Hostess seeks to close operations

By WEEK Producer

November 16, 2012 Updated Nov 16, 2012 at 11:30 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Hostess Brands, the makers of Twinkies, Wonder Bread, and other iconic products has filed a motion to close the business.

The company will sell its assets and facilities, along with laying off more than 18,000 workers nationwide, 150 here in Peoria.

The liquidation comes after a nearly week-long, nationwide strike by the company's bakers union.

BCTMG initiated the strike after rejecting a final offer in September from Hostess designed to lower costs, so the company could emerge Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The contract offered to cut pay by eight percent, and benefits by 16 percent.

The company's CEO, Gregory Rayburn, says the offer was fair-- with contracts accepted by other employees including the teamsters.

Rayburn says the strike has crippled the company's production ability, imminently forcing the closure of Hostess.

"People have said 'hey, you're threatening with a liquidation' and I've said all along, 'this is a consequence, not a threat, a consequence of the strike'," said Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn.

In an interview with Baking, Rayburn is quoted saying that unions don't "bring down companies", calling the thought an "overly simplistic view."

He said there was blame to go around everywhere.

BCTMG represents 30 percent of the Hostess workforce.