Fans of Twinkies might want to start stocking up now. Hostess Breads Inc., the maker of the iconic snack, announced on Friday that it will liquidate the entire company because not enough striking employees returned to work by a Thursday evening deadline that the company set.
Gregory F. Rayburn, Hostess' CEO, said:
"We deeply regret the necessity of today's decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike. Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders."
Hostess also said that it will seek bankruptcy court permission to close its business and sell its assets, "including its iconic brands and facilities." The company added that "bakery operations have been suspended at all plants."
In a statement, Hostess said:
"The Board of Directors authorized the wind down of Hostess Brands to preserve and maximize the value of the estate after one of the Company's largest unions, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), initiated a nationwide strike that crippled the Company's ability to produce and deliver products at multiple facilities."
Rayburn had said in a statement on Wednesday:
"We simply do not have the financial resources to survive an ongoing national strike. "Therefore, if sufficient employees do not return to work by 5 p.m., EST, on Thursday to restore normal operations, we will be forced to immediately move to liquidate the entire company, which will result in the loss of nearly 18,000 jobs."
The 5pm deadline came and went without workers returning.
The strikes started on November 9, when Hostess imposed a contract that would cut workers' wages by 8 percent. The BCTGM union also said that the contract would cut benefits by 27 to 32 percent.
The wind down means the closure of 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers, approximately 5,500 delivery routes and 570 bakery outlet stores throughout the United States.
So while Twinkies might one day return to supermarket shelves, it won't be under the Hostess brand.