Hostess liquidation plan approved, will terminate 15,000 workers

NEW YORK - After failing to reach a last-minute agreement with striking unions on Tuesday, Hostess Brands, Inc. continued the liquidation process in a bankruptcy court on Wednesday.

The judge approved the company's liquidation plan, which includes terminating 15,000 workers.

The company's CEO, Gregory Rayburn, testified during the hearing.

Rayburn told the bankruptcy judge he would need to terminate the 15,000 workers immediately in order for those workers to qualify for unemployment.

Meanwhile in Tulsa, a few striking workers waited to hear official word from company supervisors. They remained outside the Hostess' Wonder Bread plant Wednesday afternoon.

The workers said they were not surprised by the CEO's statement. They said it was what they were expecting.

But they say they were proud of their efforts in recent weeks.

"Maybe it's just time for the working man to stand up for his principles and we did," said one worker. "Not just this here but nationwide we stood up to them."

The corporation said striking workers "crippled operations" and blamed the union for the company's liquidation.

All baking operations have been suspended as Hostess plans to sell around $29 million in excess product ingredients.

Among the plant closures is the Tulsa Wonder Bread bakery, according to the company's website , which employs about 160 workers.

Company officials said about 3,200 workers would remain on until the company's closure is complete, which could take up to one year.

Company officials also testified that several other companies had expressed interest in purchasing some of Hostess' iconic brands like Twinkies, and said some of the offers included the possibility of keeping some Hostess workers. However, no deals were announced on Wednesday.

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