Consuming the Hostess

Union appears to have gobbled up snack maker's future, 18,000 jobs

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America’s recent mourning for Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other Hostess products does the heart good, even if the junk food does not.

But the hand-wringing over those beloved snacks has really obscured the more important point: that a company and a union tangled in the water until both drowned, leaving 18,000 more Americans without jobs. Court-ordered mediation this week between labor and management, which failed, appeared to be their last lifeline.

Making the tragedy all the more outrageous is the fact that the Teamsters had argued passionately for the company’s Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union members to accept the company’s last offer.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters – which had accepted Hostess’ final offer – said in a statement last week that the bakery union members would be “truly heard” if they were allowed to cast secret ballots. Instead, the bakers’ union called a voice vote, which defeated the offer and forced Hostess into liquidation.

(Of course, that’s a rich irony, given the fact that unions are pressing hard to eliminate secret ballots for employee votes over whether to form unions. Apparently they don’t want employees to be “truly heard” until they’re in a union.)

Hostess lost $300 million in 2011. And the Teamsters warned their other union colleagues that “Teamster Hostess members and all Hostess employees should know (the company’s liquidation) is not an empty threat or a negotiating tactic, but the certain outcome if members of the (bakery union) continue to strike. This is based on conversations with our financial experts, who, because the Teamsters were involved in the legal process, had access to financial information about the company.”

The bakery union reportedly struck without even notifying their Teamsters brethren.

Unions have a proud history in post-industrial America. They paid heavy prices to improve working conditions for Americans who were exploited and abused by far too many factory owners.

But concerns over employee safety and working conditions were ultimately taken on by the government. Whereas union membership used to be about a third of the workforce, it’s now about 7 percent in the private sector. Among public workers, however, union membership is now over a third.

It won’t help the unions’ image that one of them apparently has consumed the company its members work for – throwing 18,000 people, union and non, out of work at the worst possible time in the worst economy in memory.

Even the Teamsters tried to prevent it.

“This is the problem with labor unions,” writes James Sherk, senior policy analyst in labor economics at The Heritage Foundtion think tank. “They make companies less nimble, less competitive. A unionized firm takes longer to respond to changing market conditions. It has to negotiate any changes with the union, and unions are not always reasonable. So unionized companies invest less, make less and create fewer jobs than non-union firms. Over time they wither away. ... This is why union membership hit a record low in 2012. ...

“It’s not hard to see why. Who wants their company to wind up like Hostess? Or General Motors? Or U.S. Steel? Or American Airlines? The list goes on and on. Polls show that just 10 percent of non-union workers want to organize.”

But again, unions actually want the law changed to eliminate the secret ballot in votes on whether to form unions – in the hope there would be more of them.

What kind of Ding Dongs do they take Americans for?

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Young Fred
13778
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Young Fred 11/24/12 - 04:09 am
10
5

What kind of Ding Dongs do they take Americans for?

Oh, I believe that became evident just a short while ago.

Techfan
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Techfan 11/24/12 - 07:13 am
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14

And yet when America had high

And yet when America had high union membership, taxes on the top earners were at their highest, corporate taxes were at their highest, and CEO pay was 30-40 times the average worker pay vs the 380 times it is today, America had the creation of a growing and thriving middle class. Go figure.

Young Fred
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Young Fred 11/24/12 - 07:37 am
15
4

Techfan

So I take it you believe high union membership, high taxes, and some type of bureaucracy controlling CEO pay would be the ideal path to prosperity?

Go figure, I'm not surprised.

Riverman1
70611
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Riverman1 11/24/12 - 07:51 am
6
0

Jimmy Hoffa Needed

Where's Jimmy Hoffa when you need him? (Someone will say buried under the stadium unless I say it here first.)

myfather15
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myfather15 11/24/12 - 07:54 am
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3

Just as with such

Just as with such organizations as the ACLU, Unions started out as noble organizations, bent on helping individual workers. Now, unions are nothing more than criminal thugs, that are helping to destroy America with their left wing ideology. Unions look out for two things, themselves and left wing politicians they support and in turn support them.

Heres a couple examples of them looking out for themselves. One of the restrictions in their agreement with hostess was that a worker who loaded the trucks, could NOT load twinkies and wonder bread. This had to be two seperate workers, one who loaded the twinkies and another loaded the wonder bread. Another restriction unions placed on Hostess was they could NOT deliver the twinkies and wonderbread or other products in the same truck. There had to be seperate trucks to deliver the products. So, Hostess had to hire more truck drivers and loaders, that weren't needed. Why couldn't the same person(s) load the product into the same truck and have it delivered to the stores. Instead, Hostess had to have several trucks, delivering different products to the same exact stores. This is insanity at it's best. What sense does it make to force a PRIVATE company to hire more workers, they DON'T need?

