Photos: Hostess Bankruptcy Ripples in Glendale Area

A still undetermined number of workers at the Hostess location at 2330 Ripple St. in Silver Lake's Frogtown could lose their jobs when the company files for bankruptcy.

An earlier version of this story put the total number of Los Angeles Hostess employees at 357.


Picketers were spotted throughout the week outside the Hostess Bakery facility  located at 2330 Ripple St. in Silver Lake's Frogtown.

According to one employee, the bakery specialized in Ho-Hos, and donuts for the region, as well as serving as a staging area for other Hostess products shipped in from the Central Valley.

Then, on Friday, came the news that all Hostess operations would shut down, including the Ripple Street bakery, due to the firm's bankruptcy, announced Friday morning.

About 18,500 workers could lose their jobs nationwide and, according to various estimates, at least a hundred are employed in Frogtown near the Los Angeles River.

Hostess has two bakeries, one in Los Angeles at 6007 St. Andrews Pl. and another at  the Ripple Street location, plus some outlet stores including one on San Fernando Road in Glendale. 

That makes estimates of how many local employees will be affected by the impending closure hard to pin down.

But Anita Murray, a Hostess spokesperson, told Patch late Friday that Hostess has 495 employees in Los Angeles, including those who work at Ripple Street.

Hostess has blamed its closing on a strike by members of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, which shut down operations for days.

Early this week, union members from Oakland and Seattle set up the picket line outside the Ripple Street depot, which they say local union members have been honoring.

On Friday, some sat at a tent in Frogtown, hailing passing vehicles, which returned a steady stream of honks in solidarity.

Several of the picketers, who were advised by organizers not to give their names, said they did not know what would happen to their jobs. 

And they added  they were angry that that the company was blaming its closure on the union.

Some said they lived nearby, though not in Echo Park or Silver Lake.

Meantime, non-union employees, including one worker at the Ripple Street plant who asked not to be identified, said they resent that less than 20 percent of the workforce can put their "good" and, often, long-held jobs at risk.

Adam Schiff, who represents the Congressional district that will include Elysian Valley starting Jan. 1, 2013, too lamented "the loss of good jobs" that the closure will mean, as well as the loss of "a local institution."

According to a letter on its Web Site, Hostess had warned on Nov. 14 that it would have to close down if workers did not return to work.

A day later, the company determined that an "insufficient number of employees had returned to work to enable the restoration of normal operations" and filed for bankruptcy.

The announcement created a run on Twinkies and Ho-Hos as shoppers grabbed up what they thought would be the last of the iconic treats.

According to one source, the baked goods at Ripple St. are still waiting to be distributed, including, one would presume, a good supply of Ho-Hos.

Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn told CNBC Friday the company would try to sell the brand names to keep them alive. He also said it was "too late" to avoid a Hostess closure.

Hostess is directing employees to its website at www.hostessbrands.info for additional information.


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John Weems November 17, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Aren't unions just wonderful!
asustainablefuture November 18, 2012 at 07:04 PM
It is not the fault of the unions, but of greedy upper management using these recent strike actions as a scapegoat for their failing business and recent problems (also, a ridiculously unhealthy product that is way past it's shelf life). hopefully all of these workers can manage to find better paying and treating jobs as our economy continues to transition, and more sustainable business moves in to replace these overly processed sugar factories.
ROBERT E. FISHBACK November 18, 2012 at 09:00 PM
asustainable has a good point re sugar...There is a large Wonder Bread unit here in Tulsa, and the thing I will miss most is the smell of baking bread on warm summer eves. Recall W.B's motto years ago "Helps build strong bodies 8 ways"


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