Hostess could lay off 18,000 workers

November 16, 2012 5:53:18 AM PST
Hostess workers continued to man the picket lines late Thursday night despite a request from Hostess to return to work.

Now it is up to Hostess to decide whether or not they will go through with plans to shut down entirely and layoff 18,000 workers.

A 5:00 p.m. deadline to return to work came and went, but striking Hostess employees did not budge from the picket line outside of the Hostess plant in Northeast Philadelphia.

Huddled around a fire to keep warm, wages and benefits are the hot button issues for these workers.

"They took our pension. They don't want to guarantee 8 hours," said Michael Myles.

"I'm going into my 26th year," said Don Devlin. "I've been here all my life and have three months to go for early retirement, and they pulled the rug out from under me.

Hostess says the company has done everything in its power to reorganize the business, but the corporation cannot afford an ongoing national strike, and says if it does not have the full backing of the bakery, confectionary, tobacco workers and grain millers union, it will liquidate the company.

Operations could shut down as early as Tuesday. 18,000 people will lose their jobs.

Some people tell Action News that an end to Wonder Bread and Twinkies is a sad sign of the times.

"It says they don't care anymore really, that's the sad part. They don't care about workers, don't care about management," said Myles.

"I worked my whole life to help my family, raise my family and make a living. I can't do it if I go bankrupt, who is going to bail me out?" asked Devlin.

The situation is emotional for Don Devlin and many workers like him. He says it is more than his job on the line, it is his livelihood.

Hostess is expected to make a statement Friday about whether or not the company can survive this strike or if it will shut down for good.


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