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Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:19 AM

BREAKING: Hostess, the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, is going out of business

The Associated Press ‏@AP
BREAKING: Hostess, the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, is going out of business

Hostess Brands Inc, which makes Twinkies and Wonder Bread, says it will ask bankruptcy judge for permission to liquidate - @Reuters

edited to add:
More: Hostess blames bankruptcy on bakers' strike and says it will cut all of its near 18,500 workforce - @CNNMoney

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Reply BREAKING: Hostess, the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, is going out of business (Original post)
The Straight Story Nov 2012 OP
geckosfeet Nov 2012 #1
proud2BlibKansan Nov 2012 #17
Happyhippychick Nov 2012 #20
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #25
BlueStreak Nov 2012 #119
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #247
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JVS Nov 2012 #29
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geckosfeet Nov 2012 #288
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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:24 AM

1. That fine American institution of sugary snacks and horrible white bread going out of business!?

That's a shame.

Loss of jobs is not good - but a business based on providing people with terrible horrible disgusting food items was doomed from the start. It's not good when your customers all develop diabetes and other diet related disorders.

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:39 AM

17. That's exactly what a local right wing radio host said yesterday.

He also wondered why Hostess didn't make wheat bread.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:40 AM

20. Really? That surprises me.

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Response to Happyhippychick (Reply #20)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:42 AM

25. WHY? HE knew it was about the unions and fair compensation, not the food.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #25)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:02 AM

119. It is both, actually

Last edited Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:58 PM - Edit history (1)

I don't know about Twinkies, but refusing to make wheat bread is just stupid. When management is that stupid, it kills their revenue. And then they turn to the workers to make up for that.

It really is a shame because Hostess was a strong brand name. It would have been very easy to evolve that brand into food products that are a little less like what you would find on Leave It To Beaver.

Indeed, that is probably EXACTLY what you will find. There will be another food company that is only slightly more enlightened that will buy the Hostess brand and move it forward. Unfortunately that may not help these workers.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #119)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:23 PM

247. hostess brands make wheat bread. that's a right wing talking point, which is why rush

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #247)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:01 PM

273. This web page tells it all

www.naturespridebread.com/100_whole_wheat_soft.html

redirects to

http://hostessbrands.com/Closing.aspx

which is a nasty anti-union diatribe. Undoubtedly they plan to "sell their assets" to themselves and reemerge as a non-union shop.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:43 AM

29. wonder has a wheat variety

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Response to JVS (Reply #29)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:54 AM

39. Yes, but no one believes they really use wheat.

 

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Response to lalalu (Reply #39)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:24 PM

248. hostess also = nature's pride, colombo, and some others. they make wheat bread.

 

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Response to lalalu (Reply #39)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 07:34 PM

304. Define "wheat". nt

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #304)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:02 AM

305. Real wheat, real whole grains.

 

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Response to JVS (Reply #29)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:04 AM

45. Yes I know.

This right wing radio guy isn't too well informed.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:37 PM

178. What does he think the flour they use is made from?

Dandelions?

Last time I looked, they used wheat flour to make their bread products.

Hostess produces a whole grain white bread, and has done so for many years now.

Unless he meant a whole wheat bread, which they indeed also make.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:15 PM

287. Well I didn't hear it from them/him. But I did hear about the crappy pay packages Hostess was

shoving down the unions throats. And for that I say they deserve to be forced out of business. I think that the union (one of them anyway) is making a stand.

Either Hostess has the money and is screwing the employees, or they don't have the money and can't afford to pay their employees. Either way management is taking out of the hide of the employees.

As far as sugary garbage food, I honestly think that they led a charmed business life with great marketing. Selling diabetes as a "food" called "the twinkie" is tough to do once people understand a little about nutrition. It was bound to catch up with them.

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:14 AM

49. That was my first thought

 

Hopefully the REASON they are really going out of business is that people have stopped buying that crap.

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:53 AM

65. it survived 80+ years,it wasnt doomed from the start

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #65)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:15 PM

279. twinkies are nothing like they used to be

and the fruit pies are as bad as off-brands. I can't say I've tried anything else in the past 10 years, but they are not the same ones I ate as a kid.

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:17 AM

136. SO WHO IS THE REAL DING DONG'S?

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:27 PM

165. "doomed from the start"?

Twinkies were invented in 1930; Wonder Bread was invented in 1921. And need I point out that another purveyor of "crap", Coca Cola was apparently doomed from the start in 1886?

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:11 PM

208. I've eaten Twinkies my whole life, and I'm 57.

You can look down your snooty nose at those horrible disgusting things if you want to, and eat your organic bullshit healthy food, but an occasional Twinkie hasn't given me diabetes or any other diet-related disorder.

Sometimes I really loathe liberal nannies.

Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #208)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:33 PM

228. I remember eating Twinkies back in the mid sixties. The cream filled

 

center tasted like real cream, loved them. Did not eat another Twinkie until a few years ago, when they were giving them away at my work place, wow, terrible chemical "cream"? filling. The entire desert had changed for the worse, not at all like I remembered from my childhood.
I don't eat a lot of sweets simply because I don't like them, but fresh whipped cream over strawberries, yup, like that.

Like you said, Occasional is OK.

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Response to crunch60 (Reply #228)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:38 PM

234. Do they still make Ho Hos and Snowballs? or was that a diff company?

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #234)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:18 PM

246. Yes they make Snowballs and Ho,Ho's didn't really like them, I only liked Ding Dong's

 

and Twinkies. The later years, these dessert's were packed with chemicals, I guess to preserve shelf life, awful tasting garbage.

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Response to crunch60 (Reply #246)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:48 PM

263. I don't like coconut so didn't like snowballs

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #263)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:05 PM

274. exact reason I didn't like snowballs...the coconut

 

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Response to crunch60 (Reply #274)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:13 PM

278. I like coconut - for me it was the marshmallow.

Suzy-Q's either, for the same reason.

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Response to Spirochete (Reply #278)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:39 AM

291. no marshmallow in suzie-q's

they were chocolate cakes with cream filling.

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Response to shanti (Reply #291)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 02:06 AM

294. Are you sure?

Seems to me I remember something chocolate with marshmallow in the middle. Thought it was Suzie-Q's...

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Response to Spirochete (Reply #294)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:28 AM

296. suzie q's have a kream filling, like twinkies

the snowballs are marshmallow covered, though.

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Response to shanti (Reply #296)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 07:21 PM

303. Hmmm... OK

I must have been thinking about something else entirely. Thanks.

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Response to Bake (Reply #208)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:10 PM

258. Little Debbie

Little Debbie makes a twinkie-ish cake. They are even better than Hostess.

Well... better tasting, not better for you. As a matter of fact, I think they are probably remarkably bad for you.

But, you know, whatever.

Their version of HoHo's (called Swiss Cake Rolls) are also way better.

