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(NYPost)   Ho-Hos, Oh No: Union workers at Hostess Brands' plant in Lenexa, Kan., walked off the job yesterday, kicking off a potentially crippling strike that could force the company to liquidate   (nypost.com) divider line 112
    More: Obvious, Hostess Brands, Lenexa  
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6079 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Nov 2012 at 11:26 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-10 12:15:19 PM  
Not a problem, it's the new cycle of American business. Hostess workers strike, Hostess goes broke and liquidates, Bain or similar company buys the company for pennies on the dollar and sells it to Bimbo or one of the other big bakers. Bimbo builds a huge bakery in a right to work state and pays workers 1/2 what the union cost and Twinkies/cupcakes are available again at slightly higher cost.
 
2012-11-10 12:16:42 PM  
Does anyone eat Hostess any more? When every grocery store chain, heck, even larger gas station like 7-11, Wah-Wah or Sheets has their own cupcakes, cakes and other pastries fresh from the local bakeries, does anyone turn to Hostess any more for their snacks?
 
2012-11-10 12:18:19 PM  
Unions are useless and management can always be trusted to do what's right by their workers. Just ask those coal miners that got laid off after the election
 
2012-11-10 12:19:24 PM  
I used to work at a printing company near KC that produced promotional material for this plant. This plant had been struggling with money for years. Yet, even in the midst of all their money woes, they would still order lavish, 5-color spreads of all their materials. From tiny coupons to full page ads, everything was full color. It was an incredible waste of money for them since most of those easily could have been reproduced as 4-color prints without any appreciable loss of quality.

At the same time, they kept telling their workers that money wasn't available for raises. I'm not surprised to hear the workers walking off their jobs.
 
2012-11-10 12:20:35 PM  
Damn it we just legalized weed here.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2012-11-10 12:21:31 PM  

Jegred2: They should fire them all, hire replacements, and not deal with any unions.


Or try not farking their employees over?
 
2012-11-10 12:24:59 PM  

WelldeadLink: No Twinkies!?!?!?!

/who put !? on opposite corners of the keyboard?!


And nobody put the interrobang on the keyboard‽‽‽‽‽‽‽‽‽‽
 
2012-11-10 12:25:25 PM  

JimmyTheHutt: Would it be too much to ask the NY Post to tell us the origin of this conflict?


I do pull for Wonder Bread and as I understand it, a few years ago Wonder Bread/Hostess was buying up regional snack food and bread companies and taking over those areas. But when you buy a company, you acquire that companies debt and responsibilities, including meeting retirement benefits of employees.

Eventually it got to the point that they were paying more to retired employees who never worked a day for Wonder Bread/ Hostess than they were to current employes. Eventually the company found itself over 9 million in debt and they filled for bankruptcy.

During the bankruptcy hearings, they asked the judge to allow them to buy out the retirement packages of the never-were employees and the judge agreed. Almost all the retires were union workers and that pissed off all current Union workers. Many of their drivers quit that week and more have been quitting since. Last Wednesday, my local distribution center had more trucks than drivers.

Stores like Wal Mart are not going to put up with having no product on the shelf. Not only are you losing sales of Twinkies and Cupcakes, you could be selling some other snack food in its place. And worse, the customer may go elsewhere to get their Zingger fix and start buying things at another store that they would have bought at yours.

I expect the brands to survive; Twinkies, Ding Dongs, and the little bags of donuts are too well known not for some other company to buy, but the Company over all seems doomed.
 
amo [TotalFark]
2012-11-10 12:28:46 PM  

HowlingPook: Not a problem, it's the new cycle of American business. Hostess workers strike, Hostess goes broke and liquidates, Bain or similar company buys the company for pennies on the dollar and sells it to Bimbo or one of the other big bakers. Bimbo builds a huge bakery in a right to work state and pays workers 1/2 what the union cost and Twinkies/cupcakes are available again at slightly higher cost.


Kansas is a right to work state.
 
2012-11-10 12:34:31 PM  
But Ho-Ho-Hostess is too big to fail!
 
2012-11-10 12:38:03 PM  
And I thought it would take a zombie apocalypse before we ever ran out of Twinkies.
 
2012-11-10 12:41:18 PM  

SundaesChild: I haven't had a Twinkie in years.


