Hostess, Union Fail to Reach Agreement During Judge-Ordered Talks

WHITE PLAINS, New York (AP) - The maker of Twinkies and Ding Dongs says it failed to reach an agreement with and its second biggest union. As a result, Hostess Brands will continue with a hearing on Wednesday in which a bankruptcy court judge will decide if the company can liquidate.

The talks had come as a surprise after Hostess declared last week it would move to wind down its business and start selling off its assets in bankruptcy court. The judge noted that 18,000 jobs were on the line and urged the company and union to try to resolve their differences.

Protests spread to Tulsa when the company gave employees new contracts that cut pay, raised insurance rates, and shrunk pensions. At least 100 Hostess workers were affected in Tulsa.

Hostess shut down its three dozen plants late last week after it said a strike by the union crippled its ability to maintain normal production. The union representing workers says it as given deep concessions for years and that Hostess's demise was the result of years of mismanagement.

The shut-down signals an end to iconic snacks like Twinkies and Ding Dongs for now. QuikTrip spokesman Mike Thornbrugh said QuikTrip is sad to no longer be able to carry the Hostess products in the future but anticipates another business will likely buy the popular snacks.