by West Central Tribune
November 16, 2012 at 5:03 am in West Central Tribune
NEW YORK Twinkies may not last forever after all. Continue Reading
Tags: hostess, Strike, twinkies, updates 25 Comments »
Seems very convenient for he company to blame this entirely on the unions when in the text of the article there is comments about not keeping up with customers desire for a lower calorie, less preservative product. Seeing as the company has filed for bankruptcy, will the executives have difficulty getting their wages and buy-outs. Bet not! Looks to me like both the unions and the company could have compromised some to keep the business up and running.
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“The company also announced that it would immediately lay-off its 18,500 workers. The Bakers’ Union only represented around 30% of the company’s total workforce. All other workers had already accepted wage concessions and changes to the company’s work-rules. 70% of the workforce accepted pay cuts of around 4% over 5 years. Given the general state of the economy, that seems very modest and would have allowed the company to continue operating. But, the Bakers’ Union instead went on strike, without even offering counter-demands. As a result, they have forced 100% pay cuts on all employees. “
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You have that in quotation marks, bobk. What source is it from? I agree that all need to compromise in this situation but what compromising did the company do? They have filed for bankruptcy more than once but didn’t attempt to “go with the flow” of producing a product for the health minded customer. I’m still betting the execs get their money out of this bankruptcy.
Hot debate. What do you think? 45 31
lora, it was from an article which I can’t remember now. But will try to get you the source when I have time.
As to making a Twinkie a healthful food/treat would, in my opinion, be a major miracle. They are a sweet confectionary which can’t be replicated, and if done so to be healthy, would probably be rejected by everyone.
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lora, here is the link to the quote http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/11/16/teamsters-cross-picket-line-fail-to-save-twinkie
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Thanks for the link, bobk. Gotta hand it to the Teamsters for knowing “when to hold ’em”. Now how do we find out if the execs get their pay? Silly question-of course they do! As for not being able to replicate something sweet into something healthy; my guess it was easier to file for bankruptcy again and be rid of their debt.
Hot debate. What do you think? 38 31
Lora I noted several articles by Mr Lynn seem a bit on one sided. That being said, no reporter knows all the details of the companies financial matters but what public relations tell them. Also the bean counters know how to work the books in favor of the company to protect the bottom line. Now I have never known a union to purposely cutting their own throats so I will give you the otherside of the coin no one seems to talk about. Three top executives, and the CEO took significant pay raises before cashing out, and leaving Hostess rich! All but 3,100 Hostess employees are union employees, meaning those who are union workers look at receiving a pension after 30yrs. The workers also took pension concessions meaning they took less in company pension contributions The teamsters gave Hostess 150M in consessions several years ago, not including outsourcing delievery jobs. Now the emloyees are saying it is not fair that executives are not sharing in compromising, which they refuse to do, leaving it once again for lower level employees to do. They took days off, and fore go the raises when negotiating the contract because Hostess claimed losses, which is typical of big corporations. When some of the books were opened they are going to show what executives were paid out, even after consessions were given at the workers expense, but you can’t legally fault them, but morally they are engaging in legal greed. Come on, we have all seen this before and it is not right! Hostess found it very profitable to outsource these American jobs to India and other foreign countries while taking advantage of big gov tax breaks. We all know the overseas companies pay slave labor wages increasing their profit margine. Bottom line the Hostess company in NY is being looted, and now its time to down size and file bankruptcy, and hopefully lose the union so they can lower wages. Unfortunately other stores pay the price so bonuses can be met with executives who have contracts.
Hot debate. What do you think? 40 30
These companies pay low wages and have less then average benefits. When they can’t squeeze any more blood from a rock they outsource jobs over seas that pay slave labor, lay off or file bankruptcy. Mean while look at the top level supervisors and just see what their wages are, and how they never compromise, its always the employees that do! Companies like this pay out their CEO’s millions, and hand out golden parachutes to others, then file bankruptcy after they looted the company. It is so easy to lay the blame on unions and what is a real joke is some are people are so gullable they buy right into it. Kmart for a good example, has been failing so what do they do, close stores, file chapter 11, but paid the CEO 27M to say bye bye, and people have the nerve to again blame unions! Well here is some info for you Kmart employees had no union. These companies also target the higher paying workers, laying them off and then claim they are closing a dept down, or down sizing so someone who worked there 16, or 19 yrs has to start over somewhere else. People would think the longer you work for a company and are loyal the better you are treated. Ask some of the Kmart and Sears workers how that worked for them? Now adays you are more of a financial liability to the bottom line the longer you are there! Then again some CEO’s need a second yacht to ski behind, what are we thinking?