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Response to Chellee (Reply #258)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:09 PM

277. non-union.

 

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Response to Bake (Reply #208)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:16 PM

288. Yeah. I'm a nanny. Have another twinkie.

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:11 PM

268. It must be nice to be able to aquire whatever luxurious,

immaculately and healthily prepared snack food you prefer over Hostess. Or perhaps those of us who have an occasional snack cake (I like Zingers) are just gluttons and you're better because you have more self-control.

I'm sure the bakers and all the others who worked at Hostess appreciate your characterization of their product as "disgusting".

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:25 AM

2. Won't the liquidation simply move the trademarks to other firms?

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Response to JVS (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:35 AM

10. And that would do WHAT, exactly, FOR the erstwhile hostess employees?

NOTHING, is the answer.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:44 AM

30. If there is a demand for the product, another company will sell it.

And that company will need to hire workers to make it, distribute it, market it and sell it.

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Response to Ian David (Reply #30)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:21 AM

53. Quite true. Besides, there are already plenty of bread companies

that make "Twinkies" and "Ho-Ho's" ripoffs. It's not like Americans will have any trouble finding sugar and carbs.

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Response to Ian David (Reply #30)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:54 AM

66. unless they have spare capacity at their bakerys

and even if the take over the old bakeries they can hire new workers under whatever term they will work. no union.

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #66)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:57 AM

116. There is THAT. n/t

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:09 AM

69. Oh, they are fucked.

This is the same process airlines do all the time. Go bankrupt, chapter 11. Then negociate pay cuts with the union. If Union says no, then they proceed to liquidation. Someone buys airline cheap. Repaints the airplanes. Rinse, repeat.

Someone will buy recipes, trademarks, et al. Hire back employees at lower wages or automize then out of a job. Then we get our snack pastry back.

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Response to AngryAmish (Reply #69)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:57 PM

244. Sounds like America to me.

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Response to JVS (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:46 AM

62. I suspect that is their plan to liquidate and reacquire the trademarks and start a new company..

which will be non-union.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #62)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:13 AM

70. Pension debt is non-dischargeable

If the same people just make up a new company to get out from under pension obligations then the new company will be in real trouble and peope should go to jail

I think. ERISA makes my brain hurt.

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Response to AngryAmish (Reply #70)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:05 AM

122. Tell the workers at United Air Lines about that.

Some of them ended up getting pensions less than half of what they were promised.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #122)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:11 AM

129. United was a Chapter 11 reorganization, not a chapter 7 liquidation

United was not liquidated then purchased back by the same people. Apples/oranges. Under a reorganization the bankruptcy referee er judge can eliminate pensions or reduce them. (bk is not my field either but I think I'm right.)

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Response to AngryAmish (Reply #129)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:03 PM

154. hostess declared chap 11 in jan.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #154)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:33 AM

297. But now they are liquidating. Correct? Which would mean converting to 7. No?

Which happens a lot with individual. Starts with an 11 and converts to 7.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #62)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:52 AM

83. Bingo

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:26 AM

3. Not to worry. There's enough Twinkies on the shelves to last several decades ...

... and they'll still be "fresh" after all that time too!

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Response to Scuba (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:00 AM

89. +1000 (years)

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Response to librechik (Reply #89)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:14 AM

132. LOL!

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:28 AM

4. Its sad for the employees

but honestly, this is shit food that no life form should ingest. Maybe if Hostess hadn't manufactured empty calories that poisoned our kids they would still be around. I can only hope this becomes a trend with other junk food companies.

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Response to Sedona (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:37 AM

14. Wow. Your throwaway line of "It's sad for the employees" is touching. NOT.

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Response to Sedona (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:41 AM

23. I agree with you. Marketing crap to kids bothers me.

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Response to Sedona (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:47 AM

34. I haven't eaten any of their products in decades.

 

It would be great if someone were to buy them out and reopen with a healthier line. The facilities and workers are there.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #34)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:26 AM

98. Yes!

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Response to lalalu (Reply #34)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:20 AM

141. Not since there are far better snack available pretty much anywhere you look...

I haven't had any ho ho's since I quit with the pot in the early 80's...

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Response to Sedona (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:15 AM

133. What? Their food is a marvel of engineering. nt

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Response to Sedona (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:04 PM

155. baloney

 

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:30 AM

5. ... and all because they'd rather pay executives exorbitant salaries ...

... than pay their workers.


Mis-management claims more job losses.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:31 AM

6. This isn't a JOKE. The REST of the story involves the Bakers' Union, fair compensation, and Wall St.

http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/14/news/companies/hostess-liquidation-thursday/index.html

"Our members are on strike because they have had enough," bakers' union president Frank Hurt said in a statement Tuesday. "They are not willing to take draconian wage and benefit cuts on top of the significant concessions they made in 2004 and give up their pension so that the Wall Street vulture capitalists in control of this company can walk away with millions of dollars." ......

The bakers' union claimed Hostess was planning to close the three bakeries in any case, accusing the company of continually issuing public statements "that are erroneous at best and disingenuous at worst." Hostess responded that while it had initially planned to sell or close nine plants as part of a previous reorganization plan, those plans had since been put on hold, with the strike prompting Monday's closures.

The new contract cuts salaries across the company by 8% in the first year of the five-year agreement. Salaries then bump up 3% in the next three years and 1% in the final year.

Hostess has also reduced its pension obligations and its contribution to the employees' health care plan. In exchange, the company offered concessions including a 25% equity stake for workers and the inclusion of two union representatives on an eight-member board of directors.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:38 AM

15. Yep....that's the real story. The workers won't knuckle under, so the owners are taking....

....their ball, collecting their millions, and going home. The workers will be left on the street until the new owner comes in, who may or may not hire them back.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #15)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:53 AM

38. Shouldn't "bankrupt" mean that...

You don't walk away with millions. I mean in a sane world...

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Response to dchill (Reply #38)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:39 AM

77. That's what I thought.

If I hear of execs walking away with golden parachutes in this story, I'm going to fucking go ape shit.


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Response to dchill (Reply #38)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:40 PM

181. the owners of the company will get zero

the secured creditors will get repaid most of what they are owed. the unsecured creditors will probably get nothing

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:49 AM

63. most of the unions agreed to the cuts

1 union held out. the result is everyone loses their jobs.
you may bitch and moan about management all you want but that doesnt change things. when you file bankruptcy you lose the right to decide your own future. the investors in hostess will recieve nothing. the people that get paid pack are hostesses creditors. their suppliers.

the company has admitted management sucked. that doesnt change things. the union had a choice. take a cut and keep working or no cut and lose their jobs. the union chose suicide.

you claim that wall street and vulture capitalists can walk away with millions. how exactly will they walk away with millions. the majority of hostess debts are secured loans.



these are the major unsecured creditors. these are the ones who will be paid last

Bakery & Confectionery Union & Industry International Pension Fund
Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund
Interstate Brands Corporation-International Brotherhood of Teamsters National Negotiating Committee
New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund
Stationary Engineers Union, Local 39
I.A.M. National Pension Fund
Caravan Ingredients Inc.
Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers International Union
New England Teamsters and Trucking Industry Pension Fund

so not only did the union cost themselves their jobs they hurt their own pension fund.

the union was stupid.

