Hostess says layoffs possible - CBS 5 - KPHO

Hostess says layoffs possible

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UNCASVILLE, CT (WFSB) -

The bakery union that produces Twinkies and all other Hostess bakery products went on strike last Friday and has been picketing at 24 of Hostess' 33 operating bakeries around the country.

None of the operating bakeries are located in Connecticut, but as many as 200 people are employed distributing Hostess products in several retail sites, including ones in Uncasville, Norwich, East Windsor, Cheshire and Bridgeport.

According to Hostess Chairman Greg Rayburn, if enough employees don't return by 5 p.m., they will liquidate. This week, the company notified the Connecticut Department of Labor that a number of workers could lose their jobs.

Eyewitness News is waiting for that decision from their corporate headquarters, which is not expected until Friday morning.

Meanwhile, Connecticut drivers aren't too optimistic about a settlement being reached to prevent layoffs.

"I don't think it looks good," said one driver, who wished not to be identified.

On Friday, the bakery union, which is 30 percent of the Hostess workforce, went on strike over cuts to wages and benefits under a new contract.

The company responded and closed three bakeries. If they liquidate, Rayburn said it'll mean nearly 18,000 jobs lost nationwide.

Hostess brands, which is privately held, filed for chapter 11 protection in January, the second time the company has filed in the last 10 years.

"I actually grew up in New Hampshire and we had a Sunbeam bakery up there, and they were on strike a very long time and eventually the doors closed and everyone was out of work," said Marcus Milukas of Quaker Hill. "You kind of hope you could hold that middle ground?"

Customers are also hoping that the striking members of the bakers union don't seal the fate of their favorite snacks.

"Why would you do that? Don't do that Twinkies," said John Wright. "We was built on Twinkies and Hostess cup cakes. That's an American dream to have a nice Twinkie for a snack."

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