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Twinkies Maker Hostess to Liquidate Company if Strikes Persist

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(IRVING, Texas) -- The end for Twinkies may just be hours away.  Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of the iconic snack, announced on Wednesday that it will liquidate the entire company if not enough striking employees return to work by Thursday evening.

“We simply do not have the financial resources to survive an ongoing national strike,” Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn said in a statement Wednesday.  “Therefore, if sufficient employees do not return to work by 5 p.m., EST, on Thursday to restore normal operations, we will be forced to immediately move to liquidate the entire company, which will result in the loss of nearly 18,000 jobs."

The strikes began on Nov. 9, when the company imposed a contract that would cut workers' wages by 8 percent.  The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) said the contract would also cut benefits by 27 to 32 percent.

Hostess, which is privately owned by two hedge funds, has struggled in recent years with two bankruptcy filings.  The company said it "has done everything in its power to pursue a reorganization of its business as a going concern, including spending the better part of 18 months negotiating with its key constituents to obtain a consensual agreement."

"It is now up to Hostess’ BCTGM represented employees and Frank Hurt, their international president, to decide if they want to call off the strike and save this company, or cause massive financial harm to thousands of employees and their families,” Rayburn said.

If the strike continues, Hostess said it will file a motion on Friday to wind-down the company and sell all of its assets.  If the U.S. Bankruptcy Court grants the motion, the company will then begin to close all of its operations as early as Nov. 20.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio