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Stater Bros. Seeing Run on Hostess Products in Redlands, Loma Linda

Jack Brown, the company's Chairman of the Board, said his stores might run out of Hostess products sometime over the weekend.

As the clock ticked down on the Hostess Brands Inc. bankruptcy, its products, especially the Twinkies and Cupcakes, have begun flying off the shelves at many Stater Bros. stores.

Jack Brown, Chairman of the Board, and Chief Executive Officer of Stater Bros. Markets, who had been in contact with several stores, had been told activity on Hostess Twinkies and Cupcakes had increased dramatically since the bankruptcy announcement.

“We will probably be out of Hostess products by this weekend,” Brown said late Friday during a phone interview. Stater Bros. is based in San Bernardino and is Southern California’s largest privately owned Supermarket Chain, as well as Southern California’s only locally owned Supermarket Chain, according to it's website.

Early Friday, Hostess Brands Inc. announced that it was “winding down operations” and had filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking permission to close its business and sell its assets, including its iconic brands and facilities, according to a news release.

Operations at all plants had been suspended, though “delivery of products will continue and Hostess Brands retail stores will remain open for several days in order to sell already-baked products,” officials said.

For Brown and dozens of Stater Bros. customers, this means a loss of a product that is so deeply connected with childhood. The store will try to fill the gap.

“We’ll be replacing the (Hostess) product with another product sometime next week,” Brown said.

Hostess officials say a worker strike has forced them shut down operations. On Nov. 12, Hostess Brands permanently closed three plants as a result of the work stoppage. On Nov. 14, the company announced it would be forced to liquidate if a sufficient number of employees did not return to work by Nov. 15 to restore normal operations.

The Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union rejected a “last, best and final offer from Hostess Brands designed to lower costs so that the Company could attract new financing and emerge from Chapter 11,” according to the Hostess Brands Inc. news release.

“I think the real issue here is bigger than Twinkies,” Brown said. “The issue is that 18,000 people will lose their jobs. If we can send a space ship to the moon, we should be able to solve this issue.”

Brown said the job loss could affect as many as 80,000 people, including spouses, children or other who may be dependent on the thousands of workers now facing the loss of their job.

Brown said he was not taking sides and held out hope that something could worked out, but only the weekend remained for resolution, he said.

“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” said Gregory F. Rayburn, chief executive officer. “Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.”

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stephen November 17, 2012 at 03:52 PM
If we could send a spaceship to the moon? No wonder people feel the corporate world is out of touch with reality. Like these bakery workers have anything to do with what NASA can or cannot do. FYI: We haven't sent a spaceship to the moon in decades.
joshua binyard November 17, 2012 at 03:58 PM
So these people would rather lose there jobs and there way of life. Listening to some dinky head of The Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union that happens to have the name of your job field listed among other fields the union also states that its international how many countries respect a union as much as we in the USA whatever. Anyway 3 days before Twinkies from china.
Greg steppgregstepptoit@gmail.com November 17, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Unions!!!!!! What a joke
Gregory Brittain November 17, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Please remember that Obama, the Dems and the unions want to take away employees' right to a secret ballot election regarding whether they want a union. Again, don't say we didn't warn you.
Gregory Brittain November 17, 2012 at 06:56 PM
And, there is a pending proposal at the NLRB for force companies to give unions the names, home addresses, home telephone numbers and email addresses of their employees. "That's nice house and family you got here Mr. Jones. Say, would you like to sign this union representation card?"
Jason November 17, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Democrats don't seem to understand that businesses just can't keep paying and paying their employees. During tough times, wages must decrease, or else this happens. Which is worse: a low salary, or no salary?
Clavell Jackson November 17, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Union worker's make up a small portion of the workers at Hostess. Plus the firm just gave it's CEO a raise, after the company was suffering declining fortunes. Bad management ran them into the ground. http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/11/16/1203151/why-unions-dont-shoulder-the-blame-for-hostesss-downfall/#comment_link Of course in right wing world, the opposite is true.
Gregory Brittain November 17, 2012 at 11:50 PM
It may be true that bad management decisions and a changing market (when was the last time you ate a Twinkie?) caused the company to lose money and file bk. Employee costs were a large part of Hostess' costs. While the company is in bk, bk ct approval would probably be necessary to change executive compensation. The bakers' union had a choice accept a new contract with mildly reduced wages and benefits or the company would go out of business. The Teamsters accepted a contract with reduced wages and benefits and urged the bakers union to do likewise. The bakers union chose no concessions and no jobs. I believe the bakers union would not even put the proposed contract to a vote of the members.
ffght November 18, 2012 at 01:30 AM
So how does being in union if I now don't even have a job? The damn union bosses still get their damn union dues from those still fortunate to have their jobs!
Charles Ferrell November 18, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Headline: "Union Kills Hostess Cakes." There must be celebrating at the White House. A union has prevailed over a private company. More than 18,000 former employees of Hostess have joined the unemployed, gone on government entitlement programs and most likely will all vote Democrat now. Michelle Obama is especially happy that so many high-fat foods are now no longer on the shelves. A perfect storm for the Obama White House.
SBSWZ November 18, 2012 at 04:41 PM
no job...no union dues to pay.
Clavell Jackson November 19, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Hostess had several other problems. http://mediamatters.org/research/2012/11/16/fox-ignores-hostess-array-of-troubles-to-scapeg/191440
SBSWZ November 19, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Bottom line - no job, no union dues to pay

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