Buy all of the Twinkies! Hoard them! HOARD THEM!
November 14th, 2012
07:15 PM ET
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Is this the end for Twinkies?

Hostess Brands said Wednesday that it will go into liquidation unless bakers striking in protest against a new contract imposed in bankruptcy court return to work by the end of the day Thursday.

"We simply do not have the financial resources to survive an ongoing national strike," Hostess CEO Greg Rayburn said in a statement.

The liquidation would result in Hostess' nearly 18,000 workers losing their jobs. The bakers' union represents around 5,000.

The union did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday, but has called the concessions demanded in the new contract "outrageous."

"Our members are on strike because they have had enough," bakers' union president Frank Hurt said in a statement Tuesday. "They are not willing to take draconian wage and benefit cuts on top of the significant concessions they made in 2004 and give up their pension so that the Wall Street vulture capitalists in control of this company can walk away with millions of dollars."

Read - Hostess to liquidate if bakers' strike continues through Thursday

Previously - Stay gold, Twinkie the Kid. Stay gold. and Take my snack cakes? Over my blinded, bloated body!

soundoff (360 Responses)
  1. MashaSobaka

    One would think that the recent laws in Washington and Colorado would have given these people hope.

    That aside, it's nice to see that the big corporations are fulfilling their god-given duty as job creators. ...Oh wait.

    November 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  2. rob breisch

    The rise and fall of the Teamsters USA.Demands after demands and big capitalist corporations that are in business like all businesses to provide a huge profit-are telling America's unions they have had enough.So-here we have a situation in which both sides have leveraged them selves out of work over who gets the bigger piece of the pie.
    The ones who vested millions to build an empire on the workers backs or the workers who have pushed and clawed their way into the spotlight to get the respect and earnings they feel they deserve.
    Now only those with the millions to gain or lose will have the last laugh and profit on the way out the door as 18.000 lose their jobs.Bravo to both sides! Greed has crushed the Twinkie and Hoho empires.

    November 17, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Someone in Columbus

      Ummmm, you may want to do a little reading – the Teamsters had AGREED to management terms – it was the bakers union that threw the monkey wrench into it.

      Also – let me ask you a question – everyone says – we have to cut wages – we have to keep our jobs. But how far down can you go? At what point do you draw the line? Everryone I know has a floor of income they cannot go under – basically make housing payments (house or apartment), utility payments (elctricity), clothing and food. Note that I have excluded luxury items like phone, etc. To sit there and say that workers can constantly bear the brunt of management missteps is a bit ridculous.

      November 17, 2012 at 11:30 am |
      • pc

        If you don't like your wage vote with your feet. If you can't find a better paying job then maybe that's all the wage you are qualified to earn. Try improving your skill set.

        November 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • bonzo

      trust me, even if ownership gave the laborers what they are askin for. Ownership would still have a larger slice of the pie. Love people who believe the workers are at fault in anyway. If ownership was already making let's say 10 million profit (just makin up numbers here) and they could up that by 2 mil to 12 million profit but it meant takin away all the workers benefits, having a work force unhappy and less productive with no recent pay raise to keep up with inflation they (ownership ) would do it. WHY you ask? because they are greedy vultures just like the union says. PERIOD! to all you capitalists out there ...just shut your collective faces. watch...there will be plenty of twinkies to buy...they will probably close down a while -reoped as lets say- hostess2 and rehire thousands of non skilled illegal mexicans and continue on like nothing ever happened. Par for the course. with more money comes greed. history has shown us this over and over. TRUE capitalism does not work! period!!

      November 17, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  3. Peter

    Winston – "Tell him about the Twinkie"

    Venkman – "What about the Twinkie?"

    November 17, 2012 at 9:57 am |
  4. bonzo

    it's not wether you like twinkies or not.......the matter here is exactly what was stated, " the wall street vulture capitalists says it all." It will be the fall of this nation in some time. Small business's disapear, only the largest survive and even eliminate each other when they already have become part of monopoly's scattered across the country. Computers are already eliminating jobs across the board day the few rich will be burned at the stake ...robbed, tortured and so the masses of poor created by this so called wonderful thing of ours...known as "CAPITALISM" you will see all of you....

    November 17, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  5. Adnan Khan

    The collective waistline of the United States of America just shrunk.