These restrictions certainly helped the unions because Hostess had to hire numerous additional UNNEEDED, workers, therefore making the unions APPEAR as if they are helping the work force by getting more people working. But this doesn't work in a PRIVATE company whose goal is to make a profit. When they end up losing money, they close down the doors which is what happened here. Thank you Unions, we now have 18,000 additional people in the unemployment line, instead of maybe 10,000 still employed with Hostess.

The only place this type of thinking actually makes sense is in Washington, and in the hearts and minds of left thinking people, who believe the government is responsible for making sure ALL American's succeed. As proof, take a look at USPS and the Public rail systems throughout the Country. Both are ran by the government and lose hundreds of millions every year, but remain in existence. Only the federal government and unions could run a company that continues to lose money every single year but remain alive. That's because they are existing on the backs of the tax payers.

myfather15
42140
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myfather15 11/24/12 - 07:58 am
12
3

But, maybe I shouldn't be

But, maybe I shouldn't be using TRUTH to battle left wing ideology, because it's clear they have no use of the truth if it doesn't fit their agenda.

Matthew 7:6 "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."

Young Fred
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Young Fred 11/24/12 - 08:09 am
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3

Nice post myfather15,

Nice post myfather15, perfectly illustrating the pure absurdity of thought as practiced by today’s unions and those who continue to support them.

wayne2410
1239
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wayne2410 11/24/12 - 08:22 am
0
0

This is how liberals roll,

Unpublished

This is how liberals roll, they put 18000 people out of work and then claim victory.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 11/24/12 - 08:39 am
3
14

Other than historical

Other than historical evidence of the prosperity under those conditions, it's just a guess. Surprise!

Young Fred
13778
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Young Fred 11/24/12 - 08:44 am
10
3

I guess, if history stops 100

I guess, if history stops 100 years ago.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 11/24/12 - 08:49 am
3
11

Randy Brooks 1978:"Grandma

Randy Brooks 1978:"Grandma got runned over by a reindeer
Walking home from our house Christmas Eve.
You can say there's no such thing as Santa,
But as for me and Grandpa, we believe."

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 11/24/12 - 08:53 am
3
14

Yeah, some folks made lots of

Yeah, some folks made lots of money prior to 1861. I guess it is more profitable when you outright own the workers (other than when they have the gall to try to run away, but you could always try to beat that out of them). Not really much of middle class though.

chascushman
6653
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chascushman 11/24/12 - 09:19 am
13
3

“Just as with such

Unpublished

“Just as with such organizations as the ACLU, Unions started out as noble organizations, bent on helping individual workers.”
Myfather15, the Marxist/communists have taken over the unions just as they have the democrat party.

seenitB4
72738
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seenitB4 11/24/12 - 09:40 am
6
1

Ding Dongs

I just didn't realize how much I want a ding dong til I thought they were going away....hey...that is the trick ....make ya think you can't have it anymore......:)
I dream about ding dongs--twinkies-ho hos now.....so the trick is working!

RMSHEFF
10999
Points
RMSHEFF 11/24/12 - 10:13 am
12
2

Union members don't do math....

As a 32 year teamster I have witnessed the unions "loose their minds" over the past 35years. Back in 1980 Ronald Reagan won the election in a land slide. Union members, including the teamsters overwhelmingly supported him. Unions knew that a strong economy was the only way they would grow the rank and file. What was good for the economy was good for them.They could only grow if the company did well. Look at Hostess, GM, Chrysler, etc. I resigned from the teamsters before I retired because it was obvious that the unions no longer were interested in the prosperity of the members. They had a new agenda and that agenda was political. They had all become socialist and were using the members money to accomplish this goal. Marxist had taken over the union movement and it was now a tool of political " hope and change". The proof is that union membership is at a all time low of about 7% and headed lower except public service unions.

Young Fred
13778
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Young Fred 11/24/12 - 10:15 am
11
2

Techfan:

Techfan: “Yeah, some folks made lots of money prior to 1861. I guess it is more profitable when you outright own the workers (other than when they have the gall to try to run away, but you could always try to beat that out of them). Not really much of middle class though'

Hmmm 2012 less 100 equals? No matter, we get the gist. You wish to ignore the unprecedented expansion of the standard of living for all people. But I know what you mean We'd all be better off with some overweight, burned-out, career government employee with a chip on his/her shoulder making relevant decisions in things which they have no expertise. Just so long as we can “ stick to the man”, I guess the ends justify the means, to heck with the rest of the populate.

rmwhitley
5081
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rmwhitley 11/24/12 - 10:33 am
0
0

unions

Unpublished

and lefties serve the same purposes in life. The only problem is theirs' is destruction.

