Illinois Factory Where Twinkies Were Invented to Close

400 employees affected, were on the cusp of new labor agreement

Twinkies Production Inside Hostess Brands LLC Facilities As The Snack Cake Returns To Shelves
Getty ImagesA worker boxes Twinkies at Hostess Brands' Schiller Park, Illinois bakery.

Time to stock up on Twinkies, Illinois residents. You may remember how the iconic, cream-filled dessert went off the market in 2012, when manufacturer Hostess Brands filed for bankruptcy. They returned eight months later, but apparently, so did the company's financial troubles. Now, the bakery where the sweets were invented is due to shut down in October.

Workers were informed of the Schiller Park bakery's closure over Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, the same day union leaders were set to negotiate a new labor agreement. "Many competitors took over the shelves and are tenaciously defending their business and thus we must be highly efficient and technologically advanced to compete," Hostess Brands CEO Bill Toler said in a statement. "As a result, we have invested in more efficient production capabilities and need to streamline our manufacturing infrastructure and protect our ability to compete." The decision will affect about 400 employees, 280 of which had recently voted to unionize. Union members make around $15 an hour; Donald Woods, president of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Local 1, told the Chicago Tribune the news of the closure was "devastating."

Twinkies were invented at the Illinois bakery in 1930. Hostess closed all of its bakeries in late 2012, including the one in Schiller Park, but reopened them eight months later when private equity firms bought Hostess and its brands for $410 million. The bankruptcy leading to the original closures was the result of a national strike over a contract that cut employee wages by eight percent.

When the plants reopened--four, down from the original 11--those who returned did so without a union backing. Employees of the Schiller Bakery told the Chicago Tribune they have been working 12-hour days in two shifts. While Woods said that some workers may be able to find positions at another facility in Indiana, which is remaining open, it's unclear how many jobs are actually available.

A Hostess spokeswoman said that the affected employees would receive severance packages along with outplacement services. Twinkies will remain on store shelves despite the bakery's closure.

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I keep saying read Retirement Heist. It explains how companies have dismantled the middle class in America. It's not the unions and your assumption they were lazy and not hard working is BS. A labor union today is not the GM style of 30 years ago. My company filed it's second bankruptcy in 5 years and dumped our retirement to PBGC @ 65% less. Yes and I feel lucky to have it. Some workers have lost everything under the liberal CH 11 laws. All those jobs will go to Mexico at a new plant. Oh the article forgot to mention that.

September 16 2014 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Life expectancy just went up in the USA.

September 16 2014 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

wow what a surprise union brought down the whole company now there doing it piece by piece so long hostes- ya for incompatent lazy workforce

September 04 2014 at 1:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Twinkies never tasted the same after they quit making them in 2012.

August 25 2014 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If you would lower the price of a box of Twinkies more people might afford to buy them

August 24 2014 at 9:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How's that union working for ya guys?

You sure taught management a lesson, eh brethren? Now you can all march around the union hall chanting slogans and denouncing the managment that you did not listen to. Now you can sit in the union hall all day and listen to union reps who DID NOTHING for you! Actually now that you do not have jobs they will probably not let you near the union hall.


August 22 2014 at 12:51 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to floatgod's comment

Hey ROFLMFAO!!!!!!
What brand car do you drive?
I bet it was made in America.

You got one of those sillycone valley type jobs?
Got any mexicans working for you? Did you check with ""E-Verify""?

People like you are part of the problem, when the bottom comes.
You could get a knock on your door, hungry people know who still have food.

And where will you move to when the economy gets like it is in mexico?
It won't be safe for you here.

Try buying American for a change.

August 25 2014 at 10:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

15 dollars an hour is high priced union labor? Where do you all live? China? The race to the bottom continues......

August 22 2014 at 8:43 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
fred mosrie

more folks without work. sad days in america. more to come.

August 22 2014 at 2:34 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

How did that union thing work out for you ?

August 22 2014 at 1:03 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to n329df's comment

And how much do you think they would be paid if they had no union? So low they would qualify for food stamps so you and I could subsidizeTwinkies. We have enough Twinkies in DC already.

September 16 2014 at 1:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If I remember correctly, these workers were forewarn regarding the unionize vote. But obviously the advice wasn’t heeded and was ignore. What is the old adage about once you make your bed you should be happy to sleep in it?........……

August 22 2014 at 12:47 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to barryaclarke's comment


August 22 2014 at 2:17 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Haggar slacks were produced in Texas, long before the union bosses, and with them for years.

Management was very truthful, and laid out how much the business could afford in wages and benefits, which was their offer, but the union reps whipped the workers into a frenzy to demand more, more, more.
On to bigger and better things... (management-speak for sorry, but you no longer have a job). As stated in the company disclosure to their employees, the factory was closed and relocated in Mexico, and the retail price of the slacks was lowered.

Most products have a price point where the business can remain in operation, and if costs push the price of the goods up beyond that, volume of sales falls, and less production is needed to fill the demand. On to bigger and better things...

It is like walking a high wire to determine where the edge of the cliff is actually located, BEFORE you fall off.

August 22 2014 at 4:50 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to M's comment

This is not the only reason factories move.
The EPA chases a lot of them away where there are no laws or EPA.

Whirlpool Corporation, a responsible corporate citizen of the Fort Smith community for many years, is moving forward in close cooperation with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to address the Trichloroethylene (TCE) detected in the groundwater immediately below and adjacent to its Fort Smith property. ADEQ has determined there has been no human exposure to the TCE here, and thus no health risk to area residents.

In December 2013, ADEQ issued a Final Remedial Action Decision Document – or RADD – laying out the science-based remediation plan Whirlpool will follow to attack and remove the TCE from the groundwater. Whirlpool is committed to moving forward with the remediation work and to keeping the residents

August 25 2014 at 10:56 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down

BTW, when they moved, the now imported products are now higher priced.
Corpararte Greed is what its called.

NAFTA, CAFTA are killing all jobs and quality of life in the U.S.
Shame on Clinton for starting all this sh!t.
And they act like it can't be repealed.
Not buying that, how many treatys did the U.S. make with American Indians that they didn't break?
So they really can break agreements can't they.

August 25 2014 at 11:00 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down

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