Hostess Brands has announced that it is closing all plants that make Twinkies and Wonder Bread. The news comes amid a nationwide strike by employees that led to Hostess executives threatening a complete shutdown and closure.
Hostess has filed for bankruptcy twice in less than 10 years, showing a great deal of instability. The company failed to reach an agreement with union representatives after cutting wages and benefits from its latest contract offer. Workers then went on strike, drastically hurting Hostess production and sales.
Now 18,500 workers have been laid off throughout the country, adding to the high unemployment rate. Some workers remain hopeful that another company will buy the Hostess plants and rehire those laid off.
"It's a very sad day because there's a lot of history there," Donald Woods, president of an Illinois union that represents Hostess workers, told The Chicago Sun-Times. "We have members who've had 40 years there. Their dream was working there and retiring there."
Of course, Hostess had another set of problems to worry about, as the country tries to handle its obesity problem and focus on more nutritious snacks. Competitors have taken over the market, now flooded with healthier snack choices than Ding-Dongs or Twinkies.
While Hostess provides Nature's Pride snacks, they are not enough to carry the company through its current struggle. It seems that Hostess has become equated with the Twinkie than anything else, leading some to publicly mourn the loss.
"Going to camp outside of Whole Foods and yell, 'I BLAME YOU! HOW CAN YOU SLEEP WITH TWINKIES BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS?!'" at everyone going inside, tweeted Stephanie McMaster.
Of course, there are those who recognize the seriousness caused by the strike and the firing of 18,000 workers and are concerned that they will not be able to find work in this economy.
"I say this as the biggest Twinkies fan alive: If you can't pay/treat folks right, Hostess, your product is totally worthless," tweeted Anne Elizabeth Moore.
Twinkies have been around since 1930 and were created in Illinois, where sadly 1,415 people have now lost their jobs.