Twinkie-maker Hostess Brands Inc. said today that it would seek to close its operations and liquidate its assets if striking bakers did not return to work by Thursday at 5 p.m. Eastern time, Reuters reported. If the company closes, 18,000 workers will lose their jobs.
The lights could be turned off as soon as Nov. 20, two days before Thanksgiving, Reuters reported.
Hostess filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January, and will seek permission from a bankruptcy court judge to shut down if workers don’t return by the deadline, Reuters reported.
Hostess workers who are members of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union have been striking since Nov. 9 to protest court-approved cuts in wages, Reuters reported.
The work stoppage by the baking union members, who make up almost a third of Hostess’ workforce, has curtailed production at two-thirds of the Texas-based company's 36 plants, the Wall Street Journal reported. On Monday, Hostess permanently closed three plants in Seattle, St. Louis and Cincinnati, throwing 627 people out of work.
"We simply do not have the financial resources to survive an ongoing national strike," Chief Executive Gregory F. Rayburn said in a statement today, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Hostess officials said the company isn’t requiring a specific number of workers to return, just enough to boost production levels back to normal, the Wall Street Journal reported.