    November 17, 2012 at 9:09 am |
  6. Fritz

    No more Twinkies!? This is an outrage! A national calamity! This can't be happening! I guess the hammer has fallen and the end has finally come! We shall forever mourn the loss of the hallowed Twinkie! Waaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!! ;op

    November 16, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  7. piblogger

    The Mayans were right!!!! It is the end of the world as we know it! ;)

    November 16, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      and I feel fine

      November 16, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  8. patti nearing

    OMG !! A Union will make the say for 5000, and affect 18,000 by being stinkers !!!??? WAKE UP !!!!! I believe the Union needs to think about something other than money !!!! 18,000 people out of work ??? STUPID STUPID STUPID !!!!!

    November 16, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Dennis

      Hostess was going under anyways. They were trying to steal the union pension fund.

      November 16, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  9. HILLARY2016

    Not to worry ! you can buy all the twinkies out want on EBAY ! they are only $100 bucks

    November 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • yaya

      No They are a million dollars now lol

      November 16, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  10. JMC

    If I am going to give my kids a sugar bomb, I would rather feed my kids a couple of fresh baked Timbits. But anyhow, lets talk more about the number of CEOs at Hostess in the last decade and exactly how much those CEOs earned and what kinds of golden parachutes they received while the company continued to decline and while workers were continually squeezed for the survival of the company.

    November 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • John

      Yes the CEO received a pay increase from 750,000 to 2,500,000 in the past year... However that 2,500,000 a year for a CEO of a major company is still kind of a joke. It also wasn't going to account for saving the company had the CEO not gotten that raise.

      November 17, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • colin in Florida

      And what do the union officers, like the union president make? And are they out of a job?

      November 16, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
  11. crazycatman

    I'm going to buy some Twinkies and give them to my twelve-year-old grandson, so he can give them to his grandkids. With all the preservatives in them, they'll survive the next Ice Age.

    November 16, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Seth Hill

      July 6, 2347: Archaeologists unearthed the ruins of an underground dwelling in the area formerly called "The Midwest." What appeared to be booby-traps guarding a large cabinet had long rusted away. In the cabinet were 700 small yellow "cakes" filled with a white substance. One of the archeologists took a risk and bit into one of the cakes, and reported that it still was fluffy and tasted good. Scientists are puzzled.

      November 16, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
      • Lisa T

        I knew some science graduate students that had a tradition of giving a new lab member a twinkie to keep when they joined the group. They had to eat it when they got their PhD several years later. It was great motivation to stay on track with your research and get your thesis written in a timely fashion....

        November 17, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Fritz

      I agree. They should fossilize nicely. I imagine people of the far future opening a time capsule filled with fossil twinkies. I wonder if they'll know what they were used for? Imagine all the theories that will crop up to try to describe what those little yellow rock hard twinkie thingies were for? ;oD

      November 16, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
      • Seth Hill

        August 12, 2351: Scientists report they have finally deduced the purpose of the mysterious "Yellow Cakes With White Filling" which were unearthed several years ago in "The Midwest." Fragments of contemporaneous records, coordinated with the ultra-high security surrounding the objects, make it obvious they were part of an elaborate religious ritual.

        November 17, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  12. Kay

    It's already happening, I stopped by the store this morning and all of the boxes of Twinkies were gone. They had a few boxes of the chocolate filled Twinkies but to me, those are not true Twinkies.

    November 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  13. Daniel

    The last time I had one I was 12, playing outside daily and delivering newspapers. Now I am almost 40, and the thought of eating one makes me want to throw up.

    November 16, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  14. Stephen

    Apparently legalization of marijuana came too late to save Hostess..

    November 16, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Sam I. Am

      Oh, cruel Fate... How you mock me!

      November 16, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • jschl3

      LOL...good one. :)

      November 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  15. TimSul

    . They probably have enough preservatives to last 10 years... Buy cases of 'em...

    November 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  16. fiftyfive55

    10 CEOs in 10 years and people still trying to blame the unions ?

    November 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • ninja65457

      See my response to you a little further below Fiftyfive

      November 16, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • GWEdwards

      Fine. Management screwed things up.

      But 28% of the workforce STILL decided that 100% should become unemployeed, when they ALL could still have a job. That was one union's decision. Not a management decision.

      November 16, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
      • MattL

        Right, but isn't this hypocritical. A CEO and/or Board of directors (less than 1% of the company) can make decisions that cut jobs or even sell or close the company, yet you are complaining that 28% of the workers came together to affect company decision.

        This scenario is way more balanced than a few making the call for all.