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #63)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:58 AM

88. Sorry, I didn't realize a living wage was stupid

I didn't realize that anyone who objected to slave labor rates was stupid. I didn't understand the foolishness of some people who wanted to work to live, instead of live to work.

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Response to Savannahmann (Reply #88)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:44 AM

108. So current wage = living wage, 8% cut = slave labor?

Do you even know how much they made and what the 8% cut amounted to?

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Response to DesMoinesDem (Reply #108)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:56 AM

115. I know that cuts this year, mean more cuts next year.

I know that when you start giving up to Management, then you never stop losing. That is the history of the movement. Give up 8% this year, and in two, or three years, you'll have to give up something else that Management says the can't "afford".

I know when you surrender something to those who are exploiting you, you never see it again. I also know this about it. I know the Union Members, that would be the workers, felt it was too much. They thought about it, and decided to stick to their guns. As a supporter of workers, I will trust them to decide what is right FOR THEM. I will not join Management in dictating terms they must accept.

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Response to Savannahmann (Reply #115)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:10 AM

128. But you don't know how much they made and were offered

so why are you calling it slave labor rates when you are completely ignorant of the actual numbers?

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Response to DesMoinesDem (Reply #128)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:35 PM

174. Do you know?

if not, how can you defend it?

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Response to demwing (Reply #174)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:34 PM

229. I didn't defend it.

I asked how he could call it slave labor rates when he doesn't even know what the rates are. I don't know what they are paid so I won't ignorantly describe the wage as slave labor.

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Response to DesMoinesDem (Reply #229)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:09 PM

257. "I don't know what they are paid..."

So, why would you assume it was a labor controlled issue?

Buying companies, leveraging the debt, parachuting golden showers on labor with the threat of the company going under if they don't cave doesn't paint a labor problem to me.

But, you don't know what they were paid, so this doesn't make you ignorant.... on opposite day.

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Response to MrMickeysMom (Reply #257)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:55 PM

266. I assumed nothing.

Obviously you can't read. Maybe you should try reading what I actually wrote instead of making a fool of yourself.

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Response to DesMoinesDem (Reply #266)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 05:53 AM

295. That's what people say when they've been threatened by logic...

Sorry if it hurt real bad. Try hurling insults elsewhere, please.

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Response to MrMickeysMom (Reply #295)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 01:00 PM

298. No, that is the response you get when you use no logic.

You said I assumed it was a labor controlled issue. I never said anything close to saying it was a labor controlled issue. I assumed nothing. Try reading what I actually wrote instead of arguing with a strawman you invented.

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Response to DesMoinesDem (Reply #298)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:28 PM

307. Really?

I thought, to ask a THIS kind of question was demonstrating a bit of logical fallacy -

"So current wage = living wage, 8% cut = slave labor?
Do you even know how much they made and what the 8% cut amounted to?"

So, your offering of that testimony, according to you meant, "I assumed nothing", eh? Of course you were assuming something.

You were making a quite obvious that to take an 8% pay cut was not a labor concession. Either that, or you were babbling to the point. But, your point was to cast DOUBT on WHY ANY union might make such a concession.

I called you on that statement as a bunch of horse feathers, and you know it.

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Response to MrMickeysMom (Reply #307)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:08 PM

309. how can you still not understand? Seriously?

"You were making a quite obvious that to take an 8% pay cut was not a labor concession."

No, that is something you completely invented. I never mentioned, nor meant to mention, anything about labor concessions. You're trying to invent some meaning that isn't there. I simply asked how he could call a wage slave labor when he didn't know what the wage is. I wanted to point out that when you have an equation y - .08y = x, you can't describe x without knowing what y is. My point was about simple math, yet you can't understand it, even after repeated explanation. Apparently you and some other people can look at that equation and just blurt out x is slave labor! and feel good about yourselves, but really you just make yourself look stupid.

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Response to DesMoinesDem (Reply #309)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:01 PM

310. Buh-bye...

Enough of you.

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Response to MrMickeysMom (Reply #310)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:44 PM

311. You finally realized you're wrong!

Thank god. Took long enough.

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Response to DesMoinesDem (Reply #311)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:52 AM

312. If that makes you feel better about yourself... Go for it, DD

Maybe it will substitute for the external validation you constantly sought here.

I don't think you'd find anyone else here that might agree with you, but if that was your quest, consider it done, as I am with your sorry ass attitude.

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Response to MrMickeysMom (Reply #312)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:03 AM

313. I don't need validation for basic math problems.

I understand math, you don't. You obviously try to distract from your ignorance of math by attacking straw men that you create. So sorry it didn't work on me. Better luck next time!

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Response to DesMoinesDem (Reply #128)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:20 PM

223. Let me get this straight.

The position of the members of DEMOCRATIC underground is that the Unions make too much money? When did we become a shadow organization for the Rethugs? The Rethugs are the ones who always shout, scream, claim, and state that the Unions make too much money. That is their excuse for shipping jobs overseas all the damn time. Now we are shouting much the same thing from the rooftops? Damn those bakers, making too much money. Pfui.

Why are we buying into the crap that the Rethugs dish out? Why are we forgetting that Unions are the last true Democratic association on earth? Only in Unions are the members responsible for deciding the direction of the whole.

What is going to happen? Hostess owners, the private group that has dictated terms too long, will start an offshore group. Probably in the Caymans with Romney, and they'll start a holding company. That company will start another company here, that buys all of Hostess's name brands, and the factories at Fire Sale prices. Then the company will screw the workers by hiring them back at pennies on the dollar.

Yet instead of the Unions doing the smart thing, filing a motion with the Bankruptcy court, to take over the company, and manage it themselves. They're talking like Rethugs and blaming those damned bakers who wanted too much money. Hostess could with a little work, become an employee owned business. Yet instead, we're joining the Rethugs in blaming the Unions. So the Union members had a choice of getting fucked a little, or fucked a lot. What is the difference? You're still fucked. Fucked a little this year, fucked a little more next year.

So fuck the Unions, and fuck the workers. We defeated Robme, and instead of moving forward with OUR ideas and agenda. We're going to take over his.

My feeling is this. The MEMBERS of the Union would not accept the concessions. The PEOPLE at the center of this voted to do this. I always back the PEOPLE involved. I'm ashamed that so many of you seem to readily buy into the Rethug talking points. Who do we throw overboard next since the accepted wisdom is that the fucking Unions are so fucking Greedy.