Hot debate. What do you think? 44 36
Amazing JD, you’re consistent in blaming the wrong party for the woes of others! It’s always the Republicans, It’s always the rich, It’s always the other posters….you speak of gullibility in your posts, yet you are the poster child for the gullible! And good job manipulating the “like or dislike” option to make it look like the majority of people agree with you…you’re not fooling anyone.
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Pono-Man – some of us have opinions and like differing opinions for discussion but there are others who only plagiarize the daily talking points from their local union daily mantra or are under orders from their leaders to stifle discussion(usually the ones who yell the loudest about “free speech”).
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jimmy, this bit of information must have been left out of your daily mantra letter.
The news coverage of Hostess included mentions of “Bain style” used in numerous news stories, including a statement by Richard Trumka,implying that somehow Bain was responsible for the loss of jobs, even though they never had any connection to Hostess, What got almost no coverage was that the holding company that owned a controlling interest in Hostess is connected to Dick Gephardt and run by a Democrat who gave $200K to an anti-Romney superpac.
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Tidbit of information of Ripplewood Holdings, investor in Hostess.
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its so unfortunate that 30% of the workforce can control the fate of the other 70% who apparently were willing to work toward comprimise to keep thei jobs. and maybe at the end of the day if mangement was to blame for the financial problems i just don;t understand how voting to put themselves and 18,500 workers out of a job, helps any of them.
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Obama II: In the “now they tell us” file, add a vast array of reports that have come out since the election showing just how weak the economy really is. Looks like the president will need a new scapegoat soon.
Here’s just a sampling of what we’ve learned since voters decided to give Obama four more years to “experiment” with the economy.
Earnings falling: The Labor Dept. reported on Thursday that real average hourly earnings dropped again in October for the third month in a row, and are now down 2% from when Obama took office.
Poverty rising: A new Census Bureau report, also released after the election, finds that the number of poor people in America climbed 712,000 in 2011. The “official” report that came out in September had the number dropping by 96,000. So much for Obama’s claim that things are getting better.
Food-stamp enrollment skyrocketing: Another government report conveniently timed after the election found that food stamp enrollment exploded by more than 420,000 in August. The number of people getting food stamps has climbed more than 15 million — or 47% — under Obama. That’s a bigger increase than in all of President Bush’s eight years. Today, almost 15% of the population is collecting food stamps, up from 7% just a decade ago.
Jobless claims jumping: The number of new jobless claims shot up to 439,000 last week, up 78,000 from the week before, due largely, it’s said, to Hurricane Sandy. But the two states with the biggest increases in jobless claims the week before that were Pennsylvania and Ohio, thanks to layoffs in the construction, manufacturing and auto industries.
Inflation creeping up: We also learned that the annual inflation rate climbed to 2.2% in October, according to the BLS, which is the third consecutive monthly increase.
Coal plants closing: A report by the liberal Union of Concerned Scientists, released (naturally) a week after the election, finds that as many as 353 coal-fired plants will close as a result of Obama’s environmental rules.
Small banks disappearing: Fortune reported three days after the election that the “overwhelming conclusion” of industry analysts and consultants was that Dodd-Frank would cause thousands of small banks to disappear. As a side note, one month before the election a Fortune “fact check” (by the same reporter, no less) blasted Romney for saying during one of the presidential debates that Dodd-Frank was “killing regional and small banks.”
Meanwhile, stocks are down about 5% since Election Day as the mainstream press tries to blame it on anything but Obama’s re-election. The latest culprit is supposed to be fears about the fiscal cliff. But even if that were true, it shows how little confidence investors have in Obama’s ability to avoid taking the country over it.
Obama keeps saying that his top priority for his second term is jobs and growth, but the only thing he’s pushed since his re-election is a massive tax hike on the so-called rich.
That’s despite the fact that Obama knows these tax hikes will hurt economic growth. He admitted as much in 2010, when he extended the Bush tax rates, citing the harm a tax hike would cause a weak economy. And now, thanks to an Ernst & Young study, we know that Obama’s tax hikes will kill 710,000 jobs.
