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(Think Progress)   Hostess: Damn those union thugs for making us go bankrupt. It had to be the unions and not at all us giving our CEO a giant-as-fark raise when we had no money. Yep, that's gotta be it   (thinkprogress.org) divider line 159
    More: Asinine, CEO, Hostess Brands, bankruptcy  
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4609 clicks; posted to Business » on 16 Nov 2012 at 7:26 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-16 07:13:27 PM  
From looking at the past, I've found that things like this happens when you have unreasonable douches on both sides.
 
2012-11-16 07:17:31 PM  
It's the Bain plan, your debtors can't go after what you've paid out in salaries so you bleed the company coffers into your upper management and throw the blame on someone else.
 
2012-11-16 07:18:50 PM  
They also blamed the strike for closing three plants that they'd already said were going to be closed long before the strike

/Corporations are people
//really, really, f*cked people
 
2012-11-16 07:24:43 PM  
NPR had a nice little take on this. Something like 'Why didn't Hostess embrace their unhealthy foods? Make it counter culture to eat a twinkie? Why not make twinkie vodka or some such? It seemed like they didn't care and were willing to fade away.

And then look for a scapegoat when the time came. Oh look, Obama reelected, and now strikes. Oh and obamacare. Perfect.

BCTGM members are well aware that as the company was preparing to file for bankruptcy earlier this year, the then CEO of Hostess was awarded a 300 percent raise (from approximately $750,000 to $2,550,000) and at least nine other top executives of the company received massive pay raises. One such executive received a pay increase from $500,000 to $900,000 and another received one taking his salary from $375,000 to $656,256.

This doesn't help, either.
 
2012-11-16 07:24:48 PM  
That's what all this shiat has been about. CEOs only care about Obamacare and unions if they think it presents a threat to THEIR COMPENSATION.

They are more than willing to shiatcan their company, take boatloads of money out and fark over everyone else in the company.
 
2012-11-16 07:24:54 PM  

ShawnDoc: From looking at the past, I've found that things like this happens when you have unreasonable douches on both sides.


Yah, woman interviewed on CBS earlier claimed she was a "twinkie straightener" and when asked why she wouldn't take a pay cut claimed, "well, then, I might as well go back to minimum wage!"
 
2012-11-16 07:29:45 PM  
Buying up a company that produces the same stuff, but with a different organizational structure, may not have been a good idea. I mean if you make Wonder Bread in your own bakeries why buy the company that makes Butternut bread in independent bakeries? Oh what's that, merging the two profit centers, which are the sweet stuff, will somehow lead to increased profits greater than the sum of the existing profits? Didn't really work out that way. Surprise.
 
2012-11-16 07:33:58 PM  

ShawnDoc: From looking at the past, I've found that things like this happens when you have unreasonable douches on both sides.


No. When you have a group of people who willingly and maliciously fark over everyone else, and then that larger group of people take offensive to it and refuse to pay for the mistakes of the first group...that is not having unreasonable douches on both sides. What we have here is a group of vulture assholes who farked over an entire company and tried to blame it on the working Joes at that company. The influences each side had on the future of the company are not equal.
 
2012-11-16 07:36:37 PM  

Nadie_AZ: And then look for a scapegoat when the time came. Oh look, Obama reelected, and now strikes. Oh and obamacare. Perfect.


Yup. They have been in bankruptcy proceedings since January, and had suffered a significant slump in sales.

NPR also noted that Hostess noted that consumers were wanting healthier food, which was a big reason for the drop in sales, which of course means Obama gets blamed (seriously, I'm already seeing the derp on FB that this is Michelle Obama's plan to put Americans out of work by getting people to eat vegetables).
 
2012-11-16 07:38:37 PM  
Is anyone surprised?
And is anyone further surprised when the free market asstards roll into to blame the unions for refusing a deal that sees their wages slashed and benefits cut to award a 300% raise to their boss?
 
2012-11-16 07:45:16 PM  
I know liberals aren't great at math, but come on. The CEO got an extra $1.8M/year. Hostess had 18,500 employees. So this increase could have been redistributed to all employees, giving each of them $100.

The labor negotiations were over tens of thousands of dollars per employees, or hundreds of millions of dollars overall. Is it OK to get pissed that their CEO got a raise when the company was going under? Absolutely. But as fun as it is to get pissed about CEO pay, any suggestion that his bonus sank the company is mathematically ridiculous.
 
2012-11-16 07:46:06 PM  

Silverstaff: (seriously, I'm already seeing the derp on FB that this is Michelle Obama's plan to put Americans out of work by getting people to eat vegetables).


i'd pretend to be surprised, but I can't be bothered.
 
2012-11-16 07:46:11 PM  
The CEO pay wasn't going to save the company. It was an asshole move, but hardly responsible for the downfall. The article even said as much:

Certainly, the company agreed to an out-sized pension debt, but the decision to pay executives more while scorning employee contracts during a bankruptcy reflects a lack of good managerial judgement. Click on the links in that paragraph (especially the second one) and you'll get an outline of how farked that company really was.
 
2012-11-16 07:49:13 PM  
Maybe people are tired of eating those little turds of sugar and chemicals.
 
2012-11-16 07:49:49 PM  
Failing as a business and failing to run a business are two totally different things. We've tons of examples of businesses which have succeeded in the worst of times thanks to intellect and ingenuity.

The whiners complaining right now just can't stand their sour grapes. That's it! It's the only reason. Look, if you couldn't pass Business 101, that's your problem, see? It's time for you to admit you failed.
 
2012-11-16 07:51:19 PM  

oren0: So this increase could have been redistributed to all employees, giving each of them $100.


That's not even a dent in the bucket each employee pays the Union over the course of a year.
 
2012-11-16 07:56:07 PM  

oren0: The labor negotiations were over tens of thousands of dollars per employees, or hundreds of millions of dollars overall. Is it OK to get pissed that their CEO got a raise when the company was going under? Absolutely. But as fun as it is to get pissed about CEO pay, any suggestion that his bonus sank the company is mathematically ridiculous.


It's more than just math. Having management that actually shared the burdens of a tight budget with its workers could have done a lot to save the company. Having management that rewards itself every time it gets a concession from the workers, and eventually the workers will take their ball, their labor, and go home. Why should they sacrifice so their boss can have a raise?
 
2012-11-16 07:57:42 PM  
So we've got an exploded oil rig, turmoil in Jordan, escalating conflict in Israel, a big election coming up in Sierra Leone, and the eyes of America are focused on a snack cake company which may not be able to sell it's assets, resulting in one less cream filled treat on the market.

Got it.
 
2012-11-16 07:58:38 PM  
Fark unions and fark the sheep that belong to them. That doesn't mean I agree with management, I just think union members deserve this kind of crap for blindly following their union bosses.
 
2012-11-16 07:59:51 PM  
Take a look at their bankruptcy filing. They're a little over 1 billion in debt, and 97% of that debt is to their pension (which works out to a ~$50K per employee benefit). So not only are they raiding the hell out of the company to pay their executives more, they've really just been running the whole company off the employee pensions.

farkers.
 
2012-11-16 08:00:24 PM  

Sergeant Grumbles: It's more than just math. Having management that actually shared the burdens of a tight budget with its workers could have done a lot to save the company. Having management that rewards itself every time it gets a concession from the workers, and eventually the workers will take their ball, their labor, and go home. Why should they sacrifice so their boss can have a raise?


For reals. This is bad management. Now they're bankrupt. I wonder why?
 
2012-11-16 08:04:48 PM  

OregonVet: oren0: So this increase could have been redistributed to all employees, giving each of them $100.


Symbols matter.

That's not even a dent in the bucket each employee pays the Union over the course of a year.


It's hard to persuade thousands of employees who make working class salaries to accept a cut to their quality of living while at the same time you're doubling the salaries of people at the top.

Maybe the unions would have been more willing to accept wage cuts if the people at the top were seen making their own personal sacrificies.

Let's be honest, the people in charge of Hostess have zero interest in saving the company and are using Unions as a convenient cover as they get everything they want.
 
2012-11-16 08:07:56 PM  
As has been said in other threads, when the farking Teamsters accept a larger pay cut and tell your union to stand down, the company really is broke and you should probably take their advice.
 
2012-11-16 08:11:31 PM  

"Hostess, Mr. Cromwell, Hostess has 33 different vice presidents each earning over 200 thousand dollars a year. Now, I have spent the last two months analyzing what all these guys do, and I still can't figure it out. One thing I do know is that our snack company lost 110 million dollars last year, and I'll bet that half of that was spent in all the paperwork going back and forth between all these vice presidents. The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest. Well, in my book you either do it right or you get eliminated. In the last seven deals that I've been involved with, there were 2.5 million stockholders who have made a pretax profit of 12 billion dollars.



Thank you. I am not a destroyer of companies. I am a liberator of them! The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Hostess, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very "


frankmengarelli.files.wordpress.com

 
2012-11-16 08:13:27 PM  
a0.twimg.com

"I'm not saying it was unions, but . . ."

/Seriously, I don't think it was unions.
 
2012-11-16 08:22:38 PM  
The correct answer is "All of the Above"

#1 Failing to learn from the first bankruptcy. You can be excused from falling in a hole once, but if you keep falling in, the problem may not be the hole.

#2 Buying a bunch of regional snack food companies to take over their regions but not taking in account all their debt, responsibility to their union contracts and retirement obligations.

#3 Giving the CEO and other raises and bonuses as the ship is sinking.

#4 And the most damning of all, not keeping the product on the shelf. When I did pull-up, I would go weeks and even months with up to a dozen items missing from the shelves I stocked. You have to have income coming in to be able to spend money on your CEO or buying other companies.
 
2012-11-16 08:27:15 PM  

Lsherm: The CEO pay wasn't going to save the company. It was an asshole move, but hardly responsible for the downfall. The article even said as much:

Certainly, the company agreed to an out-sized pension debt, but the decision to pay executives more while scorning employee contracts during a bankruptcy reflects a lack of good managerial judgement. Click on the links in that paragraph (especially the second one) and you'll get an outline of how farked that company really was.


Yeah, it was more like the CEO's failure to fully fund the pensions, not the actual pay of the CEO.
 