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Response to Savannahmann (Reply #223)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:37 PM

231. You can't answer the question because you are completely ignorant

of the actual numbers. Just admit it was extremely stupid to assume that an 8% pay cut amounted to working for slave labor rates.

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Response to DesMoinesDem (Reply #231)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:55 PM

243. Let's see just how ignorant you are

Get your little fingers busy, pull up your favorite search engine, and tell me what sort of raise the Hostess CEO got earlier this year.

Once you've availed yourself of some facts, you come back and tell me just how stupid unions are.

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Reply #243)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:40 PM

249. Do I even bother responding to you when it is obvious you can't read?

Please show where where I called unions stupid. Please explain to me how the salary of the CEO is relevant to the question of whether or not employees make 'slave labor rates'. Enough of these strawman arguments. If you have nothing rational to say, don't respond. I asked how he could call the employees wages slave labor when he doesn't even know what they make. That's it. Learn to read.

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Response to DesMoinesDem (Reply #249)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:17 PM

280. Well, you did bother responding to me, so I'm guessing the answer to your rhetorical is "yes".

Do you really think it's obvious that I cannot read?
Please do regale me with more of your unmatched observations.

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Response to DesMoinesDem (Reply #231)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:49 PM

272. What kind of Dem are you?

Are all Democrats in Iowa marching in lock step with the Rethug talking points? Are you merely a RW Instigator? I don't know. Democrats support Unions. We don't drink the RW Kool Aide. We don't blame the Unions.

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Response to Savannahmann (Reply #272)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:48 PM

282. All you have are strawmen.

Not one logical argument in response to my post. All I said was you can't call it slave labor rates if you don't even know what the rates are! I never mentioned unions. I never made any RW talking points. I never posted anything anti-union. I guess you are just pissed that I pointed out this obvious fact and you don't want to admit you are wrong so you refuse to address the issue. Democrats don't use straw man arguments. Maybe you are some RW plant to try to make us look stupid by only responding with strawman arguments.

I'll say it again. How do you know they are slave labor rates if you don't know the rates? If you can't answer that question don't respond.

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Response to DesMoinesDem (Reply #282)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:33 PM

308. Uh- oh...

It's those damned straw men again!


Is this troll-worthy or WHAT?

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Response to DesMoinesDem (Reply #231)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 01:44 AM

292. Well, here are some numbers for you:

http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/16/news/companies/hostess-workers/

Mike Hummell, a receiving clerk and a member of the Bakers' union working in Lenexa, Kan., said he was making about $48,000 in 2005 before the company's first trip through bankruptcy. Concessions during that reorganization cut his pay to $34,000 last year, earning $16.12 an hour. He said the latest contract demands would have cut his pay to about $25,000, with significantly higher out-of-pocket expenses for insurance.


So in just a few years his pay is cut in half. I wonder if his living expenses were cut in half? Apparently not:

"The point is the jobs they're offering us aren't worth saving," he said Friday. "It instantly casts me into poverty. I wouldn't be able to make my house payment. My take-home would be less than unemployment benefits. Being on unemployment while we search for a new job, that's a better choice than working these hours for poverty wages."


And from one of the drivers:

"The company has been in decline for years. There was no way it was going to get fixed," he said. "Everybody I worked with was looking for other jobs anyway."


Blame the workers though, not management. It's always the workers' fault. And who do we think we are to expect to be paid enough money to live on here in the greatest country in the world that has trillions to spend on war, and so little to spend on its own people.

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Response to Savannahmann (Reply #115)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:12 AM

131. Well, they won't have to worry about any cuts next year

 

With the current proposal (until the door were shuttered), they would have gotten 3% raises over the next 3 years.

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Response to Savannahmann (Reply #115)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:27 PM

164. and if you didnt like it you could find another job

but you would have a job while you looked instead of being unemployed

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #164)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 01:49 AM

293. Maybe you should learn a little more about what was going on before attacking

Labor. The company was going under anyhow, and many of the workers knew the writing was on the wall, they were already looking for other jobs. Bad management seems to have been the problem, not workers. They should have been honest with workers although it appears they have been in trouble for a long time.

But Right Wingers of course are jumping all over it, , because they never miss an opportunity to bash Labor.

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Response to Savannahmann (Reply #88)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:53 AM

111. no one forces then to work there

if you dont like it quit...
but now whether you were willing to work there or not you dont have that choice. everyone is out of a job.
its a case of the union being stupid.

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #111)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:08 AM

123. Then Hostess could hire Scabs couldn't they?

But they didn't. Why not if one little union with a few people were standing in the way? Unions represent Workers, and in this case, everyone involved qualified as SKILLED LABOR. A Labor is worth the compensation. Question, why is it that Workers are always supposed to give things up, while Management sits around in thousand dollar suits and makes hundreds of dollars taking a leak every day? Ford impressed me when they were going through trouble. The first thing the CEO did was cut his pay to one dollar a year. Then he talked contracts with the employees. He started from the morally strong position. He would sacrifice first, before he asked the employees to.

Did Hostess Management give up anything but the three martini lunch if that? No, they never do. Oh they'll lay off a couple middle management types, but cut into their own pay? Never. Why didn't Management offer a joint ownership offer with the Unions? A percentage of the profits? Anything to concede? Do they ever? I've read two articles that said Hostess admitted to being poorly managed. So what change do they suggest? Why the workers need to get less. Bah, the Management needs to be taken out and fired. The owners needed to offer a joint ownership plan with the workers. You sacrifice for long term benefits, not for short term gains. A joint ownership plan with the Unions would have shown the Unions that they were serious about setting the company on a long term growth and stability program. Instead, they demanded that the same fools who got them into this mess keep running the company into the ground while the Unions got the stinky end of the stick.

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Response to Savannahmann (Reply #123)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:24 AM

143. Top 4 Hostess executives have been making $1 per year since April, 2012. So do they

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Response to kelly1mm (Reply #143)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:53 AM

148. Six months before filing for Chapter 11,

top managers got a huge raise, and the company eliminated its 401 K match for rank and file employees. The executives probably received other forms of compensation as well, such as cash bonuses.

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Response to kelly1mm (Reply #143)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:19 PM

158. oh, bull. that was a PR move after a court found they'd raised their own salaries 80%

 

while stopping payments to the workers' pension fund, & getting $100 million in concessions from the union. The big executive salaries were to be restored within the year.


Fortune reported that unions within the organization had been unhappy with Driscoll's proposed compensation package of $1.5 million, plus cash incentives and a $1.95 million "long term compensation" package. Additionally, the court had discovered that Hostess executives had received raises of up to 80% the year prior. In an effort to restore relations, Rayburn cut the salaries of the four top Hostess executives to $1, to be restored on January 1 the following year.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/49853653

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Response to kelly1mm (Reply #143)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:46 PM

188. Always coming down on the side of Management. ALWAYS.

You and your anti-Labor friends in this thread defending the Vultures, it warms my heart.

