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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 38
    More: Obvious, Hostess Brands, Lenexa  
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6080 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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Archived thread
2012-11-10 11:36:07 AM  
7 votes:
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
2012-11-10 11:50:55 AM  
4 votes:

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

Yep. For absolutely no reason whatsoever. It never has anything to do with the policies of people running the company, it's those darn unions!

The policy is; if you don't like it here, go somewhere else.


That's the whole point of unions.

In a nation where there is even 1% unemployment, assuming the government doesn't care for the unemployed, at a certain point, no matter how badly workers are treated, and how low the wages are, "Somewhere Else" equates to "starve" or "DIAF."

The only way to get employers to consider the needs of the workers is to refuse to work when they aren't being considered. But that doesn't work if there is another guy (or immigrant) who has been out of work for the last half year and is willing to debase himself even further to survive.

The whole supposed concept of this country is that there is some kind of upward mobility for those willing to work at it.

But if you can't get the wages (or time off) to invest in an education or your own business (or if your business is shut down by the government as unliscenced, etc.), if there's no real chance of raises or promotion, if your health is endangered by the work, and you don't get proper coverage, etc. etc. that concept isn't worth a damn.

Is every move by every union a good one? No. Of course not. There wouldn't be jokes about union breaks and wages and such if they were.

But unions would've never come into existence if employers could be trusted to give a damn.

/Not in a union
//Could join one now for $3,000
///Don't have it
////Would only keep me from working
//"Right-to-work" State
//Slashies
2012-11-10 11:30:46 AM  
4 votes:
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!!!
2012-11-10 11:28:45 AM  
4 votes:
That's what unions do; shut down companies.
2012-11-10 06:03:52 PM  
3 votes:
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 11:31:37 AM  
3 votes:

Deep Contact: That's what unions do; shut down companies make sure workers don't get trampled over by greed from the top.


Fixed that for everyone.

/I'm out before this gets messy.
2012-11-10 11:31:07 AM  
3 votes:
They should fire them all, hire replacements, and not deal with any unions.
2012-11-10 09:26:37 PM  
2 votes:

jwmc1971: 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


So, if you're making $8.00 an hour, glad to be making a hair over minimum wage, and your boss suddenly wants to dock your pay to $7.36 an hour, despite no dropoff in quality from you, you're not going to be a little cheesed off?

Particularly when there is a CEO of that company who probably got a signing bonus, a yearly bonus (despite the company's flagging profit margin), and when he gets fired, will get another bonus in the form of a golden parachute? While the shareholders get dividends or increased stock prices?

Or let's say you're lucky enough to be making $40,000 a year, say, as a teacher. You learn that this year you'll be making $36,800, when you had budgeted out your year on that $40,000. Maybe you had just bought a house expecting you'd have that extra $3,000.

Or heck - let's say you're a professional athlete making 10 Million this year. You'll be paying a lot of taxes and your agent gets his cut, but you're still rich as all Fark - you're not going to be mad if someone suddenly takes $80,000 from you, right? No, you wouldn't care about that.

/pennies on the dollar
//psssht
2012-11-10 07:53:49 PM  
2 votes:

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 02:51:56 PM  
2 votes:
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 02:44:29 PM  
2 votes:

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 01:55:35 PM  
2 votes:
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 01:42:54 PM  
2 votes:

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 01:40:02 PM  
2 votes:

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 12:25:25 PM  
2 votes:

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.
2012-11-10 11:54:04 AM  
2 votes:
And right after marijuana is made legal in 2 states, how unfortunate.
2012-11-10 11:39:19 AM  
2 votes:
So who all here has unionized their purchasing? Let me guess, while you support the idea of a struggle... you're just not going to switch your busienss to one that uses union labor.
2012-11-11 02:51:03 AM  
1 votes:
Fark unions. The UCFW recently failed in their pathetic attempt to take over my workplace; a community owned food coop, one of the highest grossing in the country. Fark you local 555, it was a hoot making you all look like fools. You lost a third of your assets last year, down to just a little over a mil......oh how sad

so sorry
http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120825/NEWS/2 0 8250310

if you're a daily show fan, watch what a/this union can do with 250K of your dues....
http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-september-20-2010/working-stiff e d
2012-11-10 03:46:09 PM  
1 votes:

