Their snack lineup is legendary — Twinkies, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs — but Hostess has said that, if striking workers do not return today, the brand will liquidate, closing forever.
While the loss of iconic snack foods would be a shame in itself, a Hostess shutdown would also mean the loss of 18,000 jobs nationwide. The Wall Street Journal reports Hostess set a Thursday deadline for 5 pm.
“We simply do not have the financial resources to survive an ongoing national strike,” Chief Executive Gregory F. Rayburn said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
The national strike has been a contentious one. Hostess has already announced plans to shutter bakeries in Seattle, St. Louis, and Cincinnati in response to the baker’s strike, cutting more than 600 jobs. The strike is taking place at 24 of 33 Hostess plants.
CNN Money reports that the new contract at the heart of the dispute cuts salaries across the company by eight percent in the first year of the five-year agreement. Salaries then go back up three percent in the next three years and one percent in the final year. Hostess has also scaled back its pension plan and its contribution to employee health benefits.
Hostess filed for bankruptcy for the second time in January, and the company is now owned by a handful of investment firms.
While a Hostess liquidation would mean the loss of jobs and some of the company’s snack lineup, experts predict that the most iconic brands will likely live on. Other companies will likely be able to purchase the brands at auction, meaning that no matter what happens, Twinkies are likely to stick around.