January 20, 2011

Wonder Bread's Parent Company, Hostess, Is Closing Down The Jamaica, Queens Plant! :(

How many red flags do the buffoons in Washington need? We pay the highest corporate tax in the world. Not to mention state and local corporate taxes and other crap they have piled onto our business sector. They are suffocating the lifeblood of our economy. The U.S. can't survive on mere consumption and the entertainment industry.


New York Daily News
written by Nicholas Hirshon
Wednesday January 19, 2011

A Wonder Bread plant in Queens will bake its last loaves Thursday, ending a 130-year run in Jamaica while hundreds of employees scramble for jobs or settle for lesser-paying gigs.

Wonder Bread's parent company, Hostess, is laying off 175 workers and reassigning 15 from the Douglas Ave. facility, corporation officials said.

Bitter bakers fretted about their fates after attending a job fair at the plant Wednesday.

Employees said they earn between $40,000 and $70,000, while job fair recruiters - including Bartlett Dairy and Elmhurst Dairy - offered annual salaries of $30,000 or less.

"It's an insult," said Edwin Ramos, 46, a factory painter who has worked for Wonder Bread for 25 years. "It's a joke, a big joke."

Another employee griped that unemployment benefits would pay more than the jobs being advertised at the fair, such as bus drivers and guards at JFK and LaGuardia airports.

But City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans), who helped organize the fair with the city Workforce1 Career Center,described the event as "well organized." He stressed that jobs may start with low salaries and go up.

"There may be a better opportunity than they realize," he said.

Opened in the 1870s as the Shults Bread Co., the bakery began producing Wonder Bread in the 1920s. Nostalgic locals recalled factory tours with free samples of sweet bread.

But Hostess announced last year that modernizing the bakery would be too costly and difficult.

The decision to close the facility left employees surprised and angry.

Ramos said he accepted a job at the Hostess garage across the street that pays $2.25 less per hour than his painting gig.

"For the last three months, they've had a noose around our necks and are choking us a little more each day," said truck driver Gary Roberts, 59.

Another employee jokingly asked a reporter Wednesday, "You don't have jobs for us?"

Hostess plans to sell the site. "For Sale" signs from CB Richard Ellis, one of the world's largest commercial real estate firms, are posted on both the bakery and the garage.

The adjacent outlet store, where shoppers are greeted by ads with Captain Cupcake and Twinkie the Kid, will remain open and relocate elsewhere in Queens when the factory is sold, company officials said.

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