R.I.P. Twinkies. The golden cakes filled with a creamy white filling may be no more. Hostess has requested permission to go out of business and close down its operations after a crippling strike put the already bankrupt company over the edge. The maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and even Wonder Bread, is shutting its doors and liquidating its assets.
Hostess Brands, the 82-year-old snack company which declared bankruptcy in 2004 and again earlier this year, was put over the edge by a strike in which employees protested a new contract that the company imposed on them.
The strike, held by members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, that began last week kept the company from producing and delivering products in several areas. The company gave the unions a deadline to start work on Thursday, but the unions wouldn't back down.
"We deeply regret the necessity of today's decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike," said CEO Gregory Rayburn in a statement, according to CNN.
The company is not able to recover from the losses during a period of bankruptcy. Now nearly 18,500 workers will lose their job as Hostess closes its 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers and 570 outlet stores across the country. The unions that held the strike make up about 5,000 employees.
"There's no way to soften the fact that this will hurt every Hostess Brands employee. All Hostess Brands employees will eventually lose their jobs - some sooner than others," Rayburn said in a letter to employees, according to Reuters. The company's debtor-in-possession lenders will continue to give the company access to $75 million as it winds down its business, which should take a year, but all employees will be impacted at some point.
While the Hostess Brand may be shutting down, there is a chance that some of the products may be given new life.
"We'll be selling the brands and as much of the infrastructure as we can," said company spokesman Lance Ignon, according to Reuters. "There is value in the brands."
The brands will be auctioned off and will go to the highest bidder.There may be someone out there who doesn't want to see the iconic Twinkies brand come to an end.
"It's the kind of iconic brand that might attract people who might not otherwise be interested in owning a consumer good," Adam Hanft, a branding strategist behind Hanft Projects told Fox.