ELMSFORD, N.Y. — It was no surprise to some of the Hostess Brands employees in Elmsford when the company went out of business.
Elmsford's Hostess Brands Bakery Outlet, 125 S. Central Ave., will join 564 distribution centers across the country that will close after Hostess Brands announced Friday that it was going out of business. Delivery drivers Lou Maresco and Chris Shiaffarelli were both bracing for the shutdown ever since the company filed for bankruptcy in January for its second time since 2004, putting a dent in both of the employees' paychecks.
"We were told it might happen," said Maresco, who has worked for Hostess for 15 years. "They just kept doing the wrong thing over and over again, and nothing ever changed except $140 a week out of my paycheck."
The maker of the iconic Twinkies and other sugary snack foods had promised employees like Maresco and Shiaffarelli that the pay reduction would help turn things around, they said — but instead, it just prompted a nationwide strike by thousands of bakery workers. As a result of the company's shutdown, 5,500 delivery routes will close and 18,500 workers across the country will be laid off, according to HostessBrands.com.
Shiaffarelli has worked at the company for 22 years, and he was frustrated by the management of the 82-year-old company, which will begin liquidation proceedings in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains.
"If you pay someone 30 to 40 percent less, it's got to go somewhere," Shiaffarelli said. "You add this all up, they ran the company into the ground."
A visit to the Hostess Brands website brings up an announcement of the company's closing.
"We are sorry to announce that Hostess Brands, Inc. has been forced by a Bakers Union strike to shut down all operations and sell all company assets," the announcement says. "Thank you for all of your loyalty and support over the years."
Now, after 15 years of working for Hostess, Maresco will have to look for a job.
"Everyone is hoping that some other company will pick up the name brand," he said. "So it's either that or the unemployment line for me."