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Henderson Hostess workers reflect on plant closure

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Updated: 11/17/2012 6:30 am
HENDERSON (KSNV MyNews3) --  The Hostess Company after 82 years decided to turn off the ovens and go out of business, and with no business, that means workers were let go. More than 18,000 were given pink slips including about 170 at the Henderson plant.

Jim Olds had no idea, Friday was his last day until someone at the bakery told him.

“They're shutting her down now. And I said ‘You've got to be kidding me.’ And he said ‘No.’ And I said, ‘Wow, 21 years with this company!’ And I said, “This is how you get treated? It's an ugly situation right now, very ugly,” Olds said.

Olds delivered baked goods to stores for more than two decades.

Hostess has been in a dispute with a bakers union and couldn’t financially weather a strike. So it shut its doors, ending thousands of jobs.

“They just told us just now basically well goodbye. That was it,” said Victor Wielandt, who had been with Hostess for 14 years.

He like others we met leaving the plant, told us he’ll receive one more check sometime next week.

“We just walked in and gave me some paperwork and I’m not working anymore. They’re liquidating. I’ll just deal; get a job,” Wielandt said.

Employees who were let go say they received checks but didn’t get vacation or sick time accumulated, and now they have lost benefits. They say the worst sting is that this happened right before Thanksgiving.

While Olds and Weilandt say they may be able to handle the blow a little better because of their age, they worry about their younger friends who have children to feed.

“I don't have any small kids, so my kids are grown; it's just me and my wife so it’s not too bad for us. She’s got a good job,” Wielandt said.

Others are optimistic they’ll something under these circumstances. But for now, nearly 200 people have been added to the list of jobseekers in the Las Vegas Valley, the week before Thanksgiving.


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