilaterally imposed" contract offer, which the union rejected in September. Union officials say the company stopped contributing to workers' pensions last year and the wage and benefit cuts could be anywhere from 27 to 32 percent.

Hostess filed for bankruptcy in January. It is the second time since 2004 the company filed.  Hostess cited increasing pension and medical costs for employees as one of the drivers behind its latest filing.

Members of the union are not happy with proposed salary cuts, or the company's plans to reduce their contribution to employee's pension plans and healthcare plans. The union said they didn't want to make more cuts after they already made significant concessions to the company in 2004.

Should the worst happen to Hostess, analysts predict their most popular brands, like Wonder Bread, Twinkies and Ding Dongs, will likely live on.

Hostess, based in Irving, TX, operates 36 bakeries nationwide and has about 18,300 employees. It warned earlier this month that the strike by about 30 percent of its workforce could lead to bakery closures.

Hostess announced Monday the closing of three plants, including one in St. Louis. The closing of those plants affected more than 600 employees. Also at stake are more than 200 jobs at their Lenexa, KS, plant.

"We deeply regret this decision, but we have repeatedly explained that we will close facilities that are no longer able to produce and deliver products because of a work stoppage - and that we will close the entire company if widespread strikes cripple our business," Hostess Brands CEO Gregory F. Rayburn said.

Hostess requested a bankruptcy hearing on their liquidation motion for Monday. If the motion is granted, Hostess said it will begin closing all of its operations as early as Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Hostess said they probably won't announce any decisions based on what happened at the 4 p.m. deadline until Friday morning.

The company, founded in 1930, is fighting battles beyond labor costs, however. Competition is increasing in the snack space, and Americans are increasingly conscious about healthy eating.

Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.

More News

sidebar: hostess strikes

Updated:

No more Twinkies? Hostess may liquidate if strikes persistHostess going out of business, shutting down plants More>>

Powered by WorldNow
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2014, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.