Hostess to shut down operations nationwide, liquidate company

(TOLEDO NEWS NOW) -  Hostess Brands asked a federal bankruptcy court for permission to shut down operations and liquidate its assets on Friday morning. Among the factories closing will be one in Northwood, Ohio.

The closing affects more than 160 workers at the Northwood bakery, and more than 18,000 workers nationally.

This comes amid a national strike during which Hostess said it could not afford to operate.

While bakery operations have been suspended, deliveries of products will continue. Hostess retail stores will remain open for several days to sell already-baked products.

Toledo News Now's Amanda St. Hilaire spoke with workers on the Northwood picket line. They say they've heard rumblings about the announcement, but they had not been officially told. They said they would remain on the picket line Friday morning until a formal announcement is given to them and a plan is put in place of what to do next.

Picketers feel it seems the union is made out to be the scapegoat. Some hope the company will be bought and reopened under different management techniques.

"I'm really kind of disappointed. It was really convenient for me because I would come down here and order dinner rolls for our church functions," said Phyllis Bookenberger.

Area business owners are concerned about the impact the plant's closure will have on their operations. They say they hope another business will move in and fill the void.

"That's definitely going to take a little bit of business out of our business, but I don't think it's going to hurt us or put us out of business," said Ahmed Saleh, Owner of Moody's Coney Island.

CNN Money posted a statement by Hostess: "We deeply regret the necessity of today's decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike," said CEO Gregory Rayburn in a statement.

The Hostess website says most employees should be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Read more from the Associated Press.

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We'll continue to follow this developing story throughout the day.

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