Obama got re-elected largely by blaming Bush for everything bad that happened during his first term. So who’s he going to blame now?
Read More At IBD: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/111612-633815-bad-economic-news-emerges-after-election.htm#ixzz2CWN8DPsO
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More evidence that Hostess was looted especially after workers and the union gave the company huge concessions. There were 9 more Executives who took a 300% pay raises some totaling almost 2M dollars. Hostess has not paid into employee pensions for several years which also provided even more extra money for the corporate fat cats to divide up. Several Republicans admitted that Hostess was trying to break the union, which shocked me because no one hates unions more the Republican Politicians, well most of them anyway, so I have to give these Politicians credit for speaking out. The mass layoffs were already being planned out no matter what their public relations dept puts out, which also adds up to why any employees and the union would cut their own throats. Also this is the second time in as many years Hostess filed bankruptcy so please tell me that something more sinister was not going on! More golden prachutes were also being handed out before the company filed bankruptcy.
Hot debate. What do you think? 31 22
Hostess is about a $2.5 billion a year business. Using the numbers of the unpaid pension contribution over the past twelve months($160 million over 15 months) means they were probably paying annual salary and benefits of around $1.1 to $1.3 billion to current and past employees. Which might part of the problem of no profits. Then they bring in a CEO who wants to cut officer salary to $1until the company emerged out of bankruptcy. But all you hear is the drumbeat of the $2 million of raises given to officers. Hey, they are a private company and IT IS THEIR MONEY. They can choose whatever they want to do just as much as the Bakers union(30% of the workforce) forced 12,000 employees to have no jobs to come to work at.
Why did we not hear from the people who are critical of CEO pay raises regarding Solyndra granting raises and even bonuses while going thru bankruptcy? Remember that was OUR MONEY being used. Saddest part of all is the same people who are critical of CEO pay and bonuses in the private sector are the same people who keep re-electing the officials who keep funding the bankrupting firms using OUR MONEY. If you want to hold the private sector accountable, then we must also hold our elected officials accountable. But that reflects a lack of willpower to criticize public officials on how they waste OUR MONEY but finds it easy to chastise a private company for how it uses THEIR MONEY.
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I think the problem with this article is that the company blamed the union, bobk. (after the executives were paid maybe). I am critical of any company who treats employees in this fashion, whether they have been baled out like Solyndra or have just forgotten that each and every one of it’s employees contributes to the success or failure of that particular workforce. It all needs an overhaul but with people being so pigheaded on the far right and far left; how will that ever happen? You show your bias by accusing the baker’s union for the problem when, in fact, the company has filed for a second bankruptcy. From other articles it appears the unions have given concessions for the company to stay in business in the prior bankruptcy proceding as well. I applaud that CEO who recommended the $1 salary! He is taking steps to save the company and I guess with their previous salaries, they would survive until the company was solvent again, or they could move on to a better wage in a different company.
I agree with you in your frustration of government wasting our money. Not many people that i voted for this election won the nomination. But I have hope that eventually the voters will wise up and realize that our country can’t continue funding everything.
Hot debate. What do you think? 26 20
Lora posted – “You show your bias by accusing the baker’s union for the problem when, in fact, the company has filed for a second bankruptcy.”
You are making an accusation which is unfounded when accusing me of bias. I am stating an opinion based on facts if you had read up on the actions of BCTGM leadership culminating in the actions they took. If you want a bias to hang your hat on it would be the leadeship of the union based on facts.
BGTGM leadership refused to negotiate a new contract earlier this year with Hostess(Sept).
BCTGM leadership agreed to abide by the terms negotiated in an agreement by the IBT.
BCTGM leadership launched a campaign to defeat the agreement, instead of abiding to the terms they had with the IBT.
BCTGM leadership misinformed rank and file stating there was a buyer in the wings.
The US Bankruptcy Court concluded there was no buyer or alternative for Hostess and approved the Company’s request to implement changes( previously agreed to in the early part of the year – IBT Agreement) to the BCTGM’s collective bargaining agreement(Oct 3).
BCTGM, upon hearing the US Bankruptcy Courts ruling, initiated nationwide strikes on Nov 9, knowing such strike would affect operations by closing bakeries and perhaps the entire company.
