Twinkies in jeopardy as Hostess closes its U.S. plants, seeks bankruptcy

Hostess, the U.S. maker of nutrition-void foods including Twinkies, Ho Hos and Wonder Bread, has asked a federal court for bankruptcy protection and permission to shutter its operations.

The move comes amid an ongoing bakers strike at the 82-year-old business as workers protest an imposed contract that included wage and benefit cuts. Workers have been striking since Nov. 9 and the strike affected about two-thirds of Hostess plants, reports the Wall Street Journal.

All 18,500 Hostess workers will be laid off, the company said Friday morning.

“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” said CEO Gregory Rayburn in a statement.

The future of the Twinkies, the Ho Ho, the Ding Ding and the company’s other brands remains unclear. The company’s assets will likely be sold to the highest bidder and it is possible that a new company could buy the rights to the brands.