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Hostess to Proceed with Selloffs, Layoffs
November 21, 2012

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Hostess, makers of Twinkies and Wonder Bread and other iconic snacks and foods, will go ahead with its plans for liquidation, after last-minute mediation talks failed to produce an agreement.

The talks, required by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge, were a final attempt to prevent Hostess closing its doors and laying off 18,000 workers across the U.S. Company representatives met with representatives from the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, 5,000 members of whom had gone on strike a couple of weeks ago to protest an imposed package of cuts in salary (by 8 percent) and benefits (up to 32 percent).

Neither side would comment on why the talks did not produce a positive result. The company insisted that it could not continue without cutting costs; the union insisted that its workers could not continue if they agreed to work under the new conditions.

Hostess, given approval from Judge Robert Drain of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y., will now go ahead with plans to put itself into bankruptcy, keeping a few thousand employees to oversee the closing of plants, and to sell off its assets, including brands and the equipment used to make them. A few well-known companies, including a few food manufacturers, have expressed interest.

Among Hostess' well-known products are Ho Hos, Ding Dongs, CupCakes, Fruit Pies, Donettes, and Butternut Bread.

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