Hostess warns 800-plus Chicago area employees could lose jobs
BY SANDRA GUY Business Reporteremail@example.com June 11, 2012 6:52PM
SCHILLER PARK, IL - APRIL 20: A worker checks Hostess Twinkies as move through production in their trays prior to cream injection at the Interstate Bakeries Corporation facility April 20, 2005 in Schiller Park, Illinois, a suburb northwest of Chicago. The Twinkie, an American icon and one of the nation's all-time favorite snack cakes, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this month. James A. Dewar created the beloved treat in 1930, while working as a Hostess bakery manager in Chicago. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
Updated: July 13, 2012 6:22AM
Hostess Brands, whose Jan. 11 bankruptcy filing prompted concern from worried fans of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho-Hos, has sent its 1,380 Illinois employees — including about 800 in Cook County — notice that the company could go out of existence, but a spokesman said Monday the goal is to emerge from bankruptcy “as a growing company with a strong future.”
Hostess also makes old-time favorites such as Sno Balls, Zingers and Suzy Q’s.
“We are simply fulfilling our requirements by sending these notices,” spokesman Erik Halvorson said. He that the manufacturer, based in Irving, Texas, has warned that it might be forced to liquidate if it can’t work out deals with its unions to cut costs. About 83 percent of Hostess’ workers are union members.
Hostess’ Illinois operations include bakeries employing a total of 807 in west suburban Hodgkins and north suburban Schiller Park, according to a list at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website.
A judge ruled in May that Hostess must adhere to its contracts with members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters but could reject agreements with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union.