"Do it, shut it down," a woman yelled at 5 p.m. Thursday from the picket line formed at the company's Indianapolis plant.
As many as 45 people in the picket line chanted, "No pension, no deal," as they walked a tight circle in the growing cold and gathering darkness.
Their picketing drew frequent supportive honks from passing drivers.
Wedrick Hollingsworth, business agent for Local 372-B of the bakers union, said union members took wage and benefit concessions four years ago and are unwilling to accept further wage cuts and reductions in health and pension benefits sought by the company. "It's just too much for these employees to accept. We gave concessions four years ago."
John Smith, a wrapper operator at the plant who has worked for Hostess for 22 years, said he's at peace with his decision to join the strikers. "You have to take a stand for what you believe in. They gave us a take-it-or-leave-it deal. We can't take the financial abuse."