Like the looters need a defender against words on a website.


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Response to rdking647 (Reply #111)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:43 PM

184. are there no workhouses? no debtors prisons?

your compassion is fucking underwhelming.

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #111)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:47 PM

189. "No one forces them to work there."

Biggest anti-union piece of bullshit fucking statement in existence.

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Response to eqfan592 (Reply #189)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:16 PM

219. K&R!

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Response to eqfan592 (Reply #189)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:41 PM

250. CORRECT

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #111)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:54 PM

254. Look at the right wingers come out of the woodwork...nt

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #63)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:02 AM

90. Boo!

Revolution hurts, but when the workers are asked to take an 8% pay cut and a 25% cut in benefits while the top executives are giving themselves 80-300% increases in compensation, those people need to make a f*cking stand, come what may! When do you suggest they put their foot down? When the Corporados demand they work bare minimum wage? When the executives decide it's time to send their jobs overseas? These unpatriotic, inhuman greedy pieces of filth need to be taken to task.

And the CEO says: Let them eat cake.
To which I respond: Eat the rich!

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #63)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:58 AM

152. They took big cuts in 2004


That cash was supposed to be reinvested in the company. It went to management and investors instead.

“They sought to force the workers, who had already taken significant wage and benefit cuts, to absorb even greater cuts including the loss of their pension contributions. I have said consistently throughout this process that the BCTGM is a highly democratic organization and that our Hostess members themselves would determine their future. By an overwhelming majority, 92 percent, these workers rejected the company’s outrageous proposal, fully aware of the potential consequences.

Care to change your stupid comment?


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Response to rdking647 (Reply #63)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:10 PM

156. hostess stopped making payments to the pension fund last year. unilaterally. against

 

the law, but nothing happened to them.

By December 2011 it was reported that Hostess Brands was on the verge of filing for bankruptcy a second time after it suspended payments for union pensions and was struggling to remain current on its $700 million loan.

On January 10, 2012 Hostess Brands filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy for the second time. In a statement in its filing, the company said it "is not competitive, primarily due to legacy pension and medical benefit obligations and restrictive work rules." The company said it employs 19,000 people and carries more than $860 million in debt...

In March 2012, Brian Driscoll resigned from his position as CEO. Gregory Rayburn, who had been hired and named Chief Restructuring Officer only nine days earlier, assumed the leadership position. Fortune reported that unions within the organization had been unhappy with Driscoll's proposed compensation package of $1.5 million, plus cash incentives and a $1.95 million "long term compensation" package. Additionally, the court had discovered that Hostess executives had received raises of up to 80% the year prior. In an effort to restore relations, Rayburn cut the salaries of the four top Hostess executives to $1, to be restored on January 1 the following year....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hostess_Brands

Nearly DOUBLING their own salaries while cutting workers' pay and stopping pension payments -- poor babies.

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #63)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:41 PM

183. 7 fucking CEOs in 10 years..

you think THEY walked away empty handed? quit blaming working folks for wanting a living wage ffs.

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Response to frylock (Reply #183)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:16 PM

216. +1

I'm sick of seeing union bashers on DU.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:31 AM

7. Oh no, things can get violent with Twinkie addicts.

 

&feature=player_detailpage

If it weren't for the job losses this would be good.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:33 AM

9. SNOWBALLS!!!! nt

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:40 AM

21. I remember peeling off and eating the marshmallow part

Plus I used to eat the fruit pies as a kid.

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Response to maryellen99 (Reply #21)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:56 AM

40. Even as a kid I couldn't eat them.

 

They were all pink and gooey and just looked weird I am sure Freud would have something to say about this.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:32 AM

8. How many type II diabetics owe their lot to Hostess?

Just sayin.....

still sad to see them go, I have to admit....

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:36 AM

11. That's the least I'd expect from a DEMOCRAT.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:03 AM

44. Meaning WHAT?



Get off your high horse... No one here wants to see union jobs lost. That said, the company hardly is one of great social conscience--even before their union busting policies.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #44)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:42 AM

78. It is not that easy to explain diabetes, type 1 and type 2.

You don't eat something and then get diabetes. With type 2, your body has to have cells that don't want to use insulin correctly. Being overweight certainly doesn't help but eating something specific is but one factor in many. Family history, age, ethnicity all have factors as well for type 2. I have type 1 and people ask me all the time about what I can eat. Any carb and fruit will make my blood sugar go up.

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Response to Jennicut (Reply #78)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:53 AM

85. Thank you for pointing that out

 

The ignorance and piety on this thread are breathtaking.

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Response to Floyd_Gondolli (Reply #85)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:18 AM

94. You need to do some research yourself.

Badly.. if you think our highly processed low fiber, sugar-filled diets have not had an incredible role in our epidemic of obesity, insulin resistance and ultimately TYPE II diabetes. Yes, sedentary lifestyle likewise, but if you think our diet has not influenced our current horrible state of health and led to an incredible previously unheard of epidemic of obesity and TYPE II diabetes among children, let alone adults, you really are out of touch.

Ignorance, indeed.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #94)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:56 AM

114. Of course that's not what I wrote

 

We get it. You're from Colorado. Fittest state in the country. You climb 14k peaks backwards and can do 1,000 push ups with one hand. You look down on all the lowland types with their BBQ and snack cakes. Message received.

Maybe the people who lost their jobs can pay their bills with your piety.

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Response to Floyd_Gondolli (Reply #114)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:42 AM

145. I tried.

I have been through diabetes hell and back and been tested, poked and prodded. Was treated as a type 2 and then type 1. I have had a lot of comments by people that know little about it.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #94)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:22 PM

159. you don't get diabetes (T2) from eating sugary foods. you get diabetes from eating too

 

much, too often, and not moving enough.

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Response to Jennicut (Reply #78)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:14 AM

92. GOod Lord... Hostess and its fiber free highly processed white bread and sugary products are

emblematic of the very diet that has caused obesity and its accompanying risk for type II diabetes. Did twinkies cause it? No, but eating this crap to ultimate obesity, along with our society's sedentary lifestyle-- leads to insulin resistance. Inform YOURSELF.

