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Hostess shutdown leaves locals out of work

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 16 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 16 2012 09:46:30 PM CST

They're treats from our childhood, Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Sno Balls and Ho Hos.

PALMER TWP., Pa. -

They're treats from our childhood, Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Sno Balls and Ho Hos. Friday Hostess announced it's going out of business, taking 18,500 workers with it.

"Company just decided to close, it's over, liquidate the company," said Hostess Delivery Driver Jim Breiner.

For him the shutdown is devastating. After about two decades of working for the company, and less than a week before Thanksgiving, he's out of a job.

"I just I don't know how to react right now, it's too soon," added Breiner. "Do I go out and get a job, do I collect unemployment, what do I do?"

Breiner delivered the iconic snack cakes to convenience stores and super markets in the Lehigh Valley. Friday, he and 27 other workers had to gather their things and vacate the Palmer Township, Northampton County plant. Now this husband and father of two daughters is facing an uncertain future.

"A career that has to be started over again, I'm almost 50 years old and got to start all over again, what do you do?"

Thousands of union members working in the bakeries for Hostess went on strike in Philadelphia last week. The company warned it would shut down operations if they didn't return to operations by Thursday night. The workers didn't budge.

"Out of 18,500 people 4,000 of them closed the company in a matter of a week," said Breiner.

He's angry and he's upset. But for now Breiner says he's trying to stay positive.

"I'll go to bed and I'll sleep tonight, and hopefully things will get better," he smiled. "Things will look up, you know, we'll work on it."

Hostess says it's trying to find a buyer for about 30 brands including Wonder Bread and Twinkies.