2012-11-16 08:30:27 PM  
Amazing.... truly amazing
 
2012-11-16 08:32:53 PM  
It really isn't uncommon to increase the compensation of an executive during a bankruptcy. It might not make sense, but if you want to retain the executive (or bring someone in), you need to pay them. Additionally, the executive may have lost options and other equity comps.
 
2012-11-16 08:35:28 PM  

oren0: I know liberals aren't great at math, but come on. The CEO got an extra $1.8M/year. Hostess had 18,500 employees. So this increase could have been redistributed to all employees, giving each of them $100.


So in other words, you didn't RTFA and you're fine with a CEO getting a million dollars for running a company into the ground.
 
2012-11-16 08:36:50 PM  

WhyteRaven74: I mean if you make Wonder Bread in your own bakeries why buy the company that makes Butternut bread in independent bakeries? Oh what's that, merging the two profit centers, which are the sweet stuff, will somehow lead to increased profits greater than the sum of the existing profits? Didn't really work out that way. Surprise.


Well, no. But a lot of top level people from both sides walked away from the merger table smelling like fresh country air. Get a little more breathing room to issue debt (and pay bonuses) on "forward-looking synergies". The important stuff.
 
2012-11-16 08:38:20 PM  
Additionally, what was the total comp per employee per year? Yes, the employees may have been asked to reduce their comp. but what was the starting point?

As for the lady in the article "might as well go back to minimum wage"...what was your job? How do you pay in medical benefits? What does your pension look like? What is your pay or is this just hyperbole?
 
2012-11-16 08:39:30 PM  

Chakro: Fark unions and fark the sheep that belong to them. That doesn't mean I agree with management, I just think union members deserve this kind of crap for blindly following their union bosses.


Blind, impotent, ignorant rage is the best form of rage.
 
2012-11-16 08:49:41 PM  

machodonkeywrestler: Lsherm: The CEO pay wasn't going to save the company. It was an asshole move, but hardly responsible for the downfall. The article even said as much:

Certainly, the company agreed to an out-sized pension debt, but the decision to pay executives more while scorning employee contracts during a bankruptcy reflects a lack of good managerial judgement. Click on the links in that paragraph (especially the second one) and you'll get an outline of how farked that company really was.

Yeah, it was more like the CEO's failure to fully fund the pensions, not the actual pay of the CEO.


Well, they should have been funding it way back before they ever declared bankruptcy. Once they did in 2004, they did assume what appears to be a billion dollar responsibility to fund it, but they did that by borrowing from hedge funds. Which, ultimately, they couldn't pay back.
 
2012-11-16 08:52:05 PM  

MrEricSir: oren0: I know liberals aren't great at math, but come on. The CEO got an extra $1.8M/year. Hostess had 18,500 employees. So this increase could have been redistributed to all employees, giving each of them $100.

So in other words, you didn't RTFA and you're fine with a CEO getting a million dollars for running a company into the ground.


I didn't say I was fine with it, I said that the argument that his pay was the cause of the bankruptcy flies in the face of basic math. You can try to make emotional arguments about symbolism if you want do, but it doesn't change the fact that the money given to the CEO was insignificant in the scheme of the whole bankruptcy.
 
2012-11-16 08:52:20 PM  
OCCUPY, MOTHERfarkERS!
 
2012-11-16 08:53:09 PM  
I could see retaining upper management under the circumstances for a publicly traded company, but not so much a private one. Bad management, but what was done was done. At least the union employees will have their principles to keep them warm over the winter.
 
2012-11-16 08:57:09 PM  
If corporations are people, they're sociopaths and should be medicated and/or institutionalized.
 
2012-11-16 08:58:15 PM  

Sergeant Grumbles: And is anyone further surprised when the free market asstards roll into to blame the unions for refusing a deal that sees their wages slashed and benefits cut to award a 300% raise to their boss?


Yeah...getting paid ZERO is sooooo much smarter.

Congrats guys.
 
2012-11-16 09:01:24 PM  

MrEricSir: oren0: I know liberals aren't great at math, but come on. The CEO got an extra $1.8M/year. Hostess had 18,500 employees. So this increase could have been redistributed to all employees, giving each of them $100.

So in other words, you didn't RTFA and you're fine with a CEO getting a million dollars for running a company into the ground.


Prob had to pay the officers extra money to stick around since they could see the ship going down and THEY are able to get other jobs.

If you lose all your management , incompetent thou they may be, you are def going into bankruptcy .
 
2012-11-16 09:20:04 PM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: Chakro: Fark unions and fark the sheep that belong to them. That doesn't mean I agree with management, I just think union members deserve this kind of crap for blindly following their union bosses.

Blind, impotent, ignorant rage is the best form of rage.


That's all the workers have left so there's that. Meanwhile the owners, investors and union bosses move on and are not nearly the worse off for it in the end.
 
2012-11-16 09:20:12 PM  

Chagrin: Take a look at their bankruptcy filing. They're a little over 1 billion in debt, and 97% of that debt is to their pension (which works out to a ~$50K per employee benefit). So not only are they raiding the hell out of the company to pay their executives more, they've really just been running the whole company off the employee pensions.

farkers.


They are doing this to dump the pensions.

Old people don't deserve pensions you know.
 
2012-11-16 09:24:38 PM  
oh for fark's sake!

Cost of a pension is around 46%Link and average CEO pay is 10 million Link.

Average CEO pay would work out to $833.34(rounded up!) per year per employee for the 12,000 employees. This guy was making like 10% of average.
Average pension cost would be $11481.60 per year per employee assuming the employees work full time and only make $12 per hour.
Since they were union employees they likely made substantially more so the cost of the pension would likely be higher, but I'm going with a known wage for a factory worker.(He works at the Russell Stover plant in Corsicana, TX which has to managed not go bankrupt.)

Thus a conservative estimate of the pension cost is $11481.60 per employee times 12,000 employees for a total of $137,779,200.00 per year.

Now, I know a lot changes with science every year, so a lot of what I was taught in school is no longer valid, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that my math is still good and $2,550,000
If my company were in trouble and struggling to stay in business I'd stop funding pensions too.

And if my employer explained what was happening I'd be OK with keeping my job and losing my pension.
Job without pension > nothing.

Just sayin'
 
2012-11-16 09:32:10 PM  
What happened at Hostess was like a terminal cancer patient deciding to shoot himself in the head. Yeah, he had cancer, but the cause of death was a motherfarking bullet.

And the unions are not responsible for killing the company, the idiots at the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union are responsible.

The Teamsters Union looked at Hostess's books and realized that there was no way that the company could fork over any more money, and they compromised.

The Bakers union weren't going to let a little thing like math get in the way of their pensions.
 
2012-11-16 09:32:33 PM  

Chakro: Fark unions trolls and fark the sheep that belong to laugh at them. That doesn't mean I agree with my troll controllers, I just think union members trolls deserve this kind of crap for blindly following their union troll bosses.


FTFY, troll.
 
2012-11-16 09:33:01 PM  

veive: Now, I know a lot changes with science every year, so a lot of what I was taught in school is no longer valid, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that my math is still good and $2,550,000


ampersand-l-t-semicolon; ampersand-g-t-semicolon

Learn them lest the HTML parser makes you look silly.
 
2012-11-16 09:35:46 PM  

HempHead: Old people don't deserve pensions you know.


Straightening twinkies for 37 years doesn't mean the company should have to pay you 50k/yr until you die after you retire. Max your 401k, accept the social security, hell, find another job. The retirement age will go up under this administration anyways.

If the union had anything to lose in this deal, it never would have happened. They'll get a new crop of people straightening twinkies at $10/hr instead of $20 and dues will still be the same per week. Hell, now is a good time to raise dues. Watch that happen.
 
2012-11-16 09:41:54 PM  

veive: And if my employer explained what was happening I'd be OK with keeping my job and losing my pension.


I don't think there is a lot of labor contracts out there that allow for that information to come directly from the employer without the union filtering it or flat out writing it.
 
2012-11-16 09:54:07 PM  
I swear corporations are like abusive husbands: "Look what you made me do!"
 
2012-11-16 09:55:03 PM  
Correlation does NOT equal causation.

The CEO's raise had nothing to due with the bankruptcy and to claim it does is specious.

Did he earn more money that the line workers?

Yeah. So? Why does this bother you?
Bosses make more money.
If any of the union workers had truly planned their lives they would be CEOs or have their own companies but they didn't so they don't.

Stop biatching and being jelous of those who've done better than you.
Obama is a liar; you DON'T deserve other people's money.
 
2012-11-16 09:56:17 PM  

Chagrin: Take a look at their bankruptcy filing. They're a little over 1 billion in debt, and 97% of that debt is to their pension (which works out to a ~$50K per employee benefit). So not only are they raiding the hell out of the company to pay their executives more, they've really just been running the whole company off the employee pensions.

farkers.


What in the holy fark are you talking about? They borrowed money to assume that pension debt during the 2004 bankruptcy proceeding. If they had just shiatcanned the pensions, their financial obligations would be next to zero. They are bankrupt again because their margins are so small they they can't make payments on that debt.

That pension money was never there. The obligation was there, but the money never was. The hedge funds that loaned the money to cover the debt made it clear they weren't sending out any more money to cover losses, and the strike put the company over the edge.
 
2012-11-16 10:00:12 PM  

OregonVet: Straightening twinkies for 37 years doesn't mean the company should have to pay you 50k/yr until you die after you retire. Max your 401k, accept the social security, hell, find another job. The retirement age will go up under this administration anyways.

If the union had anything to lose in this deal, it never would have happened. They'll get a new crop of people straightening twinkies at $10/hr instead of $20 and dues will still be the same per week. Hell, now is a good time to raise dues. Watch that happen.


It does if that's what the company agreed to pay you. If they didn't bother to actually fund the pension, they've been effectively underpaying you on your agreed upon compensation for years.
 
2012-11-16 10:02:07 PM  
Enjoy your foodstamps ObamaTards.
 
2012-11-16 10:13:25 PM  

Lt. Cheese Weasel: Enjoy your foodstamps ObamaTards.


Boink.
Karma's a biatch.
Lookout, it's coming for you.
 
2012-11-16 10:17:16 PM  

douchebag/hater: The CEO's raise had nothing to due with the bankruptcy and to claim it does is specious.


Maybe it's more about not wanting to work for a boss who gives himself a raise after cutting your pay.
 
2012-11-16 10:17:33 PM  

seanpg71: If they didn't bother to actually fund the pension, they've been effectively underpaying you on your agreed upon compensation for years.