And, you really should know better than to conflate Type I and Type II diabetes... To suggest you know anything of the two when you do so is quite telling.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #92)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:39 AM

144. I was diagnosed as a type 2 first.

Because I was diagnosed as an adult, there was some confusion as to which diabetes I had. I was treated as a type 2 for about 8 months. It happens to a lot of us.
Part of it was about diet but diet only does not lead to type 2. Insulin resistance has many factors, like I pointed out. I did not say that eating certain types of foods was healthy or did not contribute to type 2. I said it was one factor in many.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:53 AM

84. None

 

Unless those hostess products grew legs and crawled into their mouths.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:19 AM

139. Union-made HFCS-based packaged snack foods can't hurt you

 

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:37 AM

13. I don't think many here understand: this is another body blow to unions and the labor movement n/t

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:39 AM

18. Not enough read my post up-thread, it seems.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:40 AM

22. It's as bad as what happened to the air traffic controllers.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #22)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:43 AM

28. For a brand-conscious society like ours, it may be even worse.

It's Wisconsin again.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #22)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:50 AM

37. A lot of people who now

 

call themselves democrats and progressives cheered that too. Ms Huffington Post herself went on the air and praised Reagan. I remember it well.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:42 AM

26. I agree and that is the only sad part.

 

Maybe some celebrities who are always bragging about being organic and into promoting healthy living can step in? The facilities are there and so are the workers. They can buy and reopen with a healthier menu. I bet it would sell. Enough with the concerts and fundraisers that never reach people anyway. Here is a chance to do something constructive.

Oprah spent 40 million building a school in South Africa. She could spend that much here. Oprah whole wheat bread should sell well to her groupies.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:18 AM

50. This impacts people I know. :(

I agree.

Sad.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:22 AM

54. I definitely get that.

I am merely deeply morally-ambivalent about it.

I'm staunchly pro-union and will always be so, I've even argued before that in situations such as this that the workers should be treated as creditors for the fulfillment of previous agreements like pensions and belong at the front of the line, not the end. I've argued in the face of monolithic opposition from both conservatives and corporatist (fake) Democrats for repeal of Taft-Hartley as to re-empower labor to actually fight effectively for the rights of workers. I think that board-members and shareholders should be wiped out by these sorts of bankruptcy/reorganizations...it should be illegal for them to walk away with one red cent.

At the same time, it's hard to be upset over Hostess going belly-up because their toxic food no longer sells well, same as it'd be hard to be be upset over McDonald's going out-of-business because people started eating healthier or major military conglomerates like UTC and Northrop-Grumman closing up shop because of declining-demand for their billion-dollar war-toys.

UTC or Northrop going under would put a hell of a lot more union workers out of work...but somehow I think there would be a lot more celebration and less hand-wringing at DU over it.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:36 AM

58. Yes, But

what's that compared to the scourge of mankind represented by a Hostess Twinkie.

I never understand the constant equation on DU of food with morality. Sheesh, if you don't like it don't eat it, but the moralizing gets old.

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Response to RobinA (Reply #58)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:46 AM

79. in the minds of some

putting 18k people out of work is ok to protect people from having teh choice to buy or not buy something they dont agree with

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Response to RobinA (Reply #58)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:14 PM

212. + infinity

The nanny-staters can bite me.

Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #212)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:30 AM

315. Knowing them, they would claim you are unhealthy and refuse to bite you.



Seeing post after post of the food morality police gets old. Hostess also made whole wheat bread, using actual healthy ingredients, but everybody is concentrating on the sweets, because that was what they were more known for.

I am still trying to process all of this information, but if I understand correctly, isn't Hostess closing to keep from paying regular workers a fair wage after giving their CEOs huge raises? If that is the case, that is a lot of workers out of jobs because of Hostess' greed. To think, they'd rather close their entire business than pay the ones who do the actual work.

If anyone here was in the part of any of the factories that made the Merita Hamburger Buns and Hot Dog Buns, nice buns! Those were the best, most amazing buns. They kept their shape nicely and could stand up to my clumsy sandwich/hamburger and/or hot dog preparation tactics in the kitchen. The reason I say tactics is that my kitchen is part construction site/part war zone as I cook out of necessity, not joy. Never be surprised if I break out a drill and start looking for drill bits while cooking or when, not if, I break out a screwdriver to open a pop top can. I do whatever I have to do to make my cooking easier and quicker.

I really appreciated those buns and I will miss them. That was great work. They still looked like hot dogs and hamburgers when I finished with them. The others never held up so nicely.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:37 AM

76. +1

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:24 PM

161. they're too busy worrying about what other people eat. it's a democratic principle,

 

monitoring other people's diets. lots more important than unions these days.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)


Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:40 AM

19. Oh, the laff-riot is such a help to the now-unemployed UNION MEMBERS.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #19)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:42 AM

27. Your point is well-taken. Post is deleted.

The brand still has value, and the world can't survive without Ding Dongs. Somebody is going to make them, and one hopes that the new owners won't be douchebags.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:41 AM

24. WHERE ARE THE DU DEMOCRATS? THIS WAS A UNION STRUGGLE, NOT A COMEDY.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #24)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:19 AM

51. no shit

Terrible.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #24)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:26 AM

56. +1...nt

Sid

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #24)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:24 AM

95. +2

I read in another story that the bakery had already informed the mayor that they were closing bakeries. Blaming this on union demands is not progressive.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #24)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:41 AM

105. +1,000,000,000 x 1,000,000,000 - n/t

 

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #24)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:21 AM

142. This Democrat thinks human nutrition transcends political alliances

 

It's unfortunate that the workers and management at Hostess were unable to work out an arrangement that included a shift to more nutritious foods.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #142)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:30 PM

167. yeah, it's too bad 20,000 people & their kids won't eat at all, but it's necessary

 

so that no one will ever put a poisonous twinkie to their lips.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #167)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:04 PM

203. That's right. Next step should be to put the tobacco companies out of business.

 

Their workers are also unionized, I believe. Time for more strikes.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #203)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:12 PM

209. not sure what your point is but you seem to have a problem with unions.

 

and also a problem with what people eat and put into their own bodies.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #209)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:16 PM

218. Unions are great, but the fact that a company that makes harmful products uses union labor...

 

...doesn't make the products any less harmful.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #218)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:28 PM

226. there will be plenty of non-union companies who will step in to pick up the slack.

 

personally, i have no problem with sugary snacks or tobacco, the supposed harmful effects of which are due as much to a social environment of depressed unemployed/minimum wage workers in an highly unequal society in decline as the supposed properties of the "evil" itself.

and this can be verified by comparison with other societies.

but hey, glad you're so interested in people's 'health'.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #218)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:36 PM

230. Define "harmful". The FDA disagrees with you.

What Hostess produces is safe and fit for human consumption.

Firearms are made with union labor, too.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #142)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:55 PM

242. so what other businesses do you propose be shut down for the sake of health and nutrition?

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #24)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:56 PM

255. +1, at least there are some of us left. nt

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Response to Union Scribe (Reply #255)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:33 PM

260. +2 Another Union Brother reporting in. UE here. nt

 

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:45 AM

31. This is just plain old union busting

The fact that it was union busting over junk food doesn't change the fact that a union was busted.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #31)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:49 AM

35. True. n/t

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:46 AM

32. perhaps the employees can take over the business

Or open new better quality breads companies.

bake real cakes and breads without those shelf life extenders and corn syrups of doom.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #32)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:00 AM

42. +1.

