End of the Line For Twinkies: Hostess is Going Out of Business

All factories, bakeries, including the one in Northeast Philadelphia, are closed.

Hostess, the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, is going out of business.

The announcement was reported by the Associated Press just before 7:30 a.m. and comes after local union employees remained on the picket line outside Hostess' Northeast Philadelphia plant past Thursday's 4 p.m. company-imposed deadline.

Hostess Brands Inc. threatened to close all of its bakeries nationwide if its striking employees didn't get back to work.

The company has 36 bakeries nationwide, including the one on Grant Avenue and Blue Grass Road in Northeast Philadelphia, which employs about 300 people.

Around 30 percent of Hostess employees, 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 contract offer, which the union rejected in September. Union officials said the company stopped contributing to workers' pensions last year.

"We worked so long for years and years and you're not even negotiating. You're just telling us what you're going to take from us and what you're not going to do for us," one Northeast Philly plant worker told NBC10's Tim Furlong before the announcement was made.

The company says they do not have the financial resources to survive an ongoing strike, and has already permanently closed three bakeries in Seattle, St. Louis and Cincinnati earlier this week, facilities that employ 627 workers.

The Irving, Texas-based company employs about 18,300 people nationwide and filed for Chapter 11 protection in January, its second trip through bankruptcy court in less than a decade. Hostess cited increasing pension and medical costs for employees as one of the drivers behind its latest filing.

The bakeries produce products such as Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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