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 03:38:03 PM  
1 votes:

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 01:18:50 PM  
1 votes:
2012-11-10 01:16:40 PM  
1 votes:
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 01:08:42 PM  
1 votes:
There's a reason why unions don't start their own companies.
2012-11-10 12:52:07 PM  
1 votes:
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 12:38:03 PM  
1 votes:
And I thought it would take a zombie apocalypse before we ever ran out of Twinkies.
2012-11-10 12:19:24 PM  
1 votes:
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 12:16:42 PM  
1 votes:
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 12:15:19 PM  
1 votes:
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 11:55:23 AM  
1 votes:

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

Yep. For absolutely no reason whatsoever. It never has anything to do with the policies of people running the company, it's those darn unions!

The policy is; if you don't like it here, go somewhere else.

That's the whole point of unions.

In a nation where there is even 1% unemployment, assuming the government doesn't care for the unemployed, at a certain point, no matter how badly workers are treated, and how low the wages are, "Somewhere Else" equates to "starve" or "DIAF."

The only way to get employers to consider the needs of the workers is to refuse to work when they aren't being considered. But that doesn't work if there is another guy (or immigrant) who has been out of work for the last half year and is willing to debase himself even further to survive.

The whole supposed concept of this country is that there is some kind of upward mobility for those willing to work at it.

But if you can't get the wages (or time off) to invest in an education or your own business (or if your business is shut down by the government as unliscenced, etc.), if there's no real chance of raises or promotion, if your health is endangered by the work, and you don't get proper coverage, etc. etc. that concept isn't worth a damn.

Is every move by every union a good one? No. Of course not. There wouldn't be jokes about union breaks and wages and such if they were.

But unions would've never come into existence if employers could be trusted to give a damn.

/Not in a union
//Could join one now for $3,000
///Don't have it
////Would only keep me from working
//"Right-to-work" State
//Slashies


www.jjthreads.com
2012-11-10 11:54:29 AM  
1 votes:

MyRandomName: Union defenders are so hilarious. They ask business to pay more for workers but often go bargain hunting for goods. Vote to buy only union made if you dare. That means flying American airlines over southwest. Stop being hypocrites.


Southwest is one of the most heavily unionized companies in the industry.
2012-11-10 11:50:01 AM  
1 votes:
" 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."

Stop second guessing the job creators in our great society.

Unions should stop using class warfare to break companies.

/Seriously hostess, the premier creamy snack-cake goodness company. Although I miss the aluminium foil on the ho-ho's.
2012-11-10 11:49:27 AM  
1 votes:
Looks like Little Debbie brand will end up with a bigger market share soon.
2012-11-10 11:43:56 AM  
1 votes:
Union defenders are so hilarious. They ask business to pay more for workers but often go bargain hunting for goods. Vote to buy only union made if you dare. That means flying American airlines over southwest. Stop being hypocrites.
2012-11-10 11:43:19 AM  
1 votes:
At the company my Mom works for one of the plants kept going on strike and/or threating to go on strike for the last couple years over pay/benifits. Company finally just shut the plant down because they didn't want to deal with it anymore and everyone lost their jobs. So congratulations. Now instead of having a job with both decent pay and benifits, (Mom said it was 15-20 ish an hour + insurance)you now all have NO job and NO benifits. Of course the union tried to reverse it's position after the company announced it was closing the plant but then it was already too late.
2012-11-10 11:40:29 AM  
1 votes:

LordJiro: Yep. For absolutely no reason whatsoever. It never has anything to do with the policies of people running the company, it's those darn unions!


Perhaps the union could just buy a controlling interest in the company and run it as they see fit. Problem solved.
2012-11-10 11:38:33 AM  
1 votes:
Next month's headline: doctors shocked to see a 15% drop in heart disease.
2012-11-10 11:35:25 AM  
1 votes:
I was wondering how the company could get obliterated by a strike, but then I noticed that they were already bankrupt. I certainly believe that labor could be a significant factor in that but seriously, journalists, could any detail whatsoever be gleaned from either party before going to print?
2012-11-10 11:30:16 AM  
1 votes:
Would it be too much to ask the NY Post to tell us the origin of this conflict?
 
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