Pension economics are incredibly complicated, but most follow the same structure as social security - current employees and revenues pay for current retirees. Obviously, this all falls apart if the company goes out of business.

Pensions are hardly ever "fully funded" because the math to make them work is bullshiat. What should happen is a pension fund is funded, dollar for dollar, based on promises made to the employees. Instead, companies and governments use fuzzy math based on unknown future revenues to assume the pensions are funded.

And when funding a pension ahead of time actually does happen, like in the case with the USPS, people biatch about it for good reason: it's painful and it can bankrupt a company.
 
2012-11-16 10:29:14 PM  

oren0: I know liberals aren't great at math, but come on. The CEO got an extra $1.8M/year. Hostess had 18,500 employees. So this increase could have been redistributed to all employees, giving each of them $100.

The labor negotiations were over tens of thousands of dollars per employees, or hundreds of millions of dollars overall. Is it OK to get pissed that their CEO got a raise when the company was going under? Absolutely. But as fun as it is to get pissed about CEO pay, any suggestion that his bonus sank the company is mathematically ridiculous.


Agreed. Plus, the old CEO left and they hired a new one in march. They gave the new guy $1.8m. Funny thing, when you are hiring new execs to run companies that are going down the shiatter, you have to pay.

Why can't libs accept reality instead of cherry picking data to falsely justify their partisan views?
The company needed to cut pay to make money. The union refused, and now the members are out of a job. Unions serve a purpose and aren't always at fault, but in this case they are.
 
2012-11-16 10:32:19 PM  

CujoQuarrel: Prob had to pay the officers extra money to stick around since they could see the ship going down and THEY are able to get other jobs.

If you lose all your management , incompetent thou they may be, you are def going into bankruptcy .


Yeah... no.
 
2012-11-16 10:34:48 PM  

seanpg71: It does if that's what the company agreed to pay you.


Okay, I get the sentiment, so I amend my statemen: Straightening twinkies for 37 years doesn't mean you deserve 50k/yr until you die after you retire.

If you get away with $20/hr to straighten twinkies for 37 years I have zero sentiment if you didn't put something away for yourself. And no benefit plan guarantees your pension comes to fruition. That's why they have collective bargaining. Because people are too stupid to straighten twinkies and plan for the future/think for themselves, "hay! I make $20 hour straightening twinkies!" at the same time.
 
2012-11-16 10:36:39 PM  
How you can run a snack cake company into the dirt in this golden age of plentiful marijuana is beyond me...
 
2012-11-16 10:38:30 PM  

karmaceutical: How you can run a snack cake company into the dirt in this golden age of plentiful marijuana is beyond me...


Thank you. That is the funniest thing in this thread.
 
2012-11-16 10:39:48 PM  

Lsherm: seanpg71: If they didn't bother to actually fund the pension, they've been effectively underpaying you on your agreed upon compensation for years.

Pension economics are incredibly complicated, but most follow the same structure as social security - current employees and revenues pay for current retirees. Obviously, this all falls apart if the company goes out of business.

Pensions are hardly ever "fully funded" because the math to make them work is bullshiat. What should happen is a pension fund is funded, dollar for dollar, based on promises made to the employees. Instead, companies and governments use fuzzy math based on unknown future revenues to assume the pensions are funded.

And when funding a pension ahead of time actually does happen, like in the case with the USPS, people biatch about it for good reason: it's painful and it can bankrupt a company.


And yet, the pensions are generally replaced by 401ks whereby the employee is paid more and is ideally using that extra money to fully fund dollar for dollar their eventual "pension".

Meaning, either fully funding a pension forward is entirely possible and/or employees are receiving less effective compensation under their 401k plans than they would with a pension.

Assuming that the goal of the company is not to take advantage of it's employees, a pension plan should actually be cheaper as it can pool risk and assume an average lifespan, wheras as an individual would have to plan for the case where he or she lives much longer.
 
2012-11-16 10:43:54 PM  

OregonVet: seanpg71: It does if that's what the company agreed to pay you.

Okay, I get the sentiment, so I amend my statemen: Straightening twinkies for 37 years doesn't mean you deserve 50k/yr until you die after you retire.

If you get away with $20/hr to straighten twinkies for 37 years I have zero sentiment if you didn't put something away for yourself. And no benefit plan guarantees your pension comes to fruition. That's why they have collective bargaining. Because people are too stupid to straighten twinkies and plan for the future/think for themselves, "hay! I make $20 hour straightening twinkies!" at the same time.


What you deserve should be the benefits you negotiated for with the business you work for. No more, no less.

I'm consistently flummoxed by people that say people get too many benefits because that's not they're worth then turn around and say that people that get too little benefit should be better at negotiating their employment.
 
2012-11-16 10:45:02 PM  

Debeo Summa Credo: Why can't libs accept reality instead of cherry picking data to falsely justify their partisan views?
The company needed to cut pay to make money. The union refused, and now the members are out of a job. Unions serve a purpose and aren't always at fault, but in this case they are.


Why can't conservatives accept reality instead of cherry picking data to falsely satisfy their partisan views?

The company was in the middle of a bankruptcy, it's second bankruptcy in a decade. It had virtually no money on hand, and its management admitted the market for its products had virtually evaporated. The only operating capital they had was from borrowing from their own pension fund.

The strike may have accelerated the process, but they were already circling the drain. When a week-long strike is enough to force your company to shut down permanently, you were already at deaths door. 

Also, from reading around a little on the web, it sounds like the workers knew this might actually close the company down, but they were so upset about their low wages and lack of benefits that they felt they'd do better if the company was closed, the bakeries sold off to another company, and for them to take their chances with another company running the plant. Sounds like that whole "free market" thing that Republicans love, y'know, like when people gripe about low wages and they get back from the Conservatives that if they don't like their wages, work for somebody else.
 
2012-11-16 10:52:53 PM  

OregonVet: ShawnDoc: From looking at the past, I've found that things like this happens when you have unreasonable douches on both sides.

Yah, woman interviewed on CBS earlier claimed she was a "twinkie straightener" and when asked why she wouldn't take a pay cut claimed, "well, then, I might as well go back to minimum wage!"


Did someone say Twink Straightener?

towleroad.typepad.com
 
2012-11-16 10:53:39 PM  

OregonVet: Straightening twinkies for 37 years doesn't mean the company should have to pay you 50k/yr until you die after you retire.


You don't even think the corporation should have to pay the pensions they agreed to? Corporations can just refuse to honor contracts if it would be inconvenient for them?

This is the kind of attitude that makes unions necessary.
 
2012-11-16 10:59:41 PM  

WhyteRaven74: Buying up a company that produces the same stuff, but with a different organizational structure, may not have been a good idea. I mean if you make Wonder Bread in your own bakeries why buy the company that makes Butternut bread in independent bakeries? Oh what's that, merging the two profit centers, which are the sweet stuff, will somehow lead to increased profits greater than the sum of the existing profits? Didn't really work out that way. Surprise.


I think it was the other way around. The Butternut people bought Wonder Bread. IBC bought Wonder and Hostess in '95 and changed names to Hostess Bakeries.

But yeah, their insistence in hoarding brands was goofy. Why run four different brands of snack cakes that are virtually identical? Three quarters of the bread aisle at my local grocery store are Hostess brands competing against other Hostess brands. As soon as they aquired the Wonder/Hostess name they should have slapped it on everything and sold off all the other brands.
 
2012-11-16 11:05:33 PM  

Silverstaff: The only operating capital they had was from borrowing from their own pension fund.


There was no pension fund. During the first bankruptcy in 2004 they borrowed a billion from two hedge funds to cover their obligation to the pension fund. When you say "borrowing against" - they were simply spending money that should have been paid to the pension fund on operating costs. The money they were losing was all borrowed.
 
2012-11-16 11:07:16 PM  

oren0: I know liberals aren't great at math, but come on. The CEO got an extra $1.8M/year. Hostess had 18,500 employees. So this increase could have been redistributed to all employees, giving each of them $100.

The labor negotiations were over tens of thousands of dollars per employees, or hundreds of millions of dollars overall. Is it OK to get pissed that their CEO got a raise when the company was going under? Absolutely. But as fun as it is to get pissed about CEO pay, any suggestion that his bonus sank the company is mathematically ridiculous.


the bigger issue was the 820 million in debt leveraging, most of which was slated to go to management and the owners (hedge funds). because of the economy combined with the union not play ball, the vulture capitalists failed big time on this "deal" to rob the company of capital and equity.

Phryric victory and all, but at least the win/win vultures got punched in the face just as hard as the workers were going to, and now have.
 
2012-11-16 11:07:18 PM  

seanpg71: And yet, the pensions are generally replaced by 401ks whereby the employee is paid more and is ideally using that extra money to fully fund dollar for dollar their eventual "pension".

Meaning, either fully funding a pension forward is entirely possible and/or employees are receiving less effective compensation under their 401k plans than they would with a pension.


I have never understood how a 401k is anything other than an elaborate scheme to rip-off employees and tell them its their own fault.

At the only job I worked that had a 401k, it worked like this:
You are barely making a living wage, you don't make enough money to do anything other than commute to work, pay your essential bills, and eat just enough food to keep from starving.

You can elect to participate in the 401k, thus taking money away from you that you need to pay your bills.

I guess the money is supposed to be a tax deduction, but most people working there make so little that they already aren't paying in towards income tax because of the EITC and other low-income credits, so that's moot.

This money has to be spent on the stock market, so if the stock market tanks, your retirement is hosed.

The only "benefit" is that for every dollar you spent on company stock, they would match you fifty cents. Yeah, being encouraged to buy company stock. Frankly, working there made us believe the place was circling the toilet and nobody had enough confidence in the company to want to tie their retirement to them.

I still can't see how that was better than a pension, even a modest one.

A 401k assumes that the average worker is smart enough to wisely and effectively invest in a stock portfolio well enough to live off it in retirement. A pension plan assumes that investment professionals with a lot of money (and thus numeric advantage) can come up with a modestly successful investment plan, and can put that money into other investments besides just stocks, like real estate (I would imagine that apartment complexes are a good investment).
 
2012-11-16 11:16:59 PM  

Silverstaff: seanpg71: And yet, the pensions are generally replaced by 401ks whereby the employee is paid more and is ideally using that extra money to fully fund dollar for dollar their eventual "pension".

Meaning, either fully funding a pension forward is entirely possible and/or employees are receiving less effective compensation under their 401k plans than they would with a pension.

I have never understood how a 401k is anything other than an elaborate scheme to rip-off employees and tell them its their own fault.

At the only job I worked that had a 401k, it worked like this:
You are barely making a living wage, you don't make enough money to do anything other than commute to work, pay your essential bills, and eat just enough food to keep from starving.

You can elect to participate in the 401k, thus taking money away from you that you need to pay your bills.

I guess the money is supposed to be a tax deduction, but most people working there make so little that they already aren't paying in towards income tax because of the EITC and other low-income credits, so that's moot.

This money has to be spent on the stock market, so if the stock market tanks, your retirement is hosed.

The only "benefit" is that for every dollar you spent on company stock, they would match you fifty cents. Yeah, being encouraged to buy company stock. Frankly, working there made us believe the place was circling the toilet and nobody had enough confidence in the company to want to tie their retirement to them.

I still can't see how that was better than a pension, even a modest one.

A 401k assumes that the average worker is smart enough to wisely and effectively invest in a stock portfolio well enough to live off it in retirement. A pension plan assumes that investment professionals with a lot of money (and thus numeric advantage) can come up with a modestly successful investment plan, and can put that money into other investments besides just stocks, like real estate (I would imagine that a ...


Well at the end you end up with something. A pension is based on the assumption that the company will be around to pay off that debt which may not be the case.

In any case you need to fully fund your 401k no matter how much it hurts.
 
2012-11-16 11:17:32 PM  

Silverstaff: I have never understood how a 401k is anything other than an elaborate scheme to rip-off employees and tell them its their own fault.


Because that's exactly what it is.
Yet one more way that employers offload the cost of doing business onto their employees.
 
2012-11-16 11:17:38 PM  

Silverstaff: and can put that money into other investments besides just stocks, like real estate


Congrats, your pension just lost the ability to pay for your retirement for 40 years. Unfortunately, they still promised to pay your retirement.

That's the problem.
 
2012-11-16 11:22:36 PM  
hahaha, ah, thanks Libtards. Your bizarre continuing support for Organized Labor gives me endless joy.

Organized Labor got what it deserved here. They tried extorting the company for more then they were worth, and lost "their" jobs.

So, they ran GM, Ford, Chrysler, Bethlehem Steel, into the ground, nearly sank Boeing, Caterpillar, and U.S. Steel, and now added Twinkie the Kid to their scalp.

ohh! plus, they helped bring us the high quality public education system for which the U.S. is known world over.

//man, I almost couldn't type that last one without laughing.
//any defeat for Labor is a victory for America.
 
2012-11-16 11:25:50 PM  

CujoQuarrel: In any case you need to fully fund your 401k no matter how much it hurts.


Ha, on my salary? With my student loans? Fat farking chance. I still enjoy eating every once in a while, even if it is 10 cent Ramen.
 
2012-11-16 11:27:36 PM  
Fark Hostess.

The first time they went bankrupt, the only reason they came out of bankruptcy was through the sufferage of the union workers that took pay cuts, benefit cuts, longer hours, and worked their asses off to save that company. The company repaid them by ignoring them and lavishing bonuses on the management, then tried to screw them when the economy took a downturn. The unions couldn't sacrifice more - they did that the first time.

Then they went bankrupt again, and tried to blame the unions - the folks that actually helped them the first time around - to deflect blame from the assholes that deserve it, the investors who pushed so hard for profit that they cheapened the product, screwed the employees, and stood by while management was rewarded for increasing profitability at the expense of just about everything else.

Fark Hostess. Let 'em burn.
 
2012-11-16 11:51:41 PM  

FormlessOne: Fark Hostess.

The first time they went bankrupt, the only reason they came out of bankruptcy was through the sufferage of the union workers that took pay cuts, benefit cuts, longer hours, and worked their asses off to save that company. The company repaid them by ignoring them and lavishing bonuses on the management, then tried to screw them when the economy took a downturn. The unions couldn't sacrifice more - they did that the first time.

Then they went bankrupt again, and tried to blame the unions - the folks that actually helped them the first time around - to deflect blame from the assholes that deserve it, the investors who pushed so hard for profit that they cheapened the product, screwed the employees, and stood by while management was rewarded for increasing profitability at the expense of just about everything else.

Fark Hostess. Let 'em burn.


And what's really good - watch as they continue into bankruptcy, the worker's pension will get jettisoned and the government will take it over paying half what the workers were promised and the executive pension fund will remain fully funded and continue to pay out those golden parachutes.
 
2012-11-16 11:53:30 PM  

FormlessOne: Fark Hostess.

The first time they went bankrupt, the only reason they came out of bankruptcy was through the sufferage of the union workers that took pay cuts, benefit cuts, longer hours, and worked their asses off to save that company. The company repaid them by ignoring them and lavishing bonuses on the management, then tried to screw them when the economy took a downturn. The unions couldn't sacrifice more - they did that the first time.

Then they went bankrupt again, and tried to blame the unions - the folks that actually helped them the first time around - to deflect blame from the assholes that deserve it, the investors who pushed so hard for profit that they cheapened the product, screwed the employees, and stood by while management was rewarded for increasing profitability at the expense of just about everything else.

Fark Hostess. Let 'em burn.


None of that is true.
 
2012-11-17 12:27:44 AM  
Would the company still be in business if the union didn't walk off the job? Yes.
 
2012-11-17 12:54:15 AM  
profile.ak.fbcdn.net
Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhxellent!
 
2012-11-17 12:55:59 AM  

teto85: Maybe people are tired of eating those little turds of sugar and chemicals.


The "cream filling" of the typical Twinkie, Ho Ho, etc. is just whipped LARD with a sweetener. BLEEEAAAGH!
 
2012-11-17 01:03:16 AM  

tjfly: Would the company still be in business if the union didn't walk off the job? Yes.


It had already gone bankrupt twice with the union on the job, so...
 
2012-11-17 01:21:08 AM  
fark Hostess. They mismanaged the company and gave themselves bonuses, and then they want to take a pound of flesh from the workers to pay for it.

Just another awful company. Hopefully a better one springs up in their wake.
 
2012-11-17 01:29:33 AM  

Ace Rimmer: But yeah, their insistence in hoarding brands was goofy. Why run four different brands of snack cakes that are virtually identical? Three quarters of the bread aisle at my local grocery store are Hostess brands competing against other Hostess brands. As soon as they aquired the Wonder/Hostess name they should have slapped it on everything and sold off all the other brands.


Wait until you figure out that all the major beer brands are owned by either InBev or MillerCoors.
 
2012-11-17 01:32:38 AM  

tjfly: Would the company still be in business if the union didn't walk off the job? Yes.


maybe, maybe not, and no guarantee it would stay in business for more than a week or two longer.
 
2012-11-17 01:34:21 AM  

Lsherm: FormlessOne: Fark Hostess.

The first time they went bankrupt, the only reason they came out of bankruptcy was through the sufferage of the union workers that took pay cuts, benefit cuts, longer hours, and worked their asses off to save that company. The company repaid them by ignoring them and lavishing bonuses on the management, then tried to screw them when the economy took a downturn. The unions couldn't sacrifice more - they did that the first time.

Then they went bankrupt again, and tried to blame the unions - the folks that actually helped them the first time around - to deflect blame from the assholes that deserve it, the investors who pushed so hard for profit that they cheapened the product, screwed the employees, and stood by while management was rewarded for increasing profitability at the expense of just about everything else.

Fark Hostess. Let 'em burn.

None of that is true.


Can I distrust your link because it's yet another thing that gets the "Twinkie Defense" wrong?
 
2012-11-17 01:47:05 AM  
It was the responsibility of the f*ckers in the suits with the fancy offices and the ad campaigns to sell bread and Twinkies. It was the responsibility of Joe and Jane Doughmaker @ $35k a year or so to make the bread and Twinkies. If the suits don't sell enough sh*t, the company fails.

What we have here is a sh*tload of corporate suit failure, the same type of failure that suits have tried to blame on Joe and Jane Doughmaker, because UNIONS are at fault for sh*tty products sales. It's the same sh*t automakers try to pull when they try and blame Joe and Jane Assembler on the floor for the sh*tty engineering of their cars and subsequently sh*tty sales, because UNIONS.

Any employee whose hands don't touch flour, eggs, water, sugar or yeast at least once during the workday should be shot and buried in an unmarked plot on company grounds for this, preferably under a parking lot.
 
2012-11-17 01:53:18 AM  

rewind2846: Any employee whose hands don't touch flour, eggs, water, sugar or yeast at least once during the workday should be shot and buried in an unmarked plot on company grounds for this, preferably under a parking lot.


It wouldn't surprise me if the product ever gets touched during processing.
 
2012-11-17 01:55:41 AM  

ShawnDoc: From looking at the past, I've found that things like this happens when you have unreasonable douches on both sides.


Both sides bad so vote CEO.
 
2012-11-17 01:59:45 AM  

OregonVet: HempHead: Old people don't deserve pensions you know.

Straightening twinkies for 37 years doesn't mean the company should have to pay you 50k/yr until you die after you retire. Max your 401k, accept the social security, hell, find another job. The retirement age will go up under this administration anyways.

If the union had anything to lose in this deal, it never would have happened. They'll get a new crop of people straightening twinkies at $10/hr instead of $20 and dues will still be the same per week. Hell, now is a good time to raise dues. Watch that happen.


If you would have been there 37 years ago when everyone was sold on the concept of being paid PLUS a certain amount going towards a retirement fund.

They gave their word. You gave them years of your labor.

If so you might be a little more than miffed at being ripped off days before you need it for retirement.
 
2012-11-17 02:11:17 AM  
In a perfect world where instant karma is a reality, the judge who is presiding over the bankruptcy would take one look at the filing, notice the fact that the CEO and upper management managed to give themselves these huge raises and instantly seize *ALL* their assets to ensure the creditors get paid.

Any squawking from the upper management would result in an immediate indictment along the lines of "conspiracy to commit manslaughter" since companies are people too.

3 or 4 of these incidents and the "executive elite" would damn well get the point that the corporations well being is more important to their compensation.
 