        November 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
        • mkdb

          When the 99% hold the same responsibilities as the know, little things like running the operations of a large company, keeping all vendors and creditors paid, dealing with the mountains of red tape caused by government and unions, well then, just maybe your statement would make an ounce of sense. The problem is people who have never run a company always just think the people at the top are lining their pockets and they never deserve what they make. In the meantime, they think they should dictate how much the employees should because they know better. People keep referencing minimum wage on here...I highly doubt that these employees were asked to reduce their pay to minimum wage with no benefits. Many, many employees have had to do more for less in the last 4 years. If you don't like it, go find another job and see what you can find.

          November 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
        • GEdwards

          "A CEO and/or Board of directors (less than 1% of the company) can make decisions that cut jobs or even sell or close the company, yet you are complaining that 28% of the workers came together to affect company decision."

          As @mkdb pointed out, the JOB of that 1% is to make those kind of decisions. That the 28% made such a decision that affected their PEERS is a problem. Happy now?

          November 16, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Lisa the unions have had enough of the draconian wages? Well guess what, unions? Now your 18,000 members have NO WAGES AND NO JOBS!!!!! See what unions do to people? They just added 18,000 more employees to the unemployment lines and they'll get far less money than they were getting working for "draconian wages"......

      November 16, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
      • GWEdwards

        Lisa//"Now your 18,000 members have NO WAGES AND NO JOBS!!!!! See what unions do to people?"

        To be precise, now the 5,000 Baker's Union members have no wages and no jobs.

        And because of that union's decision not to follow the court-directed contract, neither do the other 13,000 employees from other unions that DID agree.

        November 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
      • fiftyfive55

        Do you ever see how much hostess products fill shopping carts every weekend ? The union was not the problem with this company,the problem lied with mismanagemnt of the company.

        November 16, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Tyrone in NYC

      Have they seriously had that many CEOs in such a short amount of time? Unbelievable.

      November 16, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  17. jon

    The employees have had enough of the mismanagement and want the company to be sold off to a company that knows how to manage it's finances responsibly. The hedge fund companies that own it don't care about the jobs, they only care about the profits over it's people.

    November 16, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • GWEdwards

      Ummmm.....classic example of cutting off one's nose to spite their face.

      From the CNN Money article: "But even if those brands are bought and restarted, the Hostess workers will not get their jobs back."

      A few points:
      1. The new contract was court ordered, and all unions, except the Baker's agreed (less than 1/3 of the workforce)
      2. The details were: 9% cut for the next year. Then 3% back each of the next three years, followed by a 1% increase. So after 4 years they'll be making more than today (granted, with no consideration for inflation), with another 1% guaranteed the year after that.
      3. So the union thinks it's better to be unemployed (with the rate at 7.9%), than have jobs that the company and the court are trying to keep viable.
      4. Screw the other employees. The bakers just fired them.

      November 16, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  18. John

    Unions ruin businesses in modern day America...and are basically legal organized crime. Also...with all of the struggling out of work Americans dying for a job...shame on those idiot workers just like shame on those idiot teachers earlier in the year. So you want to strike? Good, enjoy being unemployed now....morons....In a real job...if you don't want to show up, you get replaced...only in a Union do you get paid to sit around, bitch, and not go to work.

    November 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • fiftyfive55

      Put your money where your big mouth is and work for minmum wage which you seem to want others to do,what a dolt.

      November 16, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
      • Lisa

        at least with a minimum wage, NON-UNION job, you would HAVE A JOB!!!!!!! Unlike these new 18,000 unemployed union workers!!!!!!

        November 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
        • Mike

          As a recent college graduate, I have worked all of the hourly positions and questioned how one can survive on the money made per week. Hell, I was working two of them at nearly 65 hours a week while at college full time. I am fortunate to have a great position, and everyone quick to point the finger at unions most likely has a good paying job. People settling for what the company wanted to pay would end up unable to keep their family afloat, and would then turn to other means of making money and cause a whole heck of a lot more trouble than if this company had any meaningful way of making money without resorting to cutting pay. It was a time bomb ticking from what I read, and this is not a third world country where peasants are eager to make a few dollars a day. I wish the best of luck for the ones who lost their job and hope they find something that appreciates them very soon.

          November 17, 2012 at 4:06 am |
        • fiftyfive55

          Do you realize unemployment pays more than many jobs today ? Do you,as an American,think that is good for our country or are you just another exec with insatiable greed ?

