ST. LOUIS (AP/KMOV.com) -- Hostess workers in St. Louis on Monday joined a national strike against the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread.
Early Monday morning, picketers at North Broadway and Taylor kicked off the St. Louis effort, joining walkouts that began Friday at plants across the country.
Hostess Brands Inc. has responded by permanently closing three bakeries following a nationwide strike by its bakers union.
The Texas-based company says the strike has prevented it from producing and delivering products.
Hostess warned earlier this month that the strike, by about 30 percent of its workforce, could lead to bakery closures. It said Monday that it will close bakeries in Seattle, St. Louis and Cincinnati that collectively employ 627 workers. The company has about 18,300 employees.
Thousands of members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union went on strike earlier this month to protest wage and benefit cuts. Officials say the company stopped contributing to workers’ pension last year. The union rejected the company’s contract offer in September.
Hostess says it will be forced to liquidate and lay off most employees if workers mount a widespread strike.