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After strike deadline passes, Hostess threatens liquidation

8:11 PM, Nov 15, 2012   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Hostess likely won't make a decision until Friday on whether it will move toward liquidation, after setting a Thursday deadline for striking employees to return to work.

Hostess had threatened if employees did not return to work by 2 p.m. on Thursday, it would ask a bankruptcy judge to shut down and sell its assets.

Even as the deadline got closer Thursday, hostess employees stood united.

"I'm not nervous at all," Hostess employee Chad Treas said. "It's all scare tactics to me."

The company had already shut down three bakeries earlier this week. Members of the Bakers' Union have been on the picket line for days, honoring a nationwide strike.

"We've been seeing this for quite some time now," Kieran Begley said. "Me and my family we have made adjustments to budgets."

Hostess, maker of the iconic Twinkie and Wonderbread, has been a big part of American culture since 1930. Financial woes have prompted the company to file for bankruptcy twice in a decade.

It's hard for some shoppers to imagine the sweet treats disappearing from store shelves.

"We'd survive," shopper Deanna Lockhart said. "Somebody else would step up and do it, but it would be a shame."

The walkouts began when hostess imposed an immediate 8 percent wage cut, with possibly deeper cuts to wages and benefits by 27 percent to 32 percent.

Workers said they are tired of making concessions for the bankrupt company and willing to risk their jobs.

"I don't feel I'm sacrificing anything. I feel stolen from," Treas said. "I don't want to be stolen from anymore."

If the company moves towards liquidation and a bankruptcy judge approves the motion for liquidation, Hostess has said it would begin to close all of its operations as early as next Tuesday.

Hostess employs 300 people in Sacramento and 18,000 nationwide.


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