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article imageUnion strike forces Hostess to close; 18,500 jobs lost

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By Larry Clifton     Nov 16, 2012 in Business
Crippled by a nationwide strike, on Friday the makers of Wonder Bread and Hostess Brands snack products that include iconic Twinkies cakes announced plans to permanently close its doors and lay off all of its 18,500 employees.
"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," Hostess said in the statement.
Hostess, founded in 1930, is one of the nation's oldest and largest producers of baked goods that produced well-known brands, likeTwinkies, Ding-Dongs, Ho Ho's, Sno Balls and Donettes, not to mention Wonder bread, reportedly the best-selling white bread in the United States, according to an NBC report.
The company has already filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking permission to close its business and sell its assets, including 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers.
On Nov. 12, Hostess permanently shuttered three plants due to the strike. Two days later, the company released a statement saying that it would be forced to liquidate the entire company if enough workers did not return to restore normal operations by 5 p.m. ET Thursday.
Union workers continued to strike and the company made good on its announcement Friday.
"We deeply regret the necessity of today's decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike," said Gregory F. Rayburn, chief executive officer.
Representatives at the striking union (BCTGM) were not immediately available for comment.
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