Me neither, and that was before my workout regimen. I remember not tasting any "cream" like i did as a kid, reluctantly finishing it, and wanting to go on a killing spree...
/I'm sure they changed their formula that DID make them last forever...
//a few months ago,a store had a special on the chocolate pies...
/// i couldn't finish it, even warmed...
////tl;dr good riddance...
 
2012-11-10 12:42:59 PM  

Brick-House: Hey everybody, let's go on strike forcing the company out of business then we won't ever have to go to work agin. Yay!!!


always an asshole, good job
 
2012-11-10 12:47:26 PM  
shop.tastykake.com
Artery clogging goodness delivered right to your door!
 
2012-11-10 12:52:07 PM  
Uh-oh. They have my go-to day-old shop.

They're in the business of making an unhealthy product. The market has become health conscious. If they treated their workers fairly, the union would not be a problem. They have big problems, but their skilled workforce is an asset.

Remember, the middle class is a by-product of unions. When unions are gone, the middle class is gone.
 
2012-11-10 12:55:08 PM  
media.tumblr.com
 
2012-11-10 12:58:46 PM  
When do the Chinese take over the snack food industry for America?
 
2012-11-10 01:00:29 PM  
Why would anyone want to own or start a business where the employees set the rules? I guess I did not build that right?
 
2012-11-10 01:08:42 PM  
There's a reason why unions don't start their own companies.
 
2012-11-10 01:16:40 PM  
Way to go union t hugs. You're complaining about an 8% pay cut. So you go on strike. Now you've got yourself aa 100% pay cut for the duration of the strike. Also since the company is in bad financial shape, you will have no jobs to go bakc to.
 
2012-11-10 01:16:43 PM  

Psylent1:

I expect the brands to survive; Twinkies, Ding Dongs, and the little bags of donuts are too well known not for some other company to buy, but the Company over all seems doomed.


Exactly.

Some company will buy the brands and the recipes, and Twinkies will keep going.
 
2012-11-10 01:18:50 PM  
 
2012-11-10 01:35:35 PM  

Jegred2: They should fire them all, hire replacements, and not deal with any unions.


Outsourcing to some third-world country with no labor laws. Like Hershey moved their operations to MEXICO.

Now you know why you get a case of the trots every time you heat a Hershey bar.
 
2012-11-10 01:40:02 PM  

Lee Jackson Beauregard: The other side of this story

In the union's own words


Things start making more sense when you get the other side's story:

""Our members reviewed the analysis of this company's business plan provided by a highly respected financial analyst retained by the company which showed the plan had little or no chance of succeeding in saving the business but would provide the investors with a windfall. Our members know that this is a company that is controlled by Wall Street private equity and hedge fund firms, whose sole objective is to maximize their own returns, not rebuild the company for the long haul," Hurt stated."
 
2012-11-10 01:42:54 PM  

Gunderson: When the CEOs and the board of directors start driving Ford Festivas, then I'll feel bad for the company.

" Hostess Brands announced last week it would roll back the pay raises it gave top managers in July 2011 prior to the company's filing for Chapter 11 this past January. While it was boosting managers' pay, Hostess eliminated its 401(k) match for rank-and-file workers and laid off 10 percent of the workforce, according the New York Post."

So they screwed the workers and gave themselves raises. So now you have a workforce that is bitter and has low morale. hmmm...I wonder why they are going under


This continues to fall on deaf ears. The middle and upper management class of worker has enjoyed a good 16 years of wage increases while the average worker's wages have remained static all while the CEOs have been understanding less and less about how to run a sustainable business. And the people who support this income disparity are truly assheads

Fark em
 
2012-11-10 01:55:35 PM  
Honestly, when you are the largest seller of baked goods in the wealthiest nation on Earth and you're not able to avoid bankruptcy, that's total farking mismanagement of the company. You can blame unions or competitors or low-carb dieters or whatever, but at the end of the day, you had more than enough opportunity for success and you failed anyway.
 
