A Hostess Brands Inc. union says it hopes a buyer can save parts of the company, as the Twinkies baker was to ask a U.S. judge for permission to liquidate.
Frank Hurt, president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers' International Union, told The Wall Street Journal he thought there was "more than a good chance" a buyer would buy the profitable parts of the Irving, Texas, company and give his union's members their jobs back.
Hurt's union counts 5,600 of Hostess' 18,500 employees as members.
Hostess blamed a weeklong strike by the union for the liquidation. The union said management's insistence on deep union concessions was responsible for the collapse.
Hostess has said the shutdown would result in the loss of more than 18,000 jobs.
"I'm not in a position to promise anybody anything, but I'm in a position to be hopeful," Hurt told the Journal Sunday.
He said he was encouraged by the weekend customer frenzy to purchase Hostess products after Friday's shutdown announcement.
"People are going crazy because they think they're not going to be able to get any Twinkies or Ho Hos or Wonder Bread," he said. "They'll be produced somewhere, some time and by our members."
But Hostess Chief Executive Officer Gregory Rayburn told the Journal he did not see a future for Hostess.
"Nobody wants to have anything to do with these old plants or these unions or these contracts," he said.
The company -- owner of 30 American brands, including Hostess, Wonder Bread, Nature's Pride, Dolly Madison, Butternut Breads and Drake's -- sought buyers for several years as it tried to avoid a second bankruptcy filing, but no buyer came forward, he told the Journal.
Hostess emerged from a 2004 bankruptcy in 2009. At that time it changed its name to Hostess from Interstate Bakeries and moved its headquarters to Irving from Kansas City, Mo.
"People are excited about the brands today, but I don't know how you connect the dots" to predict a company production rebirth, Rayburn told the Journal.
He said the company could not move forward with the union members who had struck.
"That's beyond wishful thinking. That, to me, is just misguided," he said.
Rayburn acknowledged he expected a buyer might take over a few Hostess plants.
Liquidation firm Great American Group Inc. and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co., owner of Pabst Blue Ribbon and other beer brands, have said they might be interested in some Hostess brands.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain was to consider Hostess' request to close its distribution centers and 36 bakeries at a hearing in White Plains, N.Y., Monday.