There's got to be a market for that. In my town, I can't find anything that even tastes like bread anymore. We lost our local bakeries a long time ago, but now even the in-store bakeries that used to be not-too-bad are bad. Whatever made bread taste good must have ruined somebody's margin.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #32)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:05 AM

46. Consumers prefer the cheaper, longer shelf-life product.

Sadly.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:47 AM

33. So maybe it's time we all learn that the top-down business model is flawed?

Workers need to own a large share of the company they work for..
.. and share in its profits equitably.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:50 AM

36. It's sad, but the truth is that their sales have been declining for a while...


...at some point, there's nothing you can do. Not every job can be saved.

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #36)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:31 PM

169. scuse me? revenues were $2.798 BILLION in 2008.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #169)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:35 PM

173. So what? I'm sure their expenses were just as high, if not higher.

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #173)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:18 PM

221. no, their hedge fund debt load was higher. the union gave them $110 million/year

 

in labor concessions in 2009 & they quit making payments to the union pension fund.

meanwhile, the execs doubled their own salaries.

control fraud and looting is the reason for their "expenses".

not to mention that the point of my post was to counter the idea that their business was off because no one was buying their "unhealthy" food products.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #169)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:36 PM

176. and their net income was -US$143.68million hardly enough to stay in business

especially considering they filed for bankruptcy 10 years ago.

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Response to cbdo2007 (Reply #176)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:30 PM

227. yes, purposely loading up on hedge fund debt, accounting fraud & looting can do that.

 

always a contingent at DU ready to speak up for the poor, beleaguered corporations.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #227)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:45 PM

240. Yep, and always people who don't understand economics trying to make economic points.

Thanks for playing! Sorry to hurt your argument with facts.

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Response to cbdo2007 (Reply #240)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:48 PM

241. lol. "The whole business was about maximizing debt, extracting cash, cutting head

 

counts, skimping on capital spending, outsourcing production, and dressing up the deal for the earliest, highest-profit exit possible. Occasionally, we did invest in genuine growth companies, but without cheap debt and deep tax subsidies, most deals would not make economic sense."

"In truth, LBOs are capitalism’s natural undertakers—vulture investors who feed on failing businesses. Due to bad policy, however, they have now become monsters of the financial midway that strip-mine cash from healthy businesses and recycle it mostly to the top 1 percent."

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/14/david-stockman-mitt-romney-and-the-bain-drain.html


did you vote for mitt romney, too?

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #241)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:44 PM

271. Of course, everyone who is good at math did *sarcasm*

The first sign you've won an argument on DU is when the other person accuses you of being a Repube.

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Response to cbdo2007 (Reply #271)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:06 PM

275. The first sign you've lost an argument is when you start the personal attacks. That's

 

you.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #275)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:20 PM

290. Facts are now personal attacks???

You must be a Romney voter.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #169)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:44 PM

187. revenue doesn mean shit if expenses are higher than that

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #187)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:16 PM

217. "expenses" = all the debt the vulture hedge funds loaded them up with, plus a soupcon

 

of accounting fraud.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #169)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:15 PM

215. Apparently this union took cuts in 2008 as well.

Corporations seem to have a way of making themselves look rich and successful to their shareholders but poor and on the brink of ruin to their employees.

I don't doubt hostess financials are in decline, but I doubt upper management has given up their millions in bonuses, stock options, and benefits.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:57 AM

41. It'd be nice if the unions could buy them out and run it like the Alvarado Street Bakery... nt

 

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:03 AM

43. Damn. Working in grocery means I know a lot of folks

who work for Hostess. These are guys who have worked for ten, twenty years delivering and merchandising product. Now a union-busting move by fat cat assholes means they'll be out of work.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:07 AM

47. Meanwhile,

if you happen to find a Twinkie made in 1932 it will still look like you just bought it.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:08 AM

48. 2nd bankruptcy for this company

says Wiki.
THIS time around, the company says it
"is not competitive, primarily due to legacy pension and medical benefit obligations and restrictive work rules."
yet
company CEO wh o fled in March of this year had huge compensation package and head honchos had given themselves 80% pay increases last year.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hostess_Brands

Sounds like the usual pattern of sucking the company dry of cash, including the worker's pensions, then blaming the union protest for bankruptcy.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #48)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:32 PM

170. 3rd. 2004, & they'd already filed chap 11 in Jan.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #170)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:27 PM

259. Wow..sounds like bankruptcy is a business model.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:19 AM

52. Twinkies! I ate some back in the 70s.

I got really stoned one night and ate about 6 of them. Never touched them again. I do like their Texas toast though.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:24 AM

55. goodbye old friends

As a kid in the 60s , I would climb up above our stove and steal a ding dong before my parents got up.

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Response to MFM008 (Reply #55)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:09 AM

126. Your parents were horrible people

 

"Didn't they know that just one of these snack cakes causes Type 2 diabetes and have contributed to the obesity epidemic in this country."

Sincerely,

DU's Pious Asshole Brigade

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Response to Floyd_Gondolli (Reply #126)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:33 PM

171. +1.

 

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Response to Floyd_Gondolli (Reply #126)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:02 PM

245. +1000

 

They're all for the right to choose...right up until someone makes a choice that they don't like. When did self-righteous douche baggery become a progressive value?

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:27 AM

57. Get the word out, folks: This is the owners framing the unions for the demise of the company.

http://bctgm.org/2012/11/hostess-in-current-condition-because-of-failed-management/

The union on strike now says that the company cannot survive! But it's not because of the strike or workers' demands. It's because the owners after the 2004 bankruptcy have run the company into the ground:

Over the past 15 months, Hostess workers have seen the company unilaterally end contractually-obligated payments to their pension plan. These workers, many of whom have worked at Hostess and its predecessor companies for decades, struck in response to the company’s unilateral imposition of an unacceptable contract that was rejected by 92 percent of the union’s Hostess members in September.

While the company was demanding major concessions from union workers (wage and benefit cuts amounting to 27- 32% overall), the top ten executives of the company rewarded themselves with compensation increases, with one executive receiving a 300 percent increase.


We probably can't save Hostess or these jobs. But we can get the word out about who's really to blame here. The owners are cracking open Hostess to get whatever's left while framing the union. Don't let the frame job happen.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #57)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:41 AM

60. also, executives took huge increases in July while screwing labor

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Response to PeaceNikki (Reply #60)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:50 AM

64. may have.......

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #64)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:20 AM

74. they DID. The "may have" is they may have broken bankruptcy laws.

http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2012/07/26/hostess-twinkies-bankrupt/

Some unsecured creditors had informed the court that last summer — as the company was crumbling — four top Hostess executives received raises of up to 80%. (Driscoll had also received a pay raise back then.)