2012-11-10 02:05:37 PM  

GBmanNC: Lee Jackson Beauregard: The other side of this story

In the union's own words

Things start making more sense when you get the other side's story:

""Our members reviewed the analysis of this company's business plan provided by a highly respected financial analyst retained by the company which showed the plan had little or no chance of succeeding in saving the business but would provide the investors with a windfall. Our members know that this is a company that is controlled by Wall Street private equity and hedge fund firms, whose sole objective is to maximize their own returns, not rebuild the company for the long haul," Hurt stated."


Sum Dum Gai: Honestly, when you are the largest seller of baked goods in the wealthiest nation on Earth and you're not able to avoid bankruptcy, that's total farking mismanagement of the company. You can blame unions or competitors or low-carb dieters or whatever, but at the end of the day, you had more than enough opportunity for success and you failed anyway.


Workers figure out the game was rigged and stopped playing.
 
2012-11-10 02:14:41 PM  

mekki: Does anyone eat Hostess any more? When every grocery store chain, heck, even larger gas station like 7-11, Wah-Wah or Sheets has their own cupcakes, cakes and other pastries fresh from the local bakeries, does anyone turn to Hostess any more for their snacks?


I'm waiting for Chocodiles to come back into mass distribution. No, I don't want to order them online. I want to make impulse purchases of them at the grocery store.
 
2012-11-10 02:16:13 PM  
Lee Jackson Beauregard

The other side of this story
In the union's own words


Way to shut down a thread. What am supposed to do now? Go outside?
 
2012-11-10 02:17:30 PM  

Peter von Nostrand: Unions are useless and management can always be trusted to do what's right by their workers. Just ask those coal miners that got laid off after the election


The coal miners got laid off because of new EPA regulations that were designed, per Obama's promise to make it too expensive to use coal, to put coal companies out of business. Have you followed energy stocks since the election? And the coal miners that got laid off after the election - is that in addition to the 9000 in Ohio that were laid off before the election?
 
2012-11-10 02:17:50 PM  

Brick-House: Just because, I'm going to apply rule 34 to this thread...

Hostess Cream Filling.


Close as I could come, surprisingly.

www.google.ca
 
2012-11-10 02:25:32 PM  
What a bunch of Bimbos.

/too subtle?
 
2012-11-10 02:44:29 PM  

surrealbowl: Company is bankrupt but an 8 percent cut is too much.


if payroll is bankrupting the company, then something's gone terribly wrong somewhere

8% is a pretty major pay cut for people who are probably only making 30K per year and many of whom are almost certainly living paycheck-to-paycheck
 
2012-11-10 02:51:56 PM  
From Wikipedia:
In January 2012, Twinkie manufacturer Hostess filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[3] Twinkie sales for the year ended December 25, 2011 were 36 million packages, down almost 2% from a year earlier.[3] Hostess said customers have migrated to healthier foods.[3] Hostess hopes to avoid liquidation and attract new investors to remain in business.[3]

Hostess isn't some little, regional company that makes potato chips. You can't swing a cat in any supermarket, grocery store or gas station in this country without hitting some product made by Hostess, so they aren't having ANY problems getting their products to market. If a company with this kind of market saturation is losing money, it's because it's being mismanaged. They could start saving money right now by firing their board of directors because I'm calling bullshiat right now on the "customers migrated to healthier foods" excuse.
 
2012-11-10 03:02:44 PM  

TV's Vinnie: What a bunch of Bimbos.

/too subtle?


3.bp.blogspot.com

Nah.
 
2012-11-10 03:34:44 PM  

Deep Contact: That's what unions do; shut down companies.


Good.
If they're not compensating properly they should be shut down.
Unions are just the free market/free association at work.
 
2012-11-10 03:38:03 PM  

Deep Contact: That's what unions do; shut down companies.


lightningwolf.files.wordpress.com

Yeah! Corporations are entitled to executive bonuses and free labor.
 
2012-11-10 03:38:09 PM  

SDRR: am anti-union.


Great job on being against free speech, organization and association.
Enjoy losing the 8 hour workday and everything else those lazy leeches won for us.
 
2012-11-10 03:40:39 PM  

GORDON: When do the Chinese take over the snack food industry for America?


Chocolatey Melamine Bars FTW!
 
2012-11-10 03:43:55 PM  

HowlingPook: Not a problem, it's the new cycle of American business. Hostess workers strike, Hostess goes broke and liquidates, Bain or similar company buys the company for pennies on the dollar and sells it to Bimbo or one of the other big bakers. Bimbo builds a huge bakery in a right to work state and pays workers 1/2 what the union cost and Twinkies/cupcakes are available again at slightly higher cost.


