Hostess Brands, maker of Twinkies, shuts down

Hostess Brands, maker of Twinkies, shuts down

Posted:
Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of well-known bakery products such as the Twinkie and Wonder Bread, is going out of business. Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of well-known bakery products such as the Twinkie and Wonder Bread, is going out of business.
Union workers at the Powell bakery have been part of the nationwide protest, and continued to protest Friday, even after news broke of the shutdown. Union workers at the Powell bakery have been part of the nationwide protest, and continued to protest Friday, even after news broke of the shutdown.
"It's not the cut in pay that bothers us. It's people that worked all those years thinking they had a retirement, have six weeks left or seven months left and then they don't have it. It's gone," said employee Laura Cano. "It's not the cut in pay that bothers us. It's people that worked all those years thinking they had a retirement, have six weeks left or seven months left and then they don't have it. It's gone," said employee Laura Cano.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

POWELL (WATE) - Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of well-known bakery products such as the Twinkie and Wonder Bread, is going out of business.

The move to shut down operations comes after a long battle with its unions.

Thousands of members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union went on strike last week after rejecting a contract offer from Hostess, which slashed wages and employee benefits.

The company filed a motion to liquidate in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Friday.

Hostess is the parent company of Merita, which has a bakery in Powell in Knox County.

Union workers at the Powell bakery have been part of the nationwide protest, and continued to protest Friday, even after news broke of the shutdown.

"They're wanting to cut our pay by eight percent now," said Merita employee Johnny Brett.

Hostess said strikes like this across the country forced them into bankruptcy.

"That we no longer got a pension and that we're gonna have to work until we're 65," said Brett.

Workers from bakeries in other states joined forces here in Tennessee.

"The same cuts that we're having to go through in Jacksonville, they're having to go through the same thing up here," said Brett.

Laura Cano has worked for Hostess for 14 years. She hates that striking led to the closure, but said employees had to speak out.

"It's not the cut in pay that bothers us. It's people that worked all those years thinking they had a retirement, have six weeks left or seven months left and then they don't have it. It's gone," said Cano.

Now jobless, these workers hope another company will buy the bakery soon so they can start earning a living again.

"We'll be able to get a job that will pick up our pension and give our benefits back that we sacrificed for all these years that we've worked for the company," said Brett.

Consumers hope the same thing, so legendary treats like the Twinkie won't disappear off the shelves.

"Everybody knows what a Twinkie is. It's so iconic. I just can't imagine our world not having them," said Terry Hursey of Knoxville.

Hostess officials said in a news release that delivery of products will continue.

Hostess Brands retail stores will remain open for several days in order to sell already-baked products.

Employees at Hostess' 33 bakeries were sent home Friday morning, as operations were officially shut down.

More than 18,500 employees have lost their jobs as a result of the closure.

The company said it was already in the process of selling assets to the highest bidder.

For more information, visit the Hostess Brands website.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.