300 Hostess workers in Northeast Philly affected by bakery's closing

Host­ess Brands asked a fed­er­al bank­ruptcy court for per­mis­sion to close all its busi­nesses na­tion­wide, a move that would af­fect 18,500 em­ploy­ees. The com­pany cited an on­go­ing labor dis­pute as the reas­on for its ac­tion.

(left to right) Paul Vachon, War­ren Starkus, and Wil­bert Hop­kins strike at the Host­ess plant after it closes due to strikes around the coun­try. Close to 500 total work­ers in North­east Phil­adelphia are af­fected by the clos­ing. (Maria Pouch­nikova)

About 300 em­ploy­ees of North­east Phil­adelphia’s Host­ess bakery are ex­pec­ted to lose their jobs as part of a com­pany-wide li­quid­a­tion plan.

Host­ess Brands Inc. on Fri­day asked a fed­er­al bank­ruptcy court for per­mis­sion to close its busi­ness and sell its as­sets, in­clud­ing its “icon­ic brands and fa­cil­it­ies,” the Irving, Texas, based com­pany said in a prin­ted state­ment.

The fin­an­cially fail­ing com­pany cited an on­go­ing labor strike by the Bakery, Con­fec­tion­ary, To­bacco Work­ers and Grain Millers In­ter­na­tion­al Uni­on — which re­portedly rep­res­ents about 30 per­cent of its 18,500-mem­ber work­force — as the im­me­di­ate cause of the li­quid­a­tion. Host­ess in Janu­ary filed for Chapter 11 bank­ruptcy pro­tec­tion, its second bank­ruptcy re­or­gan­iz­a­tion in a dec­ade.

The 82-year-old com­pany is known for man­u­fac­tur­ing Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos, along with Won­der Bread, Drakes and Dolly Madis­on brand products. ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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