The strike might have been the final straw that sent the company under but if the strike didn't happen, Hostess was going to go under sooner or later. Fattening snack food company in a world trending towards health consciousness that was being run poorly.
Sometimes bad companies just need to go out of business and sometimes and doesn't matter how it is done.
This is refreshing to see, if only the crony capitalists in both parties would have followed this advice for the auto industry (circa 2009) and airline industry (circa 2002) and the financial industry (circa 2007). Bankruptcy provides correct protection and certainty for investors, controlled liquidation or reorganization processes, and all-in-all better outcomes than bailouts and interventions.
Capitalism requires that risk and reward be privatized. Unions shouldn't get special protection like they do, and IMO public sector unions should be illegal, but regardless of either of those positions, unions are highly incentivized to compromise with management in cases where bankruptcy is a real chance. And when they don't they bare a lot of the burden (like in this case where they unioned themselves right out of 18,000 jobs or so.) That's an OK outcome from my perspective.
(By the way, I've known the CFO for a very well known brand that went out of business via bankruptcy. And he made a lot of money. And people were ticked off "how unfair." Running a business that's going through a bankruptcy is VERY HARD. It's also hard to attract quality execs to businesses facing structural challenges. It's also damaging to the executives personal brand. BUT absent very good leadership, the company will almost certainly fail, and in bankruptcy a lack of good leadership will cost the owners of the business lots of money. I think it's a lot more fair to criticize the quality of the candidate being paid, then the actual amount it costs. There just aren't many execs that can competently manage this kinds of situations AND want to.)