Business 2012 Look Back: Hostess shuts down for good after labor dispute goes unresolved
BY KYLE ARNOLD World Staff Writer
Sunday, December 30, 2012
12/30/12 at 4:55 AM
Original Print Headline: Hostess shuts down for good after labor dispute goes unresolved
As it turns out, the Twinkie couldn't even survive until the much-hyped "end of the world."
After a contentious fight between beleaguered bakery workers and management trying to save the company, Tulsa's Hostess Brands, Inc. factory, along with the rest of the corporation, shut down in dramatic fashion in November.
Along with the factory closures, some of America's most iconic food brands - Wonder Bread, Twinkies, Ding Dongs and the Ho Hos - disappeared for store shelves.
The Tulsa factory, now vacant, had been located at 1111 S. Sheridan Road since the 1950s.
Tulsa's 180 Hostess workers joined other bakers nationwide in a walkout Nov. 10 after the company failed to come to a contract agreement with union officials.
After a decade of bankruptcies and contract concessions, bakers were facing 8 percent pay cuts and slashed benefits as company executives tried to restructure labor costs to make the company profitable after nearly $340 million in losses in 2011.
But Bakery Confectionery Tobacco Grain Millers Union workers said they were finished with concessions after a decade of botched management decisions and poor execution by company executives.
Management set a hard deadline for workers to come back to work or they would liquidate Hostess.
That's just what happened on Nov. 17. Now Hostess lawyers are sorting out the company's assets in federal bankruptcy court and the Twinkie - along with Tulsa's Hostess bakery - could be gone forever.
Workers picket at the entrance of the Hostess bakery in Tulsa last month. After a contentious fight, Tulsa's Hostess factory, along with the rest of the corporation, shut down. MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World file