Hostess Brands says mediation with unionized workers aimed at keeping the company in business has failed. A hearing in bankruptcy court is scheduled for this morning.

When Hostess Brands announced last week that a labor strike by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) had forced it to request permission to liquidate from a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge, all seemed lost. The maker of Twinkies, Wonder Bread, and other bakery items was shutting down.

But then, in an eleventh-hour development, the court said the two sides hadn't yet tried using private mediation as a means of resolving their differences, and urged Hostess and the BCTGM to sit down one last time to try and work out their differences -- and save 18,500 jobs.

So they tried. And then they failed.

Tuesday night, Hostess Brands announced that its mediation efforts with BCTGM were "unsuccessful." The company declined further comment, citing a court hearing to be conducted Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. But with all alternatives now apparently exhausted, it appears the judge must soon rule on the petition for liquidation.