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Hostess Brands To No Longer Host Employees

Better get your Twinkies and Wonder Bread fix while you can, because Hostess Brands Inc. has announced it will liquidate the company and lay off nearly 18,500 employees following a strike by bakery union members.

According to reports:

"We deeply regret the necessity of today's decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike," Chief Executive Officer Gregory F. Rayburn said in a statement. "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."

The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union went on strike Nov. 9 after a bankruptcy judge in White Plains, New York, imposed contract concessions that 92 percent of the union's workers rejected.

Hostess closed three of its 36 plants permanently Nov. 12, blaming the strike. Hostess said it determined last night that not enough employees had returned to work to restore normal operations. The wind-down will close the remaining 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers, Hostess said.

The company says it will continue to sell products already in the pipeline, but Ding Dong, the batch is dead. At least until someone else buys the company for parts and starts baking under the brand names again. The fight is presumably over dough -- the monetary kind -- as it always is. Where's Twinkie the Kid when we need him?

Will one of America's most iconic brands be relegated to the trash heap of corporate history never to rise again? Let's hope both sides can work it out in the eleventh hour, but with the bankruptcy motion there may not be enough yeast in the dough. Stay tuned.

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