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Ding Dong, the Twinkies are dead: 18,500 jobs disappear as Hostess closes down

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By Doug Powers  •  November 16, 2012 09:30 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

This morning Hostess announced it was closing down. The union rejected a proposed 8 percent wage cut, and the end result is a 100 percent wage cut for over 18,000 workers:

Hostess, the makers of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, is going out of business after striking workers failed to heed a Thursday deadline to return to work, the company 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 CEO Gregory F. Rayburn said in announcing that the firm had filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to shutter its business. “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 Brands Inc. had warned employees that it would file to unwind its business and sell off assets if plant operations didn’t return to normal levels by 5 p.m. Thursday. In announcing its decision, Hostess said its wind down would mean the closure of 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers, approximately 5,500 delivery routes and 570 bakery outlet stores in the United States.

The Irving, Texas-based company had already reached a contract agreement with its largest union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. But thousands of members in its second-biggest union went on strike late last week after rejecting in September a contract offer that cut wages and benefits. Officials for the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union say the company stopped contributing to workers’ pensions last year.

So there are thousands and thousands of layoffs — except for the union bosses, who I’m guessing all still have jobs this morning and will now move on to “help” the next batch of union workers elsewhere. Some food nannies will probably be thrilled with this as well.

Cue Tallahassee from Zombieland.

Update: Tweet of the day here.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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