2012-11-17 02:11:39 AM  

Lsherm: None of that is true.


if Hostess hadn't been so badly run it had to file for bankruptcy protection before, it's all academic. As it is their previous acquisitions dumped more debt on the books than they could deal with. Then when they were bankrupt they picked up more debt. And obligations to a private equity firm on top of that debt. And their management never got better, if anything it got worse.
 
2012-11-17 02:13:14 AM  

gothelder: 3 or 4 of these incidents and the "executive elite" would damn well get the point that the corporations well being is more important to their compensation.


a funner alternative, give the company to the employees.
 
2012-11-17 02:41:11 AM  
Ahh Communists, proven wrong so many times throughout history but they just can't let go of the slacker dream.
 
2012-11-17 02:48:49 AM  

MilesTeg: Ahh Communists, proven wrong so many times throughout history but they just can't let go of the slacker dream.


Communists aren't exactly the biggest fans of unions....
 
2012-11-17 02:56:57 AM  

StokeyBob: OregonVet: HempHead: Old people don't deserve pensions you know.

Straightening twinkies for 37 years doesn't mean the company should have to pay you 50k/yr until you die after you retire. Max your 401k, accept the social security, hell, find another job. The retirement age will go up under this administration anyways.

If the union had anything to lose in this deal, it never would have happened. They'll get a new crop of people straightening twinkies at $10/hr instead of $20 and dues will still be the same per week. Hell, now is a good time to raise dues. Watch that happen.

If you would have been there 37 years ago when everyone was sold on the concept of being paid PLUS a certain amount going towards a retirement fund.

They gave their word. You gave them years of your labor.

If so you might be a little more than miffed at being ripped off days before you need it for retirement.


^^^^^^^^^^^
THIS.


Sign up with the company, the deal is for 35 years, then you get a pension of X% of your pay. You sign, they sign, and work begins.
Decades pass, you work.
34 years and 364 days later, you're packing out your locker, and word comes down that the plant is closing because the latest bosses (who weren't even born when you started there) couldn't sell sh*t if it were gold plated and gift-wrapped. Part of all that is if you're not getting paid a pension by today's date, you're up sh*t creek, no paddle. You get nothing.

Yeah, I'd be pissed too.
They gave their word, you gave them 35 years of your life and your labor. They owe you.
 
2012-11-17 03:57:14 AM  
So what I get out of this is that it's ok for the unions to bleed a company dry year after year with constant demands for pay raises and benefits but god forbid anyone in management gets a raise.
 
2012-11-17 04:46:04 AM  

ReapTheChaos: So what I get out of this is that it's ok for the unions to bleed a company dry year after year with constant demands for pay raises and benefits but god forbid anyone in management gets a raise.


It's management that bled the company dry.
 
2012-11-17 05:40:59 AM  
Eh, I am a member of the SEIU and I ask myself all the time how much should a janitor or manual laborer or someone doing an easy job that anyone can be trained to do should really make. At what point do you say to a janitor that he really doesn't deserve a 60" TV and a middle class life? I was a pariah during out last strike because I agreed that costs for management are rising so I was prepared to pay a extra for our medical plan. Personally, I am considered "skilled labor" as a building mechanic so I guess that skews my perspective.
 
2012-11-17 05:59:11 AM  

Silverstaff: Nadie_AZ: And then look for a scapegoat when the time came. Oh look, Obama reelected, and now strikes. Oh and obamacare. Perfect.

Yup. They have been in bankruptcy proceedings since January, and had suffered a significant slump in sales.

NPR also noted that Hostess noted that consumers were wanting healthier food, which was a big reason for the drop in sales, which of course means Obama gets blamed (seriously, I'm already seeing the derp on FB that this is Michelle Obama's plan to put Americans out of work by getting people to eat vegetables).


Well, that would increase demand for illegal produce pickers. Why does Michelle Obama hate America? WHY!?!?!?
 
2012-11-17 06:02:52 AM  

oren0: I know liberals aren't great at math, but come on. The CEO got an extra $1.8M/year. Hostess had 18,500 employees. So this increase could have been redistributed to all employees, giving each of them $100.

The labor negotiations were over tens of thousands of dollars per employees, or hundreds of millions of dollars overall. Is it OK to get pissed that their CEO got a raise when the company was going under? Absolutely. But as fun as it is to get pissed about CEO pay, any suggestion that his bonus sank the company is mathematically ridiculous.


People skills aren't your strong suit, are they?
 
2012-11-17 06:26:15 AM  

StokeyBob: If you would have been there 37 years ago when everyone was sold on the concept of being paid PLUS a certain amount going towards a retirement fund.

They gave their word. You gave them years of your labor.

If so you might be a little more than miffed at being ripped off days before you need it for retirement.



Things like that are why unfettered Capitalism sucks, IMHO.
 
2012-11-17 06:32:20 AM  

Gunther: OregonVet: Straightening twinkies for 37 years doesn't mean the company should have to pay you 50k/yr until you die after you retire.

You don't even think the corporation should have to pay the pensions they agreed to? Corporations can just refuse to honor contracts if it would be inconvenient for them?


I know that's a satiric rhetorical question, but union-busters would answer honestly, yes, yes they should.
 
2012-11-17 06:36:43 AM  

SockMonkeyHolocaust: Eh, I am a member of the SEIU and I ask myself all the time how much should a janitor or manual laborer or someone doing an easy job that anyone can be trained to do should really make. At what point do you say to a janitor that he really doesn't deserve a 60" TV and a middle class life? I was a pariah during out last strike because I agreed that costs for management are rising so I was prepared to pay a extra for our medical plan. Personally, I am considered "skilled labor" as a building mechanic so I guess that skews my perspective.


That's always been my take on unions, how can you justify some guy making 25 bucks an hour when all he does is tighten the lug nuts on a car tire as it passes by on the assembly line? I could give a rats ass if he's been working there 30 years or not. If people want to earn more money then they should get promoted or learn a more valuable skill.
 
2012-11-17 07:22:46 AM  

ReapTheChaos: So what I get out of this is that it's ok for the unions to bleed a company dry year after year with constant demands for pay raises and benefits but god forbid anyone in management gets a raise.


Actually, it was leveraged debt and declining interest in their unhealthy products that brought Hostess down. The union people knew they were out of a job no matter what, so they lashed out in anger and administered the coup dr grace. This was actually stupid, since it harmed their own future employability, made the union look bad, and provided management with a scapegot for their failure - it was an emotinally motivated call, and they only hurt themselves. They should have just ridden it out - they weren't going to be there much longer anyway.
 
2012-11-17 07:47:28 AM  

oren0: I said that the argument that his pay was the cause of the bankruptcy flies in the face of basic math


It has little to do with math. The pay raise was part of the cause of the bankrupcty. When you're asking people who make an average middle class salary to take a substantial cut to their compensation while you're shifting dollars at the top to give people already living high on the hog a huge raise, the people you're asking to take on the pain are much less likely to think they should listen to you.

It's a negotiation and management went to the table with a weak hand it created for itself. There are myriad reasons the company went bankrupt. This is one of them. It also strongly suggests management is incompetent more generally, which is probably the single biggest reason.
 
2012-11-17 08:16:57 AM  

ReapTheChaos: how can you justify some guy making 25 bucks an hour when all he does is tighten the lug nuts on a car tire as it passes by on the assembly line?


If he tightens the lug nuts on all 4 wheels on a car and does 30 cars an hour, the cost of his labor is 28.3 cents a wheel. Not exactly a lot. If he just tightens the lug nuts on two wheels per car at the rate of 30 cars an hour, the cost of his labor jumps all the way to 41.6 cents per wheel. Also not exactly much.
 
2012-11-17 08:31:53 AM  

veive: oh for fark's sake!

Cost of a pension is around 46%Link and average CEO pay is 10 million Link.

Average CEO pay would work out to $833.34(rounded up!) per year per employee for the 12,000 employees. This guy was making like 10% of average.
Average pension cost would be $11481.60 per year per employee assuming the employees work full time and only make $12 per hour.
Since they were union employees they likely made substantially more so the cost of the pension would likely be higher, but I'm going with a known wage for a factory worker.(He works at the Russell Stover plant in Corsicana, TX which has to managed not go bankrupt.)

Thus a conservative estimate of the pension cost is $11481.60 per employee times 12,000 employees for a total of $137,779,200.00 per year.

Now, I know a lot changes with science every year, so a lot of what I was taught in school is no longer valid, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that my math is still good and $2,550,000
If my company were in trouble and struggling to stay in business I'd stop funding pensions too.

And if my employer explained what was happening I'd be OK with keeping my job and losing my pension.
Job without pension > nothing.

Just sayin'


Just sayin'
The punctuation dumb people put at the end of an unsolicited, factless assertion to indicate self satisfaction at having stated something they erroneously believe to be clever, biting, and insightful.
 
2012-11-17 08:32:57 AM  

WhyteRaven74: ReapTheChaos: how can you justify some guy making 25 bucks an hour when all he does is tighten the lug nuts on a car tire as it passes by on the assembly line?

If he tightens the lug nuts on all 4 wheels on a car and does 30 cars an hour, the cost of his labor is 28.3 cents a wheel. Not exactly a lot. If he just tightens the lug nuts on two wheels per car at the rate of 30 cars an hour, the cost of his labor jumps all the way to 41.6 cents per wheel. Also not exactly much.


You seem to have completely missed the point.
 
2012-11-17 08:33:55 AM  

WhyteRaven74: If he tightens the lug nuts on all 4 wheels on a car and does 30 cars an hour, the cost of his labor is 28.3 cents a wheel. Not exactly a lot. If he just tightens the lug nuts on two wheels per car at the rate of 30 cars an hour, the cost of his labor jumps all the way to 41.6 cents per wheel. Also not exactly much.


It's more doublethink.
The executives need more. More money. More bonuses. More benefits. The value they bring to the company justifies their pay.
The laborer doesn't deserve money, bonuses, or benefits. It doesn't matter how much value he brings to the company.

Then the executives biatch when they can't find good workers or the union gets tired of their shiat.
 
2012-11-17 09:00:13 AM  
1). 92% of the rank and file members voted to strike

2). The teamsters themselves advised these idiots to take the deal after examining the books

3). No inventory = no sales = no profits. Who else can you blame but the union members?
 
2012-11-17 09:05:50 AM  

MatrixOutsider: 1). 92% of the rank and file members voted to strike

2). The teamsters themselves advised these idiots to take the deal after examining the books

3). No inventory = no sales = no profits. Who else can you blame but the union members?