Now, what was offered the BCTGM in Sept – wage, benefit, and work rule concessions with the 12 unions getting a 25% ownership stake in the company, representation on the Board of Directors and $100 million in reorganized Hostess Brands debt. Remember there are 272 bargaining units in this company.
What mediation will conclude, I have no idea. But stopping operation in the manner the BCTGM Leadership provided to the rank and file was ill iinformed and disastrous to all 18,500 workers.
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I appreciate the information you have provided. It is very depressing when a company and the unions aren’t able to settle contracts. Seems to be greed on both sides of this strike and that hurts everyone concerned. (twinkies eaters included). The Teamsters have tried and aparently not been succesful in convincing this Bakers Union to compromise. What is your opinion of the Teamsters? In all of the comments I can remember concerning union negotiations, I can’t recall you being in favor of any of them.
Hot debate. What do you think? 26 19
Lora, unions have a place in the workplace but the leadership is not looking out for the rank and file workers. Thats all I will say.
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That is the problem Lora, right away the union was blamed but in reality Hostess executives were everybit at fault and more so since they didn’t make any consessions but took big fat raises. Anyway you slice it a good deal of workers are impacted. Some workers crossed the picket line to go back to work but the union leaves the strike up to the workers who take a vote. The union will always advise either way the pros and cons of a strike but the workers were so fed up they voted to strike. The judge forced bothsides back to the bargining table but as of now there is no head way and Hostess had been liquidating some of their assets. Maybe the executives who took all that money and bailed rich could also make concessions? Oh wait they just purchased a new vacation homes maybe a yacht to ski behind?
Like or Dislike: 11 13
The positive thing about Hostess liquidating is there are other companies willing to continue making the product and will gobble up some of the workers to make the product then hire drivers to ship it. The union and the employees want the CEO’s head on a platter and for Hostess to get rid of him after he tripled his salary to 2.5M, after demanding steep cuts on employee salaries. The union agreed on freezing contributions to the pension until 2015, and will take an 8% paycut, then 5% next year. Employees offered to cut their contributions to healthcare so when you look at the proposals the union and employees are offering some pretty good concessions. How much more does Hostess want? The Teamsters wanted 2 seats on the board, plus 25% of the company share, which the union and Hostess agreed on, then backed off. I believe Hostess has been planning all along to chopping up the company, dividing up the assets, and stock among the executives and walking away after bankruptcy rich, while other companies buy into parts of the Hostess. Not everyone Hostess might owe money to will get paid and certainly the workers were given the shaft!
Like or Dislike: 11 11
jimmy posted “The Teamsters wanted 2 seats on the board, plus 25% of the company share, which the union and Hostess agreed on, then backed off.”
jimmy, you version of the facts seem to be a little off base. Hostess OFFERED those terms to the Teamsters, along with the BCTGM, who agree to them earlier this year. But the BCTGM, from the very beginning, launched a battle to defeat what they had originally agreed to. Their defeat plan of agreement finally resulted in they calling a strike on Nov 3.
You may have your version of spinning facts but at least get them right.
By the way, 85% of something is a heck of a lot better than 100% of nothing.
Like or Dislike: 6 10
jimmy, the workers did not get the shaft as you incorrectly claim. The Teamsters wanted the contract to work but the BCTGM had other ideas of other thaN being greedy.
“In September, membership of one of its major unions, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, voted narrowly to accept a new contract with reduced wages and benefits. The Bakers’ union rejected the deal, however, prompting Hostess management to secure permission from a bankruptcy court to force a new concession contract on workers.”
“”Unfortunately, the company’s operating and financial problems were so severe that it required steep concessions from a variety of stakeholders but not all stakeholders were willing to be constructive,” said Ken Hall, the Teamsters’ Secretary-Treasurer. “Teamster Hostess members, based on the facts and advice from respected restructuring advisors, understood what was at stake and voted to protect all jobs at Hostess.”
I think I would believe a source like CNN better than your union mantra daily letter.
Like or Dislike: 7 8
Hostess I hacked up the company twinkie, is closing down shop. Now 2 wrongs don’t make a right but this isn’t the first time Hostess filed for protection under bankruptcy laws. Each time Hostess has done this the executives have given themselves raises and management has not taken any consessions. This has been the trend for over a decade as we have seen more outsourcing of American jobs, more golden parachutes and more CEO’s being rewarded even when they fail.
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