          November 16, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  19. Chicagorich

    It did not take a zombie apocalypse to bring about the end of the Twinkie. The company could not make enough money to keep going. Until another company purchases the Twinkie name and recipe there will be no more Twinkies. This is partly because the owners and workers could not make the place operate efficiently enough, and partly because of the changing diets of their potential customers. I remember eating these things often as a kid, but relatively rarely as an adult do I indulge in one of these treats. Still I will miss them, although maybe not as much as Woodie Harrelson's character in Zombieland (Woody Harrelson in real life doesn't eat them and an interesting fact is that the ones he stuffed his face with in the movie were specially made from corn meal)

    November 16, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Hnau

      Thank goodness... I was hoping someone would drop that movie reference.

      November 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
      • Chicagorich

        I went to a few stores in Chicago Friday night to find some, but alas, they were all already gone from every place I checked. I felt a bit like Woody's character, but none were to be found. I had to settle for a Suzie Q and a Sno-ball, neither of which I had tasted in years.

        November 17, 2012 at 5:47 am |
  20. Donnie the Lion

    The Twinkie you hold is the Twinkie that holds you down.

    November 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  21. Bamster

    Easy fix. The current regime should bail out the 18,000 laborers by paying the difference they'll lose with the new contract. "Twinkies are to big to Fail".

    November 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  22. Daanish

    NO FEAR, Canada'd twinkies will not be affected!
    You can all just order them from here... The blackmarket for twinkies will be on fire!!

    November 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  23. sweetriver

    My god folks...This situation is a shining example of what is wrong with our economy. A little investigating would tell you that Ripplewood Holdings, a private equity investing firm, owns a 50% stake in Hostess. Ripplewood Holding, like Bain capital, has one interest in Hostess, to strip every ounce of profit by cutting labor to the bone, stripping all benefits, and doing away with pensions. In the process, if labor refuses to give up everything and I mean everything, keeping in mind there are 18000 people we are talking about, they simply close up shop and sell of the company in pieces and reap huge profits. 18000 people have to either choose to make minimum wage with no benefits, or their corporate masters shut the doors and sell of the company. Win win for the private equity firm and their 10 partners that get paid either way, and lose lose for the 18000 american labors that lose everything. This is precisely the crux of the problem with our country right now, and then to listen to some of you so calously blame labor who have exactly no hand in running this company into the ground to squeeze every last cent out of it before breaking it up and destroying 18000 lives, is embarrassing and disgusting. Shame on you for such douchebaggery, I can only hope you are so gracious when the investment bankers buy a share in your company and it's you left to go home to your spouse and children to explain what has happened.

    November 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Chicagorich

      I would likely do the same as these employees and be forced to walk away and look for another job. You can't force workers to work for nothing, but you can't force employers to pay more either. In this case it stinks, and it means no more Twinkies, although someone posted that Twinkies will still be available in Canada. Road trip?

      November 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
      • colin in Florida

        They were not being forced to work for nothing. They were still making considerably over minimum wage, and while the benefits were not as good, they were better than NO benefits. Another story on a different site told of a guy working for Hostess working as a receiving clerk for $48,000 per year, plus benefits. They were asking him to give up 8% ($3840/year), plus some higher deductibles on his health care and less retirement. Not great, but loads better than no income, no benefits, and no retirement.

        November 16, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Rose

      Thank you so much for your post to this article. It makes me so proud to know there are still people that understand the visions of Company vs. Union workers...I appreciate this sooo much!

      November 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • ninja65457

      This simply is not true. I have worked on many restructurings throughout my career and therefore can give a knowledgeable fact-based response to this reactionary, uneducated post made with no actual knowledge of the situation. This outcome is terrible for all involved. Nobody who has ever made an investment in this Company has made money in the long run. Ripplewood will recover exactly zero in this situation after the company is liquidated. Substantially all of the proceeds will go to the recovery of the lenders who were needed to even sustain this Company in bankruptcy, and even these lenders are at risk of significant impairment. Also screwed are the 11,000 Teamster employees who agreed to the plan of reorganization knowing that no more blood could be squeezed from this stone. It was the 4,000 bakery union employees who decided they would rather be unemployed than allowing for a better outcome for everybody including their "brothers" in the Teamsters. The problem with a fool like you is that you think labor owns these businesses. Of course, there would be no business to begin with if noone put up the capital or lent the money to build and sustain it. But in creating those jobs, I suppose those capital providers became leeches in your eyes. You've got it backwards friend and please, before you comment next time, at least research the situation so you don't sound so foolish vomiting your reactionary violin playing for these selfish, irrational union leaders who destroyed everything including for their very own dues-paying membership.

      November 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
      • BC

        Your response to that moron almost got me to orgasm!