Important part bolded and underlined. Yes, it was shiatty of management to give themselves those big raises. However, when the fariking TEAMSTERS say you probably should stop striking, it's time to stop.
 
2012-11-17 09:17:29 AM  

MatrixOutsider: 1). 92% of the rank and file members voted to strike

2). The teamsters themselves advised these idiots to take the deal after examining the books

3). No inventory = no sales = no profits. Who else can you blame but the union members?


The people who leveraged the company into more debt than it could possibly sustain. That is what doomed Hostess.
The union, on the other hand, killed it prematurely - mostly, it appears, out of mere spite. It was a stupid move - they could have had work for maybe as much a s another year, and not brought discredit on themsleves and the union movement. I can see why the teamsters are pissed at them - it was a dumbassed move.
 
2012-11-17 09:34:18 AM  
Actually, companies do that to try and keep top talent through the bankruptcy. The execs get told something to the effect of "We'll give you a pay raise if you stay with us and don't go to another company."
 
2012-11-17 09:38:57 AM  
CSB

I worked at a company that manufactured multi-million dollar automated welding machines. We had to remove a sensor and re-calibrate it. This sensor was behind a panel that was secured with two bolts. I told my co-worker to hand me a wrench and I would hop in and take the plate off. He told me that I would get fired if I did because we had to have a union guy do the wrench turning.

Not wanting to get fired, I let him make the call to the building across the street. They said "We'll send someone over." Three hours later, a guy meanders in, takes the bolts off, and we can get back to work.

A couple hours of testing and calibrating and we had the sensor fixed and back in place, all we had to do was put the cover back in place and we could do a test run. It was about 4:30 PM, and when we called the Certified Wrench Turners Department, no one answered. I wandered over to see if anyone was there, and of course they had all knocked off at 4:00. I went back, told my co-worker, "Fark it...they've already put us 3 hours behind schedule." and tightened the bolts myself.

So yeah, in my experience - unions are counter-productive as all get out. Fark em.

/CSB
 
2012-11-17 09:40:15 AM  

WhyteRaven74: ReapTheChaos: how can you justify some guy making 25 bucks an hour when all he does is tighten the lug nuts on a car tire as it passes by on the assembly line?



================

Another rocket surgeon who knows everything after listening to years of lectures at Limbaugh U.

First, economics: YOU FAIL. Try enrolling in a real university.....no Hollywood Upstairs School of Business doesn't count.....take few courses in economics.

Second, why don't you get back in your time machine and ask Henry Ford. Once upon a time, before the auto industry was unionized, Henry raised the pay of his workers from $1 per day to $5 per day. $5 per day was big money at the time. Why did he do that? Hmmmmmm.

Sell the antique collection of dildos you inherited from your grandfather and buy a plane ticket to Germany. German auto companies pay their workers $67/ hr on average....more than double US auto worker average. German auto makers are ALL unionized, unlike their American counterparts.....unlike their American counterparts, they are also profitable. Go see for yourself.

BTW, you wouldn't last an hour on an auto assembly line. "Mommy, the cars just keep on coming, it never stops! It was like one of Dante's circles of hell! Where's my bottle of oxy?"
 
2012-11-17 09:56:30 AM  

Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: Actually, companies do that to try and keep top talent through the bankruptcy.


In most jobs, if you fark up that badly you get fired.
 
2012-11-17 10:06:28 AM  

Sergeant Grumbles: Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: Actually, companies do that to try and keep top talent through the bankruptcy.

In most jobs, if you fark up that badly you get fired.


Good point, the BOD of any company in bankruptcy does need to decide who they're going to try to retain and who to let go.

I'm sure that someone 'll buy the brand. I know that the owners of Pabst are considering doing so. So we'll still get to eat Twinkie Weiner Sandwiches while watching UHF
 
2012-11-17 10:30:50 AM  

oren0: I know liberals aren't great at math, but come on. The CEO got an extra $1.8M/year. Hostess had 18,500 employees. So this increase could have been redistributed to all employees, giving each of them $100.

The labor negotiations were over tens of thousands of dollars per employees, or hundreds of millions of dollars overall. Is it OK to get pissed that their CEO got a raise when the company was going under? Absolutely. But as fun as it is to get pissed about CEO pay, any suggestion that his bonus sank the company is mathematically ridiculous.


So how about the other execs that also took in an additional half-mil? Seems like the "haves" became "have-mores" across the board.

This was math you did to make you feel good.
 
2012-11-17 11:03:55 AM  
This isn't just Twinkies and Ho Hos that are abut to go extinct. Hostess also owns/makes (the former) Dolly Madison's Zingers as well as Wonder Bread.

And I wonder if the exec's plan all along was to Bainify the company, and all the strike did was prompt the vampires to speed up the timetable to 3. Profit?
 
2012-11-17 11:05:48 AM  

Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: Sergeant Grumbles: Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: Actually, companies do that to try and keep top talent through the bankruptcy.

In most jobs, if you fark up that badly you get fired.

Good point, the BOD of any company in bankruptcy does need to decide who they're going to try to retain and who to let go.



Well if they got to bankruptcy I'd say it's probably best not to retain any of them. If you completely failed your job to the point that your department had to be reorganized.........do you think they'd be wondering if they should pay you more?

Probably why companies that file bankruptcy once tend to do it again.
 
2012-11-17 11:06:57 AM  

aspAddict: So yeah, in my experience - unions are counter-productive as all get out. Fark em.


Read this book about what a world without unions looks like:

www.capitalcentury.com
 
2012-11-17 12:49:02 PM  

Sergeant Grumbles: douchebag/hater: The CEO's raise had nothing to due with the bankruptcy and to claim it does is specious.

Maybe it's more about not wanting to work for a boss who gives himself a raise after cutting your pay.


Well, then... I guess it worked out for them after all! Well done.

They shouldn't have any problem finding employment with their considerable twinkie making skills.

No worries, their formidable talents will soon be in high demand. Unless the company that buys the rights in another state or country can get a machine or trained monkey to dump flour into a mixing bowl without having to pay to move this uniquely qualified workforce.
 
2012-11-17 01:11:42 PM  
Didn't the execs say they were cutting their own pay to $1 back in... March?
 
2012-11-17 01:24:17 PM  

Dafatone: Lsherm: FormlessOne: Fark Hostess.

The first time they went bankrupt, the only reason they came out of bankruptcy was through the sufferage of the union workers that took pay cuts, benefit cuts, longer hours, and worked their asses off to save that company. The company repaid them by ignoring them and lavishing bonuses on the management, then tried to screw them when the economy took a downturn. The unions couldn't sacrifice more - they did that the first time.

Then they went bankrupt again, and tried to blame the unions - the folks that actually helped them the first time around - to deflect blame from the assholes that deserve it, the investors who pushed so hard for profit that they cheapened the product, screwed the employees, and stood by while management was rewarded for increasing profitability at the expense of just about everything else.

Fark Hostess. Let 'em burn.

None of that is true.

Can I distrust your link because it's yet another thing that gets the "Twinkie Defense" wrong?


The link is utter bullshiat, but we know that already given its source.
 
2012-11-17 01:55:10 PM  
Ever notice that union bosses never miss a meal or a paycheck, while workers and families go unemployed and hungry?
There's your 1%
 
2012-11-17 02:21:36 PM  

Fissile: WhyteRaven74: ReapTheChaos: how can you justify some guy making 25 bucks an hour when all he does is tighten the lug nuts on a car tire as it passes by on the assembly line?


================

Another rocket surgeon who knows everything after listening to years of lectures at Limbaugh U.

First, economics: YOU FAIL. Try enrolling in a real university.....no Hollywood Upstairs School of Business doesn't count.....take few courses in economics.

Second, why don't you get back in your time machine and ask Henry Ford. Once upon a time, before the auto industry was unionized, Henry raised the pay of his workers from $1 per day to $5 per day. $5 per day was big money at the time. Why did he do that? Hmmmmmm.

Sell the antique collection of dildos you inherited from your grandfather and buy a plane ticket to Germany. German auto companies pay their workers $67/ hr on average....more than double US auto worker average. German auto makers are ALL unionized, unlike their American counterparts.....unlike their American counterparts, they are also profitable. Go see for yourself.

BTW, you wouldn't last an hour on an auto assembly line. "Mommy, the cars just keep on coming, it never stops! It was like one of Dante's circles of hell! Where's my bottle of oxy?"


This made my morning.
 
2012-11-17 03:51:11 PM  

ReapTheChaos: You seem to have completely missed the point.


No I got the point. When looking at labor costs it's labor cost per unit produced or some quantity of units produced that matters.
 
2012-11-17 04:10:21 PM  

Sergeant Grumbles: CujoQuarrel: In any case you need to fully fund your 401k no matter how much it hurts.

Ha, on my salary? With my student loans? Fat farking chance. I still enjoy eating every once in a while, even if it is 10 cent Ramen.


Agreed.

That idea of fully funding a 401k for many workers is about as out of touch as Rmoney's "borrow money from your dad to start your business".

Many people are living paycheck to paycheck and can't afford a big hit to their budget to invest with.  This isn't "will I take my vacation in Cancun this year, or fund my 401k and just go Myrtle Beach" or ""Will I buy a Mercedes, or fully fund my 401k and buy a Ford", this is "Will I eat and put gas in the tank of the car, or fully fund my 401k and try to live off ramen noodles and hitchhike to work?"

Isn't the whole idea of a pension over a 401k that the investments get done by professionals, and that if everybody pools their money that larger and more profitable investments can be made?

A 401k is just a glorified way of ripping employees off by taking away a concrete benefit (pension) and replacing it with "you're on your own" with a tiny sop of a tax write-off (useless for lower incomes) and a break on the price of stock investments (still not worth if if you have trouble buying the shares to begin with).
 
2012-11-17 05:04:28 PM  

James!: It's the Bain plan, your debtors can't go after what you've paid out in salaries so you bleed the company coffers into your upper management and throw the blame on someone else.


Sounds like it was a democrat 'Bain plan.' LOL.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-11-16/hostess-liquidation-curious- c ast-characters-twinkie-tumbles
 
2012-11-17 05:41:51 PM  
It is their money. They should do whatever the fark they want with it. Oh, and why are we still talking about Bain Capital?
 
