Hostess closure leaves striking workers jobless - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Hostess closure leaves striking workers jobless

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    Friday, November 16 2012 2:53 PM EST2012-11-16 19:53:13 GMT
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    Hostess Brands says it is going out of business, closing plants that make Twinkies and Wonder Bread and laying off all of its 18,500 workers.

Hostess is going out of business, but it may not be the end of Twinkies and Ding Dongs quite yet. The company's CEO say's he's hoping to find a buyer for about 30 Hostess brands.

Union workers have been on the picket lines, striking against the company's proposed contract offer that would cut pay, add major costs to benefits, and would not guarantee 40-hour weeks.

"It was an offer we couldn't take, and they knew it from the start," says union worker Charlie McGee. "They knew these people wouldn't take it. It was such a drastic cut these people would be working for less than minimum wage."

Now Hostess, maker of Wonder Bread, and other snacks is closing shop.

The company had warned employees that it would file bankruptcy and sell assets if plant operations did not return to normal by Thursday evening.

Union workers we spoke to say they believe plans to shut down have been in the works for quite some time.

"When we went on strike, they knew we would. They wanted to blame it on us," says McGee.

"It was all set in motion," says union worker Jeff Hall. "They just wanted to place the blame on someone."

Hostess says production at about a dozen of the company's plants was seriously affected by the strike. Three plants were closed earlier this week.

The company's CEO says all employees will eventually lose their jobs, "some sooner than others," leaving some employees scrambling.

 "I got maybe two weeks in savings," says union worker Rob Rehard. "Then I'm begging for a job."

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