        November 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
      • jk4real

        How untrue, if not for the unions the workers in this country would still be working more for less pay and benifits. It was unions that helped create the middle class in America! It all boils down to greed eventually, be it venture capitalists, or owners of companies, that destroy the lives of companies or workers.

        November 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
      • 1nd3p3nd3nt

        most people with money can hire a consulting firm to tell them how to structure a company if they don't know themselves. i'm not sure what this 'new ceo' culture is yet, but the reason why they used to get paid so much is they used to make all the decisions themselves, now they pay others to make decisions for them.

        who should get most of the money for hostess, the bakers baking the goods, or the guy who does what exactly? does the ceo even come up with new product lines? or is that all focus groups now?

        you're right, there are things the ceo does, like make sure the logistics add up and suppliers get paid on time. but most of that can, sadly, be automated for the most part. simple algorithms. simple equations. few variables.

        what does a ceo do nowadays to justify their salary? i hope it is more than simply the shape of the pyramid.
        i do think the bakers should have accepted the deal, but i also think there's supposed to be risk with investment. if hostess was doing do poorly for so long, what investor thought that would make a good investment? HUGE risk of throwing money away.

        not sure if the company not being able to recoup their losses is something that should garner sympathy. especially if they're in the business of, let's be honest, flipping companies, why would you invest in such an enterprise unless
        a) you have a back up plan to raid it and maybe use ownership of the product brandname to recoup losses in clever marketing plays, instead of actually paying employees or producing a product.
        b) you love hostess and the twinkie and you want to keep it around, not to make money, but to eat it.

        wouldn't it be nice if some rich people who wanted to keep hostess around invested in it, not to see a return for their money, but to keep hostess alive? if even on a small scale : (

        if we really want to play the who's to blame game, i think the jury is still out until we see some strategic documents or interviews. this might even be a book. the two things to survive a nuclear disaster? cockroaches and twinkies.

        November 17, 2012 at 1:10 am |
      • Tyrone in NYC

        You both make some good points, all I can say is I'd like to see the two of you meet in some city halfway between the two of you and duke it out. Better yet, do it on the grounds of a shuttered Hostess plant. In fact, make a PPV event and all the money raised watched you two fight out your views would be enough to solve the labor dispute.

        November 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
      • fiftyfive55

        10 CEOs in 10 years and you blame the few bakers who held out ? Tell me you don't see a terrible management problem here and I'll sell ya the brooklyn bridge.Hostess definitely did not suffer from lack of sales.

        November 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
        • ninja65457

          It's not that important how they got there. I'm sure management made missteps, but of course everyone in the company suffered because demand for the product dropped due to changing consumption patterns. All investors involved suffered mightily because of it, but for some reason labor feels that nothing should change for them. Not how it works. When there is need for a product or service jobs follow, sadly when the demand goes so do the jobs. What's important (and it's not the history) is that at this moment, in this flailing industry, the Company offered employees work at terms that would make the Company potentially still viable and labor blew it up. However they got there, it was labor that stuck a knife in the heart of this company to everyone's detriment including their own.

          November 16, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  24. Conguero

    When I was a kid in the 60's, we ate Twinkies and Ho Hos, cake, cookies, Sodas, tons of candy, potatoe chips and all kinds of other junk, and none of us were fat.... because we played hard outside ALL the time.

    November 16, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • marycontrary

      So true! My bother and I were raised on the junk food you mentioned. But we played outside all day. In the 60's we were "lucky" to have some tv in the evenings.

      November 16, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
      • mike

        Hey! I ate the same foods and grew up in the 80's / 90's and I was NEVER fat – neither were 90% of our friends. Yes there are the occasional genetic kids that are heavy – but even they weren't that big.

        We played video games often – but usually during the summer like 10pm (our curfew) until like 1am. Then up the next morning and playing baseball etc.

        Today's kids each stay in their own house on Ipad, xbox, playstation playing against their friends. That's the problem. Maybe the NYC mayor should tell parents how many hours a week kids are allowed to play video games! It does hurt the eyes as well as contribute to obesity.

        November 16, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • landofcleve

      The junk food we ate as kids used real sugar, not HFCS which is in everything now.

      November 16, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • conrad

      No need to hoard. Lady Linda – is a brand that makes almost the exact same products, but they are actually tastey. Seriously, it's like this company copied all of Hotesses products, but made them edible and delicious.

      November 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Conguero

      Potato! Ha! I pulled a Dan Quayle

      November 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  25. Booger

    They're actually pretty good frozen.

    November 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
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