2012-11-17 06:20:01 PM  

oren0: I know liberals aren't great at math, but come on. The CEO got an extra $1.8M/year. Hostess had 18,500 employees. So this increase could have been redistributed to all employees, giving each of them $100.

The labor negotiations were over tens of thousands of dollars per employees, or hundreds of millions of dollars overall. Is it OK to get pissed that their CEO got a raise when the company was going under? Absolutely. But as fun as it is to get pissed about CEO pay, any suggestion that his bonus sank the company is mathematically ridiculous.



It's kinda like Mike Tyson owning an exotic pets zoo with albino tigers. Is it singlehandedly the reason why he blew through $100 million dollars in ten years? No. However, the fact that he thought it would be a good idea to have "pets" who do nothing but sit in a cage and eat thousands of dollars worth of meat a month indicates someone who has no farkin clue how to handle money.



Did a million dollar CEO raise while the company was in financial straits single handedly sink the company? No. Is it a sign of utter incompetence and a predatory attitude by it's management? Yes.
 
2012-11-17 06:33:05 PM  

Silverstaff: I have never understood how a 401k is anything other than an elaborate scheme to rip-off employees and tell them its their own fault.


Well, lets see if there is anything in your post to explain why you don't understand the benefits foof a 401k...


At the only job I worked that had a 401k, it worked like this:
You are barely making a living wage, you don't make enough money to do anything other than commute to work, pay your essential bills, and eat just enough food to keep from starving.


Oh, I see you have a shiat job and likely are not equipped with marketable job skills that are in demand.

The problem isn't 401k plans, it is you.
 
2012-11-17 07:18:30 PM  
Maybe 2.5 b gross. 820 m in heavily leveraged debt. But yeah - the union put them out of business.
This was a company run into the ground by the boneheads who were running it.
 
2012-11-17 07:20:45 PM  

Lsherm: seanpg71: If they didn't bother to actually fund the pension, they've been effectively underpaying you on your agreed upon compensation for years.

Pension economics are incredibly complicated, but most follow the same structure as social security - current employees and revenues pay for current retirees. Obviously, this all falls apart if the company goes out of business.

Pensions are hardly ever "fully funded" because the math to make them work is bullshiat. What should happen is a pension fund is funded, dollar for dollar, based on promises made to the employees. Instead, companies and governments use fuzzy math based on unknown future revenues to assume the pensions are funded.

And when funding a pension ahead of time actually does happen, like in the case with the USPS, people biatch about it for good reason: it's painful and it can bankrupt a company.


There is a reason ponzi schemes are illegal....
 
2012-11-17 07:27:39 PM  

Hunter_Worthington: hahaha, ah, thanks Libtards. Your bizarre continuing support for Organized Labor gives me endless joy.

Organized Labor got what it deserved here. They tried extorting the company for more then they were worth, and lost "their" jobs.

So, they ran GM, Ford, Chrysler, Bethlehem Steel, into the ground, nearly sank Boeing, Caterpillar, and U.S. Steel, and now added Twinkie the Kid to their scalp.

ohh! plus, they helped bring us the high quality public education system for which the U.S. is known world over.

//man, I almost couldn't type that last one without laughing.
//any defeat for Labor is a victory for America.


Glad I am niy the only one keeping score. To be fair they were not always harmful. They did create a culture change in industry that increased pay to something reasonable at first and got the jobsite safer. After they did that, they went all derpy and started asking for 75$ per hour in total compensation to turn a screw or pick up a box.
 
2012-11-17 08:37:41 PM  

jst3p: Oh, I see you have a shiat job and likely are not equipped with marketable job skills that are in demand.

The problem isn't 401k plans, it is you.


Well, let's see. . .

When I got the job, it was in 2007, you know, when the job market crashed hard and nobody could find work. Try finding a job circa Spring 2007 as a recent college graduate.

I had 2 B.A.'s (History and Political Science), with job experience working in tech support and legal research/legal secretary work, could type 75 words per minute, and spoke fluent Spanish and Japanese.

Didn't matter. No jobs out there at all. I spent almost a year hunting for any job I could find, anything. Started with stuff I had experience and training for, but despite hundreds of applications and a few dozen interviews, they went nowhere. I got desperate enough that I wasn't above flipping burgers, but even retail and food service weren't immediately hiring. Working in that shiathole of a call center wasn't the bright spot of my career, but it paid the bills (barely).

As for now? I've done a lot in the 4 years since I left that job. I've got skills, I've got credentials, I still believe 401k is a joke and an actual pension is something far more trustworthy. I've never seen anything to change my mind about them. I'll trust my military pension and my police retirement pension far more than I'll trust the bad joke that is 401k.
 
2012-11-17 08:54:08 PM  
Well yeah, you are talking government pensions. Of course that's stabler-er than say my situation where I'd be putting money into a pension fund that is run by a union that even by the standards of unions is considered "corrupt".

Not everyone can score a government job and in my case I am on my second 401k after having to wipe out my original one to survive. So this is my best chance at having a somewhat liveable retirement besides praying to a god I don't believe exists that my parents pay off their houses before they die. Also, I have to hope that the swings of the market doesn't repeat the last 10 years when I want to or have to retire. Whole lotta people can't retire.
 
2012-11-17 08:59:43 PM  
And quick googling brings us to a Wall Street Journal article about the SEIU

Mr. Stern's "middle class" spin would be more believable if the SEIU did more for its own members, especially their pensions. Public records based on the SEIU's own filings show that the SEIU National Industry Pension plan - which covers some 101,000 workers - was only 75% funded in 2006. Put another way, the plan had only three-fourths of the money it needs to meet its retirement obligations. And the national chapter is only the start. Some 13 local SEIU pension plans in 2006 were less than 80% funded; several didn't reach 65%.

So yeah. I wouldn't trust my pension to buy me a quart of milk in 30 years.
 
2012-11-17 09:12:25 PM  
It is absolutely incredible how ignorance has shown its head yet again. Unions were forged as an answer to some of the most horrendous working conditions, to cordon outrageous management demands, and to tamper horrible abuse.

Things I'll throw on the table:

Pinkertons

The Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire

Child Labor

Thanks to Unions you have a five day workweek, relative income equality, employer health-based coverage and the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Like all things, those that hold power, including unions, need Balance. Outrageous and abusive behavior, no matter who's wielding it, tends to result in Pyrrhic victories. For all the Randian idiots on this thread, yes, I first acknowledge that abuse held by anyone leads to ruin. That said and done, crack open a farking history book and learn all about the fantastic and healthy working conditions of the Industrial Revolution. Morgan, Edison, Carnegie and the rest didn't suddenly have a burst of empathy about their workers, rights had to be fought for, and won.

Giving the keys blindly, to ANYONE, with the hopes they'll do the right thing is absolute wishful thinking. Add money to it, and you might as well go walking in traffic. Blindly following dogma while waving your dick in the street is the best way to get run over.

I refuse to believe that so many educated people represented in this thread would purposely choose to act so stupidly. Nothing's solved by shouting slogans or sides.
 
2012-11-17 09:20:44 PM  
So what you're saying is that unions haven't done anything recently, say, in the last 100 years to justify their existence?
 
2012-11-17 09:24:10 PM  
I am saying, that those who choose to take advantage, do so. And that there will always be a need to keep people on the straight and narrow. You don't get a singular dose of antibodies when one is born do you?

No. Your immune system fights for life until the end. Likewise, if it goes out of control, the very things protecting you can kill.

Don't be so bloody idiotic.
 
2012-11-17 09:52:33 PM  

Smelly McUgly: fark Hostess. They mismanaged the company and gave themselves bonuses, and then they want to take a pound of flesh from the workers to pay for it.

Just another awful company. Hopefully a better one springs up in their wake.


Bonuses aren't what sunk the company. People just don't want to eat as many Twinkies and other crap as they used to. Now you have a billion dollars in pension debt and no (or a greatly reduced) market for your products.

Not having read their books, I won't make any assertions about how they should have managed their money, as far as saving for pensions. I will, however, state that perhaps it would have been a good idea to diversify into healthier alternative snacks.
 
2012-11-17 10:01:49 PM  

SockMonkeyHolocaust: And quick googling brings us to a Wall Street Journal article about the SEIU

Mr. Stern's "middle class" spin would be more believable if the SEIU did more for its own members, especially their pensions. Public records based on the SEIU's own filings show that the SEIU National Industry Pension plan - which covers some 101,000 workers - was only 75% funded in 2006. Put another way, the plan had only three-fourths of the money it needs to meet its retirement obligations. And the national chapter is only the start. Some 13 local SEIU pension plans in 2006 were less than 80% funded; several didn't reach 65%.

So yeah. I wouldn't trust my pension to buy me a quart of milk in 30 years.


The "X% funded" number isn't as straight forward as it seems. When a fund is 100% funded it means that if everyone eligible for a pension started collecting today, there would be enough money for all of them. That will never happen, since it would require all people vested in the pension but not at retirement age to retire on disability simultaniously.

A 75% funded pension might be a little low, but not outrageously so. 100% means that the fund can absorb the absolute maximum possible draw while still fully meeting obligations. Which, short of an entire workforce getting maimed at the same time, simply won't happen.
 
2012-11-17 10:28:58 PM  

Aikidogamer: Hunter_Worthington: hahaha, ah, thanks Libtards. Your bizarre continuing support for Organized Labor gives me endless joy.

Organized Labor got what it deserved here. They tried extorting the company for more then they were worth, and lost "their" jobs.

So, they ran GM, Ford, Chrysler, Bethlehem Steel, into the ground, nearly sank Boeing, Caterpillar, and U.S. Steel, and now added Twinkie the Kid to their scalp.

ohh! plus, they helped bring us the high quality public education system for which the U.S. is known world over.

//man, I almost couldn't type that last one without laughing.
//any defeat for Labor is a victory for America.

Glad I am niy the only one keeping score. To be fair they were not always harmful. They did create a culture change in industry that increased pay to something reasonable at first and got the jobsite safer. After they did that, they went all derpy and started asking for 75$ per hour in total compensation to turn a screw or pick up a box.


I don't think an individual worker's pay is really the issue. The true issue is that the Union (ie the actually guys who run the union, not the individual workers) want as many members as possible. Thus they implement all sorts of asinine rules dictating who can do what job (one of the linked articles pointed out how the teamsters had rules that different drivers were needed for different products) meaning that you end up with several guys standing around and one guy working far too often rather than everyone actually working all the time and having a much larger workforce than is actually necessary.
 
