Twinkies maker Hostess may liquidate after labor strikes

Bankrupt Twinkies maker Hostess Brands Inc. has some hard choices to make after spending the weekend dealing with worker strikes.

On Friday, Hostess-employed members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union began to strike nationwide, blaming a “horrendous contract” that they claimed could cut wages and benefits up to 32%.

Workers picketed or honored the strike in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Oakland and Seattle and in states such as Ohio, Tennessee, Illinois and Montana. Hostess said in a statement that the walk-offs could lead to layoffs for most of its 18,300-member workforce and a sale of its assets “to the highest bidders.”

“A widespread strike will cause Hostess Brands to liquidate if we are unable to produce or deliver products,” according to the statement. The Irving, Tex.-based company, which was founded in 1930, acknowledged that “the concessions are tough.” 

Over the weekend, consumers such as Matthew McCarthy took to Twitter over the issue.

"heading to the supermarket to stock up on ding dongs," he tweeted. "i suggest you do the same. #hostessstrike"

The union claims that the contract will cut wages by 8% immediately and that Hostess is imposing “draconian cuts” in health benefits and eliminating the eight-hour workday. Picketing workers also claim that Hostess stopped making contributions to worker pensions last year and that 92% of union members voted in September to reject the new contract.

The Ho Hos and Wonder Bread maker filed for Chapter 11 protection in January, less than five years after emerging from its last bout of bankruptcy.

Striking workers accuse the company of diverting funds intended for capital investment, product development, plant improvement and new equipment into executive bonuses and Wall Street investors instead.


Hostess files for Chapter 11

American Suzuki to file for bankruptcy, end U.S. auto sales

Ding Dong, the Twinkie is dead? Maybe, in Hostess' union spat

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Bold predictions for Lolla 2015

    Bold predictions for Lolla 2015

    The Lolla schedule is sort of like the NCAA tournament: there are millions of possible combinations, and it’s anyone’s guess what the winning picks will be. With that in mind, we make some bold predictions about how this year’s fest (returning to Grant Park Fri.-Sun.) will turn out. Breakout artist...

  • 2010 killing of Chicago cop detailed at trial; man claims self-defense

    2010 killing of Chicago cop detailed at trial; man claims self-defense

    The man on trial in the killing of Chicago police Officer Thor Soderberg hated police and surprised the officer as he changed out of his uniform at shift end and placed his duty belt down, a Cook County prosecutor alleged Monday.

  • Aldermen to hold hearing on untested rape kits

    Aldermen to hold hearing on untested rape kits

    Chicago aldermen on Monday called on police officials to provide information on how quickly rape kits are being tested by the state crime lab, part of a largely symbolic effort to determine whether a large backlog is hampering work to apprehend rapists.

  • Alderman's 'Chi-raq' criticism falls flat

    Alderman's 'Chi-raq' criticism falls flat

    A South Side alderman's effort to tweak filmmaker Spike Lee for using "Chi-raq" as the title for a movie about Chicago violence fell flat Monday with his colleagues.

  • ComEd to hold energy fairs to help low-income customers

    ComEd to hold energy fairs to help low-income customers

    Commonwealth Edison will hold energy fairs at satellite locations across the region Monday in order to get money to thousands of people struggling to pay their electricity bills in northern Illinois.

  • PAWS Chicago "Muttshots!"

    PAWS Chicago "Muttshots!"

    These adorable pups are on the loose looking for a place to call home. They have a warrant out for their arrest. Their crime? Being irresistibly cute and cuddly. If you're interested in adopting any of these dogs, please visit for more information.