A Sugar Low: Union Kills the Twinkie

Nov 16, 2012

This is a Darth Vader moment for America. The End Times are near.

The Twinkie is dead!

No longer will Twinkie the Kid ride across the junk food plains of adventure with his friends Happy Ho Ho and King Ding Dong.

No longer will children experience the glories of a Hostess sugar rush—the post-snack nervous energy coursing through their veins.

No longer will the golden sponge cake surrounding creamy white filling be the feedstock for deep-fried carnival treats.

Oh “story of ingenuity and creativity in free enterprise,” you have a bittersweet ending.

Oh bakers union, why have you forsaken us! All we wanted was our empty calories, an island of sweet, our momentary respite from eating things that are good for us. (All done in moderation and as a part of a balanced diet, of course.) But your 5,000 members refused the Hostess’ final offer “designed to lower costs.”

Let’s lament the greatest damage: 18,500 workers will be out of work.

The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union was warned of the consequences of its tactics but chose to continue a crippling strike, shutting down 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers.

Even a company that produces an American icon cannot do so by continuing to rack up losses. Hostess stated plainly that they “do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike.” They needed “wage, benefit and work rule concessions,” but a union representing only 30% of the company’s workforce refused to cede any ground.

Now Hostess is forced to liquidate like the corn syrup, cream, and water that goes into the ivory ocean of creamy goodness filling each spongy snack cake.

Sure, Little Debbie is a fine gal. Oatmeal Cream Pies and Cosmic Brownies entice at 7-11, but the Hostess Twinkie is a golden god, the pinnacle of junk food. It’s Golden Ratio of protein, starch, fat, and sugar with three holes in the bottom make it the Platonic ideal of snack cakes.

Besides our taste buds, how will our pop culture cope? We’ll always have Ghostbusters and Die Hard, but what snack cake can even hope to inspire such cinematic moments let alone fuel the writers who concocted them?

No cup cakes with the curly white frosting? No fruit pies? No more powdered sugar Donettes? No cream filling/chocolate cake overkill that is the Suzy Q? I’ll even miss the Sno Balls.

My blood sugar is falling as I write this.

My waistline cheers, but my sweet tooth weeps.

UPDATE: The Twinkie gets a stay. USA Today reports:

Hostess Brands and its second largest union will go into mediation to try and resolve their differences, meaning the Irving, Texas-based company won't go out of business just yet. The news came Monday after Hostess moved to liquidate and sell off its assets in bankruptcy court citing a crippling strike last week.

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