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Hostess Closing Means Layoffs Likely for Orlando's Merita Bakery

Photo: Orlando Sentinel
Photo: Orlando Sentinel

November 16, 2012 | WMFE - The iconic Merita Bread neon sign along Interstate 4 may blink off for good soon if the bakery doesn't find a new owner. Bakery giant Hostess Brands, maker of such well known products as Twinkies and Wonder Bread, announced this morning that it is closing all of its operations including the Merita bakery near downtown Orlando.

The Merita Bakery and Hostess bakery stores employ more than 200 people in the Orlando area.

The company’s attorneys are expected ask a bankruptcy court today for permission to liquidate the company, close all its bakeries and lay off 18,000 employees nationwide.

Hostess had been working through bankruptcy protection proceedings but says a national strike by its employees is the final blow that is putting the company out of business.
The workers say they are unhappy about recent pay cuts. They were demanding better pay and a guaranteed pension.

Employees on the picket line at the bakery on Division St. in downtown Orlando told the Orlando Sentinel they are still hoping a new owner will take over and keep the facility’s 189 employees on the job.


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