Hostess Brands CEO said Wednesday the company will liquidate unless striking workers return to the job by the end of the day on Thursday.
“We simply do not have the financial resources to survive an ongoing national strike,” Greg Rayburn said in a statement.
Workers are protesting a contract imposed by a bankruptcy court. The bakers union has called the contract “outrageous.”
A liquidation would result in more than 18,000 workers losing their jobs.
Over the weekend, workers in the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, or BCTGM, went on strike at Hostess-owned plants in several states. The strike includes workers at the Dolly Madison plant in Emporia.
Hostess filed for bankruptcy in January, the second time it has done so since 2004.
Union employees in Emporia say in August of last year the company stopped giving them their pension earning. They say it now wants to cut wages by eight percent.