2012-11-17 11:31:43 PM  

Sergeant Grumbles: Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: Actually, companies do that to try and keep top talent through the bankruptcy.

In most jobs, if you fark up that badly you get fired.


It depends whether you were responsible for whatever decisions caused the problems that caused the bankruptcy (in this case apparently an overpaid and overpensioned workforce)

In this instance, they did can the old CEO and the guy who made $1.8m was brought in this March.
 
2012-11-17 11:39:44 PM  

Fissile: WhyteRaven74: ReapTheChaos: how can you justify some guy making 25 bucks an hour when all he does is tighten the lug nuts on a car tire as it passes by on the assembly line?


================

Another rocket surgeon who knows everything after listening to years of lectures at Limbaugh U.

First, economics: YOU FAIL. Try enrolling in a real university.....no Hollywood Upstairs School of Business doesn't count.....take few courses in economics.

Second, why don't you get back in your time machine and ask Henry Ford. Once upon a time, before the auto industry was unionized, Henry raised the pay of his workers from $1 per day to $5 per day. $5 per day was big money at the time. Why did he do that? Hmmmmmm.

Sell the antique collection of dildos you inherited from your grandfather and buy a plane ticket to Germany. German auto companies pay their workers $67/ hr on average....more than double US auto worker average. German auto makers are ALL unionized, unlike their American counterparts.....unlike their American counterparts, they are also profitable. Go see for yourself.

BTW, you wouldn't last an hour on an auto assembly line. "Mommy, the cars just keep on coming, it never stops! It was like one of Dante's circles of hell! Where's my bottle of oxy?"


So you are saying that the guy SHOULD get $25 per hour because of Henry Ford or Germany or something? Both of those are irrelevant.

The only reason some guy should get $25 per hour for turning lugnuts is if nobody else can do it as well for $24 per hour.
 
2012-11-17 11:43:00 PM  

WhyteRaven74: gothelder: 3 or 4 of these incidents and the "executive elite" would damn well get the point that the corporations well being is more important to their compensation.

a funner alternative, give the company to the employees.


Why don't they buy it? Then they could pay themselves whatever they think is an appropriate wage.
 
2012-11-18 12:21:23 AM  

Debeo Summa Credo: It depends whether you were responsible for whatever decisions caused the problems that caused the bankruptcy


There's that double standard again. Executives aren't responsible for anything if their entire company fails and they're off the hook for it.
 
2012-11-18 02:41:46 AM  

WhyteRaven74: Lsherm: None of that is true.

if Hostess hadn't been so badly run it had to file for bankruptcy protection before, it's all academic. As it is their previous acquisitions dumped more debt on the books than they could deal with. Then when they were bankrupt they picked up more debt. And obligations to a private equity firm on top of that debt. And their management never got better, if anything it got worse.


Their management got WAY worse. The Hostess problem was systemic a decade ago, and the firm they hired to "turn things around" couldn't even begin to fix it, but they didn't help by lowering the quality of the product at the exact same time the market for their product was tanking. They also kept prices the same.

Frankly, Hostess was screwed ten years ago. The first Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2004 was exited in 2009 because of "growth projections" for the company that were absolute nonsense given the state of the economy. Hostess agreed to labor costs they couldn't afford, even with the labor cuts, and they agreed to loan payments they couldn't make unless the business grew every year. None of that happened.

You keep harping on the private equity firm, but they aren't the reason the money flow stopped. It's the two hedge funds that lent the money in 2004, 2009, and again in 2010 to keep the company running. The private equity firm was running the company and they are going to take a bath on this because the hedge funds are first in line to get paid back. The PE firm won't get anything. Neither will the employees. 

It's nice to think that all PE firms are like Bain and get paid out no matter what, but that's only if they use their own money. In Hostess's case, it looks like the company was purchased with other funds, operated with other funds, and everybody is going to lose. But most importantly, the PE firm is going to lose because they are last in line behind the two hedge funds that ponied up the money in the first place. Liquidation sales will go to them first.
 
2012-11-18 02:44:57 AM  

FormlessOne: The link is utter bullshiat, but we know that already given its source.


CNN?

Why don't you try reading it? Is reading difficult for you?
 
2012-11-18 04:00:32 AM  
I wanna see all these Randian freaks tell us what they get paid per hour.
 
2012-11-18 10:20:25 AM  

lizyrd: The "X% funded" number isn't as straight forward as it seems. When a fund is 100% funded it means that if everyone eligible for a pension started collecting today, there would be enough money for all of them. That will never happen, since it would require all people vested in the pension but not at retirement age to retire on disability simultaniously.

A 75% funded pension might be a little low, but not outrageously so. 100% means that the fund can absorb the absolute maximum possible draw while still fully meeting obligations. Which, short of an entire workforce getting maimed at the same time, simply won't happen.


I agree that 75% isn't a hugely worrying number, but in the early days of the union in this area (late 80s and early 90s) it was pathetically easy to get into and dues were only $5 so there's a huge amount of people waiting to retire. They are playing catchup now, but I still wouldn't bet on the pension fund not getting looted at some point in the future.
 
2012-11-18 10:22:28 AM  

Znuh: Don't be so bloody idiotic.


Don't be an armchair class warrior pointing at instances from 100 years ago to prove your point. Ok, we get it you read Wikipedia.
 
2012-11-18 11:30:36 AM  

aspAddict: So yeah, in my experience - unions are counter-productive as all get out. Fark em.

/CSB


I'd be much more pro-union if such stories weren't commonplace.
 
2012-11-18 12:01:40 PM  

WhyKnot: It really isn't uncommon to increase the compensation of an executive during a bankruptcy. It might not make sense, but if you want to retain the executive (or bring someone in), you need to pay them. Additionally, the executive may have lost options and other equity comps.


Well, they didn't pay the workers enough to retain them, so they're done.

veive: oh for fark's sake!

Cost of a pension is around 46%Link and average CEO pay is 10 million Link.

Average CEO pay would work out to $833.34(rounded up!) per year per employee for the 12,000 employees. This guy was making like 10% of average.
Average pension cost would be $11481.60 per year per employee assuming the employees work full time and only make $12 per hour.
Since they were union employees they likely made substantially more so the cost of the pension would likely be higher, but I'm going with a known wage for a factory worker.(He works at the Russell Stover plant in Corsicana, TX which has to managed not go bankrupt.)

Thus a conservative estimate of the pension cost is $11481.60 per employee times 12,000 employees for a total of $137,779,200.00 per year.

Now, I know a lot changes with science every year, so a lot of what I was taught in school is no longer valid, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that my math is still good and $2,550,000
If my company were in trouble and struggling to stay in business I'd stop funding pensions too.



Well, you're a piece of shiat. Also, does this mean I can just stop paying my credit cards when I'm neck-deep in debt? That's money I promised to people and obviously that doesn't count for anything.


And if my employer explained what was happening I'd be OK with keeping my job and losing my pension.
Job without pension > nothing.

Just sayin'


I know somebody who's never been sick and isn't old!
 
2012-11-18 03:06:54 PM  

Silverstaff: jst3p: Oh, I see you have a shiat job and likely are not equipped with marketable job skills that are in demand.

The problem isn't 401k plans, it is you.

Well, let's see. . .

When I got the job, it was in 2007, you know, when the job market crashed hard and nobody could find work. Try finding a job circa Spring 2007 as a recent college graduate.

I had 2 B.A.'s (History and Political Science), with job experience working in tech support and legal research/legal secretary work, could type 75 words per minute, and spoke fluent Spanish and Japanese.

Didn't matter. No jobs out there at all. I spent almost a year hunting for any job I could find, anything. Started with stuff I had experience and training for, but despite hundreds of applications and a few dozen interviews, they went nowhere. I got desperate enough that I wasn't above flipping burgers, but even retail and food service weren't immediately hiring. Working in that shiathole of a call center wasn't the bright spot of my career, but it paid the bills (barely).

As for now? I've done a lot in the 4 years since I left that job. I've got skills, I've got credentials, I still believe 401k is a joke and an actual pension is something far more trustworthy. I've never seen anything to change my mind about them. I'll trust my military pension and my police retirement pension far more than I'll trust the bad joke that is 401k.


In July of 2011 we received a letter from the company. It said that the $3+ per hour that we as a Union contribute to the pension was going to be 'borrowed' by the company until they could be profitable again. Then they would pay it all back. The Union was notified of this the same time and method as the individual members. No contact from the company to the Union on a national level.

This money will never be paid back. The company filed for bankruptcy and the judge ruled that the $3+ per hour was a debt the company couldn't repay. The Union continued to work despite this theft of our self-funded pension contributions for over a year. I consider this money stolen. No other word in the English language describes what they have done to this money.


Link

I will keep my 401k and my investment property (will be properties by the time I retire) thank you very much.
 
2012-11-19 01:31:27 PM  
Why is "Think Progress" in the business tab instead of the politics tab?

shiatty politics blog is a not a business news site.
 
2012-11-19 07:40:27 PM  

Silverstaff: jst3p: Oh, I see you have a shiat job and likely are not equipped with marketable job skills that are in demand.

The problem isn't 401k plans, it is you.

Well, let's see. . .

When I got the job, it was in 2007, you know, when the job market crashed hard and nobody could find work. Try finding a job circa Spring 2007 as a recent college graduate.

I had 2 B.A.'s (History and Political Science), with job experience working in tech support and legal research/legal secretary work, could type 75 words per minute, and spoke fluent Spanish and Japanese.

Didn't matter. No jobs out there at all. I spent almost a year hunting for any job I could find, anything. Started with stuff I had experience and training for, but despite hundreds of applications and a few dozen interviews, they went nowhere. I got desperate enough that I wasn't above flipping burgers, but even retail and food service weren't immediately hiring. Working in that shiathole of a call center wasn't the bright spot of my career, but it paid the bills (barely).

As for now? I've done a lot in the 4 years since I left that job. I've got skills, I've got credentials, I still believe 401k is a joke and an actual pension is something far more trustworthy. I've never seen anything to change my mind about them. I'll trust my military pension and my police retirement pension far more than I'll trust the bad joke that is 401k.


CSB and you are a fracking post.
 
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