I'm curious as to the actual wages paid to pump sugar cream into twinkies and whether I'd think its a fair wage or not.

Not every job is worth $20hr.
 
2012-11-10 03:46:09 PM  

swangoatman: Why would anyone want to own or start a business where the employees set the rules? I guess I did not build that right?


No. You most likely built it on the labor of your employees, without which you could not have your business. Thanks for showing your love of freedom and democracy though.

paygun: There's a reason why unions don't start their own companies.


I guess there's no such thing as workers co-ops.
 
2012-11-10 03:48:15 PM  

jaybeezey: I'm curious as to the actual wages paid to pump sugar cream into twinkies and whether I'd think its a fair wage or not.

Not every job is worth $20hr.


If you ask me, they should pay for the opportunity.

/giggity.
 
2012-11-10 05:37:32 PM  
files.myopera.com

Ho-oh demands Ho-Hos.
 
2012-11-10 06:03:52 PM  
There's a little more information about what is prompting the strike in this article.

Here's a quote FTNFA that makes it a little easier to understand the reasoning behind the strike:

Union spokesman Frank Hurt said, "The contract calls for extreme wage and benefit cuts which amount to 27-32 percent overall, with an 8 percent wage reduction imposed immediately. The company unilaterally ceased making contributions, required by their union contracts, to the workers' pensions in July 2011. Hostess has also imposed draconian cuts in health benefits and eliminated the eight-hour workday."

Members of the BCTGM Local 334 said this is the second time they have been asked to reduce their wages and can't afford to keep doing so."


That's tough -- you've already accepted a wage cut, and they come back and want another cut of around 25% overall, with 8% out of your pocket effective immediately? That has to be a hard pill to choke down without a fight. Especially when it appears that the CEO was voted a 240% salary increase in July 2011, along with substantial salary increases for the rest of the C-team.  

(Sorry for the Daily Kos link -- found it in the WSJ, but can't link there, so had to hurry and find something else!)
 
2012-11-10 06:50:44 PM  
Several people in this thread have pointed out that for Hostess to be losing money, they must be seriousloy mismanaged. If that's the case, they deserve to go bankrupt. Then another company can buy the assets and fill our shelves with Twinkies again.
 
2012-11-10 06:56:11 PM  

Snarfangel: If that's the case, they deserve to go bankrupt.


dada.warped.comi2.listal.com

They went bankrupt. Twice.
 
2012-11-10 07:07:59 PM  

LordOfThePings: Snarfangel: If that's the case, they deserve to go bankrupt.

[dada.warped.com image 411x230][i2.listal.com image 422x230]

They went bankrupt. Twice.


I meant Chapter 7. Corporate death penalty, none of that restructuring nonsense.
 
2012-11-10 07:39:21 PM  
As someone who has Hostess/Wonder products currently on my shelves in my store, I got a fairly unbiased opinion from, believe it or not, my Wonder rep about this not long ago. If you really want to know what's killing their business, it's two things: healthy foods and price. People aren't buying their products like they used to. And they won't pay more for it either. Go back and look over the last ten years. You won't see much of an increase in prices at the store. But Hostess/Wonder has seen huge increases in the price of raw supplies. And the retailers are pressuring them heavy to keep the price down. ALOT. To the point that they are damn near running a loss on it. So with little to no margin on the product, and a decrease in sales, coupled with ever increasing health/pension costs, the I see them headed for one kind of end: liquidation. They need to get away from the pension, but the union will never let that happen.
 
2012-11-10 07:53:49 PM  

Deep Contact: That's what unions do; shut down companies.


You keep on believing that. I hope your power doesn't go out. I hope you don't need police for anything. I hope you don't ever have to call the fire department.

They're all so bad, wanting enough money to actually raise a family for their full time labor... the nerve!
 
2012-11-10 08:05:10 PM  
and when the place does shut down they should deny everyone of these dbags unemployment since they basically quit their jobs . screw them . whining over 8 cents on the dollar when so many cant get work paying them even half of their old salary's . aholes .....

still looking for work
 
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