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Wisconsin Hostess facilities to close due to striking union workers


DE PERE, WI (WTAQ) - The maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, and Wonder Bread says it’s going out of business, because striking workers crippled the company’s production abilities.

Hostess Brands had said it would ask a federal bankruptcy judge Friday for permission to shut down its plants and sell its brands, if normal production did not resume by a deadline Thursday night.

The deadline came and went without a contract agreement. And Friday, Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn told CNBC it’s too late to save the company – even if the workers did have a change of heart.

The privately-held Hostess is undergoing its second bankruptcy re-organization in a decade. In May, the firm told Wisconsin officials that it could scale back or close nine facilities throughout the Badger State – but it had no definite plans to do so back then.

Now, Rayburn said on the company’s Web site that all employees would eventually lose their jobs, and, “some sooner than others.”

Rayburn told CNBC that he hoped that Hostess could find buyers for its 30 product lines.

Thousands of members of a bakers’ union went on strike last week, after rejecting a company offer that slashed wages and benefits in September. The union represents about 30 percent of Hostess’ total employees.