MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Hostess, the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, is going out of business. Hostess Brands Inc. announced Friday it will permanently close and operations have already ceased at all plants - including Memphis.
The Irving, Texas based company has filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to close its business and sell all its assets, according to a November 16 company press release. It states a nationwide strike of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) "crippled the Company’s ability to produce and deliver products at multiple facilities."
“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. “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.”
About 700 Tennessee employees are out of jobs. More than 200 of those are in Memphis. The company's website outlining the layoffs says no severance packages will be offered.
"I've been here 26 years," said Memphis Hostess employee Randy Golden.
Fellow employee Eric Yates added, "Right here at the holidays, it's mind boggling."
The last batch of Hostess products were shipped the morning of the announcement. As the news spread shoppers headed to the stores, realizing their favorites may not be around much longer.