The Hostess Brands company is going out of business, closing down operations at its plants across the country. Some 1,415 workers in Illinois are set to lose their jobs as a result of the baked goods company's closure. There are three Hostess facilities in Illinois, located in Peoria, Schiller Park and Hodgkins.
“It’s a very sad day because there’s lots of history there,” Donald Woods, president of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Local 1 union that represents 500 Hostess workers in Illinois, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We have members who’ve had 40 years there. ... Their dream was working there and retire there.”
More than 18,000 workers nationwide are set to lose their jobs as a result of the company's move to shutter its doors.
The makers of Twinkies, Wonder Bread, Hos Ho's and other goods claims a workers' strike, which began last week, stopped its ability to bake and deliver its products and warned that it would file a motion in bankruptcy court to liquidate the business if production did not get back to normal levels by Thursday night.
The company, which sees $2.5 billion in annual sales, wanted workers to agree to cuts in benefits and an eight percent reduction in wages. Frank Hurt, president of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International union says after "nearly a decade of financial and operational mismanagement", the company is trying to use the workers union as the fall guy for the closure as Wall Street investors push to see the company sold off.
Woods is hopeful that the company will be sold and the workers' jobs can be salvaged.
“We know the Hostess brand is a name brand, a good brand,” Woods told the Sun-Times. “I think someone would purchase them in the near future; that’s our goal.”