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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hostess, Labor Union Battle Could Mean End of the Twinkie

SALISBURY, Md.- The future of such iconic American sweet treats as Twinkies and Ding Dongs remains uncertain, as a bitter battle between Hostess and its workers' unions plays out in a New York courtroom.
Hostess filed for bankruptcy in January for the second time since 2004. The company wants to toss out its labor contracts in order to cut costs and avoid going under. Workers have vowed to strike if this happens.
Some 18,500 jobs are at stake, as is the fate of Hostess snack foods.
Vivian Muir is a regular at Salisbury's Hostess Outlet.
"I come about every two weeks, to get bread for the kids lunches and snacks and things like that," she explained.
But the fight over the staples and sweet treats she purchases is turning bitter.
If the labor agreements are thrown out, union workers say they will strike, making it a seemingly no-win situation for the future of Wonder Bread and Twinkies.
That is because the company says they cannot survive a strike or the cost of keeping labor contracts in place.
It is news people like Vivian are sad to hear.
"Everybody's heard of Twinkie and it was in your school lunch and just, Wonder Bread, it's just a name everybody recognizes and is familiar with. It's a shame,"Barbara Steffan of Salisbury agrees.
"I enjoy it," she said. "I'm very saddened that it has the potential of shutting down."
Steffan hopes the two sides can sort things out, on order to keep her favorite snacks on store shelves and keep Hostess workers employed.
"Anything they can do, little sacrificing on both ends and mutual agreement right now, working together, could benefit all of us."

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