Las Vegans stock up on Twinkies as news of Hostess closure spreads

A view of the Wonder Hostess Bakery Outlet on 4348 E. Craig Road, where the shelves were picked clean after the company announced today, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, that it was shutting down.

Las Vegas Hostess Store Emptied

The shelves of the Wonder Hostess Bakery Outlet on 4348 E. Craig Road are bare after customers picked the store clean. Hostess announced today (Friday, Nov. 16, 2012) that it was shutting down and would be liquidating remaining products. Launch slideshow »

Click to enlarge photo

Hostess Twinkies on display at a grocery store in Santa Clara, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012.

Nostalgic Las Vegans made a run on Twinkies and cupcakes today after Hostess announced it will be going out of business after more than a century.

Locally, 171 people at a Hostess plant in Henderson stand to lose their jobs.

Hostess Brands Inc. filed a motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court today seeking to close its business and sell its assets, including its brands and facilities. Company officials said employees at 33 factories nationwide were sent home.

As news of the company's closure spread, people rushed to stock up on Hostess treats. The shelves of the Wonder Hostess Bakery Outlet in North Las Vegas were nearly empty by noon. Only a few boxes of Ding-Dongs and a handful of cream-filled cupcakes remained. No Twinkies were left in sight.

An employee said earlier in the morning that a line of customers snaked out the door.

Hostess officials said 500 similar outlets across the country would remain open for a few days, until merchandise was gone.

Hostess has snack brands that date back to 1888.

The move to shut down the company comes after a long battle with unions and a change in the snack food market.

Thousands of members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, which represents 30 percent of Hostess' workforce, went on strike last week after rejecting a contract offer that slashed wages and benefits. Competition by other snack manufacturers, as well as Americans' efforts to eat healthier, landed the Texas company in bankruptcy twice in three years.

Hostess filed for Chapter 11 protection in January, but today asked a judge to change its plan from reorganization to liquidation. Hostess said it had been saddled with high pension, wage and medical costs related to its unionized workforce.

The company also faced intensifying competition from larger companies such as Mondelez International, the former snack unit of Kraft Foods that makes Oreos, Chips Ahoy and Nabisco.

Union officials said members made major concessions during Hostess’ first bankruptcy in 2004, saving the company $110 million, but the company still closed 21 plants and laid off 5,000 workers. Union president Frank Hurt said Hostess emerged from that reorganization with a private equity firm and two hedge funds as owners, and all were determined to dismantle the company.

Hurt said 92 percent of the union workers rejected Hostess’ settlement offer because they worried they could lose their jobs.

Tags: Business, News
Business

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Share

Previous Discussion:

Discussion 5 comments

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. A judge gave the order for the pay plan, the union walked off the job anyway. These jobs will go overseas now. The union can sit around and wait for higher pay, or any pay now. I guess they are better off with no job, that seems to be the mentality, my grandparents would roll over in thier graves hearing that type of work ethic. We really need a serious depression to to enlighten them, not the hand out one we had.

  2. 18,000 more now enjoying the Obama economy...

  3. 18,000 had a job, now none have one.

    Typical union stupidity. Trucks delivering bread can't deliver non-bread products and employees stocking shelves the same. This type of tyranny killed Bethlehem Steel in Buffalo, NY and put 50,000 out of work and hundreds of thousands more around the nation. The union idiots never believe the company will go out of business and always believe there is a bottomless pit of money for them to steal, that the company is just bluffing.

    It's the non-thinking us versus them, union versus management mentality. Selfish, socialist, ignorant fools, all they had to do was be reasonable, but nope, not possible, now they are all out of work, union dues to the bosses will fall and all unions are further weakened.

    Led by the Pied Piper of community organizing in the White House and his version of Tammany Hall, many public sector unions are essentially doing the same thing, punishing citizens, taxpayers and themselves as a result of their selfish stupidity.

  4. You know this is happening more to non union than union I find it Ironic that people want to blame the unions for all the jobs going overseas.
    @Petef Your Grand parents work for companies that cared about their employee's and made 15 to 20% return on there money today these companies want 2000 to 3000% return.
    If less than 5% of the jobs are union how is it the unions fault for the other 95%.

    My union is a privately funded retirement fund only the employee's and the company pay into it and are also the one's who receive anything also, We have over 46 Billion dollars in our fund with less than 400,000 employee's we are good for 75 years with no changes so tell me why Paul Ryan keeps wanting to merge ours in with Social Security, Well I can tell why he wants to raid the fund.
    We have so much money that we have made on good investments that we could actually pay full retirement at 20 years service but our hands are tied to the same rules as Social Security. I don't know why it would be seeing it's our money and not the government.

  5. To tell the truth, I haven't eaten a Twinkie or Hostess cup cake in years because I remember when they actually tasted good. Like so much of today's "stuff," they had been watered down and tasted like crap! That said, I can't believe the employees let their union put them out of work; an 8% cut in pay certainly would have been better than a 100% pay cut. As for having to pay more for health insurance? So what? At least they'd have insurance. And going from a "defined" benefit pension to a "defined" contribution pension? No big deal and they (individual employees) would have owned the pension and it would have been portable. Like the dog looking into the river, they thought the bone in the mouth of the dog they saw in the water was bigger and dropped theirs. They, like the dog, wound up with bubbkis (nothing). So now they can call the company "greedy" while they walk the streets looking for a job. There's a moral somewhere in this story.