KY & IN workers affected as bankrupt baker lays off thousands - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

KY & IN workers affected as bankrupt baker lays off thousands, shuts down

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The Wonder Bread-Hostess Bakery Thriftshop on Poplar Level Road. The Wonder Bread-Hostess Bakery Thriftshop on Poplar Level Road.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Store shelves may soon be missing your favorite sweet treat after Hostess announced it would shut down operations and lay off 18,500 workers. The bankrupt baker blamed a nationwide strike and bankruptcy.

In Kentucky, 239 people will lose their job and 853 workers will be cut in Indiana, according to company spokesperson Erik Halvorson. Managers at a Wonder-Hostess Bakery Thriftshop on Poplar Level Road, who declined to offer their name, confirmed to WAVE 3 the Watterson Park-Newburg location would also close Friday.

Shoppers may notice Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread missing from retailers when delivery is halted.

It's not just the freezer aisle at Melton's Food Mart sending a chill down through Linda Hatfield. "I really feel sorry for them," Hatfield said.

Another plant closure that may be tough to stomach is a location in Columbus, Indiana where approximately 200 people are employed.

Thousands of union members went on strike last week after rejecting a contract offer that slashed wages and benefits.

The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union began negotiations the week of November 5. The Associated Press reported Hostess executives indicated the strike crippled its ability to produce and deliver products and it had no choice but to give up its effort to emerge intact from bankruptcy court.

"Hostess brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500 member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders," CEO Gregory Rayburn said in a statement.

Hostess filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January.

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