EDISON - Hostess, the Texas-based manufacturer of Twinkies, Ho Hos and Wonder Bread, says it is going out of business. The move could impact hundreds of New Jersey residents who work at Hostess bakeries and distribution centers throughout the state.
The 82-year-old company says it was forced to make the move after a crippling labor strike. The company says it told employees it would be forced to shut down operations and sell its brands if striking workers didn't return to work by yesterday evening.
That deadline passed without a deal, and the company released a statement today saying it doesn't have the financial resources to weather the strike.
The closing will mean the loss of about 18,500 jobs.
CEO Greg Rayburn says there's no buyer waiting to rescue the company, but that there has been some interest in some of its 30 brands.
Since the news broke, Twinkies became an immediate trending topic on Twitter. Sellers on eBay are offering packs of the legendary treat for as much as $250 or more.
At a news conference earlier today, Gov. Chris Christie was asked about the shutdown, but chose not to comment.
The governor, who has been open about his struggles with weight loss, joked "You people are the worst," adding, "It's bad that I even said the word 'Twinkie' from behind this microphone."
AP Wire Service contributed to this report.