Young Fred
13778
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Young Fred 11/24/12 - 11:09 am
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2

Despite Techfan's sugar

Despite Techfan's sugar cartel theory (a theory which has at it's roots in a gov't overstepping its bounds), I suspect Little Debbie had just as much culpability in Hostess Brands' downfall as their old discredited labor force model.

allhans
21955
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allhans 11/24/12 - 11:10 am
9
2

All those "good things"

All those "good things" created by unions gave us - YES!- jobs being shipped out of the country. They got much too big for their britches, living high on the hog, all those union bosses, not caring a whit about the workers with the exception of dues they paid.

allhans
21955
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allhans 11/24/12 - 11:21 am
8
2

I'll bet Tech Fan has

Tech Fan has a way of reminding us about the distant past, those poor people aboard slave ships, starving to death while the captain tried to find a country to accept them.
It was a trying time....not only for those on slave ships but immigrants from Ireland, China, treated as less than human ... but having hope and looking for a better life.

Conservative Man
4578
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Conservative Man 11/24/12 - 12:27 pm
9
1

Unions once had their place....

...but as the column pointed out most of those responsibilities have been taken over by the Imperial Federal Government at the behest of those same union whiners...Now the unions want the dues for their cronies and their Democratic masters....
The reality is that unions are nothing more than slush funds for Democrats...

dichotomy
26673
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dichotomy 11/24/12 - 12:09 pm
7
1

Techfan........."America had

Techfan........."America had the creation of a growing and thriving middle class."

Come on Techfan. Yes, that was "back in the day" when unions were striving for a fair wage, basic benefits, and safe working conditions.

Now it's, "You cannot deliver Twinkies and Hostess bread in the same truck and each truck must have a union driver AND a union helper because the driver cannot unload the truck at the 7-11 and we get 4 union employees, and 4 times the union dues, instead of 1 for the same amount of product delivered to the same store."

Do you REALLY support that kind of union demand Techfan?

Union demands have become ludicrous. It's no longer about a fair wage and safe working conditions. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it.

I salute Hostess for closing it's doors and I hope many more unionized companies do the same. Most unionized companies are perfectly willing to negotiate a fair wage and benefits. But when unions try to tell the company that what they can and can't do, like not being able to deliver Twinkies and Hostess bread in the same truck, they they deserve to be out of a job. I hope this is a sign of things to come and I sincerely hope that some Mexican company makes a fortune exporting Twinkies and Ding Dongs to the US, delivered to the store and shelf stocked by ONE driver, to be consumed by unemployed former Hostess employees. But DON'T LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL while you are eating them.

OpenCurtain
10049
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OpenCurtain 11/24/12 - 12:24 pm
8
1

Right to the point

Even the UNION Leader said OPEN Voice Votes, instead of secret ballots were the cause. Does any one else remember a certain group fighting this for Open voting change?

Yep the very Union people now complaining it Back Fired In Their Face.

Some times you 'd just have to love IRONY of life.

I 2nd the statement by Mr. D.
"Union demands have become ludicrous. It's no longer about a fair wage and safe working conditions. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. "

Gage Creed
12431
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Gage Creed 11/24/12 - 12:23 pm
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1

Techfan must be a shop

Techfan must be a shop steward....

Jane18
12331
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Jane18 11/24/12 - 12:27 pm
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1

Techfan @7:53am

You really have some nerve, haven't you? You(nor anyone else) was around 151 and more years ago. Yeah, we have some history of events back then, but, how accurate is all of it, much less just a segment of it? The one thing you like to do is dig up "stuff" and throw at us every chance you can. What amazes me is that you seem to forget the "owners" you speak of, good or bad, they are gone! What happened then, is on them, not us. If there was a "sin", it's their sin, not ours!! In fact, much of the negative information that is tossed around today from a hundred or so years ago, I take with a grain of salt. I know some was true, but I don't believe All of it was the "GOD's honest truth"!

Gage Creed
12431
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Gage Creed 11/24/12 - 12:50 pm
9
1

I think I may have been hasty

I think I may have been hasty in saying techfan must be a shop steward.

More likely a business agent!

Jane18
12331
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Jane18 11/24/12 - 01:00 pm
6
2

Unions and $$$$

One of the biggest problems today is Greed and the selfish thinking of "I am worth more than I really am".That mentality, brought on by unions, has help to send our jobs to third world countries. I knew at least 30 years ago unions were ruining workers. I had a friend that was an iron worker, and because the job offered to him(he was drawing unemployment) was $2.00 less than he wanted, he did not take it. His mentality was, "if they can't pay me the amount I was making on my last job, I'm not taking it". I could not believe my ears. He would have been making 3 times what I was making at that time....................He remained a friend, but, I never thought of him as I had before. Why? Because of greed. I have also slowed down any shopping I do at Walmart, Why? Same reason, Greediness! THEY WILL DROP A SUPPLIER OVER A PENNY, ONE CENT!!. If I spend $20.00 there in a month, I have overspent! With Christmas coming up, I am not buying anything for anyone. I will make a few things, get some gift certicates for car detailing or house cleaning, etc., or I will give cash. I hope everyone will think of gifts such as these. But, that's a personal thing, everyone needs to do what they want.....................

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