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Hostess Brands shuts down; thousands out of work | Business

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Hostess Brands shuts down; thousands out of work

ATLANTA -- On a day when the venerable Hostess Brands announced its liquidation, the shockwaves were felt everywhere -- even Atlanta.

Empty Hostess trucks and what's left of the product being sent on its way to Hostess outlet stores were all that was left at the southwest Atlanta Hostess Distribution Center. All employees ended up with was a simple goodbye with no severance pay.

Jarod Nalls, a Hostess driver and father of four, got to work on Friday when he found out, along with 20 of his co-workers, that it was to be his last day.

"People would work together to keep it going, but I guess not," said Nalls. "Now all of us are out of work."

The company says a union strike by bakery workers last week was the last straw, as Hostess, which has its origins in early 20th Century Chicago, has battled through bankruptcy since January. The company says they have fought to cut high pensions, high wages and medical costs as well as face off against stiff competition.

Casualties of the closure are the jobs of 18,500 employees, the shuttering of more than 30 bakeries and age-old brands like Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Ho's and Wonder Bread.

In Metro Atlanta, two outlet stores and the bakery's distribution operations will be closed.