Hostess Shutdown Leaving Hundreds Out Of Work In Philly - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Hostess Shutdown Leaving Hundreds Out Of Work In Philly

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PHILADELPHIA -

It's official. With the shutdown of Hostess, not only will you have trouble finding Twinkies or Ding Dongs. More than 18,000 workers across the country – including hundreds in Philadelphia – will be out of jobs.

Twinkies, Ho Hos, and Wonder Bread are just some of the products that have only a short time left on the shelves.

Demand for these products wasn't the reason for the closing of the plants. The company says it was the employees who baked them.

FOX 29's Stephanie Salvatore was live outside the Northeast Philadelphia plant with more in this video report Friday night.

Folks in Northeast are stocking up on their favorite Hostess products while they still can.

"I knew it was right up the street from the job, and I wanted to make sure I capitalized," one man said.

Another said, "My wife is in there now getting some because we didn't know whether it was still open. But we heard it was closing."

But while stores like this one are selling out fast, it's the nearly 19,000 folks baking the famous brands across the nation who are hurting.

"They make it seem like it's the union people that's shutting this down," said Wayne Walker.

He's one of nearly 400 workers now unemployed. But he does not regret his decision to stand for what he believed in.

"You see all these people willing to be out of work rather than to stay in there and stand for that," Walker said. "You know, we all got bills, we all got families, we all got mortgages, but we would rather be out on the street than to be in there and get taken advantage of."

Union employees tell us they were told about a cut in pay, changes to their medical benefits, and a freeze in pension funds. Workers went on strike to show solidarity against the proposal, and the brand – unable to produce and deliver products – decided to close all 34 of their plants.

But the local union refuses to be blamed for the outcome.

"This company has done a great job of making the workers the guilty party," said Local 6 Union President Barry Fields. "There's people more concerned about not having a Twinkie than what about people's jobs."

But behind the picket lines and the demise of these popular snack cakes are the real victims, families now struggling with a drastic cut in income.

"You have to do what's in the best interest of your family," said Elisa Walker, whose husband is now out of a job. "Because eventually you have to stand for something or fall for anything."

The best-case scenario would be for another bakery to come in and buy the plant.

In the meantime, the local union is in the process of finding state programs to help these employees find new jobs and also help with the gap in pay, Salvatore reported.

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