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Response to PeaceNikki (Reply #74)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:32 AM

75. from teh same article

But in truth there are no black hats or white knights in this tale. It's about shades of gray, where obstinacy, miscalculation, and lousy luck connived to create corporate catastrophe. Almost none of the parties involved would speak on the record. Still, it's clear from court documents and background interviews with a range of sources that practically nobody involved can shoot straight: The Teamsters remain stuck in a time warp, unwilling to sufficiently adapt in a competitive marketplace. The PE firm failed to turn Hostess around after taking it over. The hedgies can't see beyond their internal rates of return. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

all re to blame but now it comes down to a choice.
accept a pay cut or lose your job. the union,without a secret ballot chose everyone loses their job

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #75)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:36 PM

175. They DID. No 'maybe' about it. They extracted $100 million in concessions from

 

workers, stopped making payments to the workers' pension plan, then nearly doubled their own salaries.

In fact, there are black hats here, and that "Teamsters are stuck in a time warp" is just the usual anti-union editorializing from the media that's wholly-owned by the same black hats.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:39 AM

59. More union busting from the 1 %

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:44 AM

61. I drive by the Wonder/Hostess plant in Hodgkins, IL

The company has been mismanaged for decades. I remember they changed the formula for Wonder to give it even longer shelf life and the loyal consumers bailed to other brands. Hasn't really recovered since then.

All the best to the workers, you put up with so much shit for so long.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:56 AM

67. They should blame the liquidation on the hedge funds that own them.

Seriously. I am SO TIRED of this gambit: the company's in trouble, so blame the workers for fighting an 8% pay cut and 25% benefits cut. Why not blame the vulture capitalists who own them and are wringing every drop of ROI they can get from them? Why not blame the visionary CEOs who failed to realize that the obseity/health panic we're going throuhg would be bound to cut down on sales of food made from Styrofoam?

A company can be leaking profit from every hole but as soon as the workers ask for ANYTHING--even if it's just to keep salaries where they are--suddenly they're the ones killing the company. It's a bullshit intimidation tactic designed to scare people out of striking. Fuck that.

I would say that I will never eat another Twinkie again in protest...except I don't think I've eaten a Twinkie since I was about 16.

The Plaid Adder

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Response to Plaid Adder (Reply #67)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:03 AM

68. ^^^ THIS ^^^

This is more vulture capitalism. Their goal is not a good quality affordable product. Their goal is maximizing profits for the investors who feed their cabal.

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Response to Plaid Adder (Reply #67)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:17 AM

72. i have a question. is an 8% pay cut and 25% benefit cut better than 100%

beacause thats what they get now. if you were making 40k a year before you you have been making 36,800. instead your making zero.
principal may be fine but this is a case of union suicide.
and why didnt the union hold a secret ballot to continue the strike like even their fellow union asked them to do
http://www.teamster.org/content/teamsters-bakery-workers-should-hold-secret-ballot-vote-hostess


heres what the teamsters had to say

In fact, when Hostess attempted to throw out its collective bargaining agreement with the Teamsters in court, the Teamsters fought back and won, ensuring that Hostess could not unilaterally make changes to working conditions during the several months’ long legal process that recently ended. Teamster Hostess members were allowed to decide their fate by voting on the final offer conducted by a secret mail ballot. More than two-thirds of Hostess Teamsters members voted with 53 percent voting to approve the final offer.

The BCTGM chose a different path, as is their prerogative, to not substantively look for a solution or engage in the process. BCTGM members were told there were better solutions than the final offer, although Judge Drain stated in his decision in bankruptcy court that no such solutions exist. Without complete information, BCTGM members voted by voice votes in union halls. The BCTGM reported that over 90 percent rejected the final offer and three of its units ratified the final offer.

That strike is now on the verge of forcing the company to liquidate – it is difficult for Teamster members to believe that is what the BCTGM Hostess members ultimately wanted to accomplish when they went out on strike. We may never know unless the BCTGM members, based on the facts they know today, get to determine their fate in a secret ballot vote. Teamster members would understand that the will of the BCTGM Hostess membership was truly heard if that was the case.


so you can blame the owners of the comapny all you want but the union heads are the ones to blame.

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #72)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:48 AM

81. Sometimes in life, principle IS everything. TPTB would never have stopped.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #81)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:55 AM

112. principle doesnt put food on the table

its easy for outsiders to say put principle first. but we are not the ones losing out jobs.
since you feel so strongly about principle would you be willing have 20% of your pay subtracted to be sent to the now out of work employees


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Response to rdking647 (Reply #112)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:17 PM

157. I've walked a picket line, more than once.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #157)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:39 PM

180. theres a difference between a picket line

an no job to come back to

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #72)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:55 AM

86. So you'll take an 8 percent cut

and maybe next time, when they come at you with a 10 percent cut, you'll take that, too.

How about 25 percent after that?

50?

When is enough enough?

Yes, the economy is tough out there, but does that mean we all must live on our knees and grovel for table scraps?

No, I am not happy that 18,500 people will be out of work. But I am even less happy that those whose only choices were pay cuts or job loss are being blamed for the situation by those who gave themselves an 80 percent pay increase LAST YEAR.

So, eff 'em. Seriously. I don't need companies like that. And you know what? Neither do the workers.

Yes, jobs aren't plentiful like I wish they were. But there are better places and better people than that to work for. And I say that as someone who was laid off last year and spent six months looking for work.

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #72)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:39 AM

104. How cheap would you do it?

Standing in front of a hot oven all day every day in that bakery/factory, how cheap would you do the job for? And after this pay cut, how cheap would you do it next time they come around wanting more?

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Response to PD Turk (Reply #104)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:52 AM

110. if the choice is take the cut or no job then you take the cut

and then you can always quit. no one if forcing you to work there.
Why would the union hold a secret ballot to continue the strike????????????

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #110)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:02 AM

118. You haven't answered the qeustion, rdking

When is enough, enough? How much is too much? Should people now be expected to settle for $10.60 an hour as a wage for a full-time job?

If you don't want to answer those questions, answer this: Where is your spine?

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Response to FightForMichigan (Reply #118)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:55 AM

151. whats better 10.60 or 0

you take the reduced salary. and if you dont like it you look for another job. YOU DONT GIVE UP YOUR JOB WITH NOTHING ELSE.
thats just stupid. and in this case the union is being as stupid as the morons firing people because of obamacare.

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #151)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:23 PM

160. Seriously? $0

Leave that sinking ship and find a decent employer.

Why are you shilling for them? Are they paying you more than $10 an hour?

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Response to FightForMichigan (Reply #160)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:26 PM

162. yes they can leave

but if they agreed to the wage cuts they still had the option of finding a new job WHILE THEY STILL HAD A JOB.
now they have no job.. so yes ZERO. which is what the result of teh union decision is

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #162)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:35 PM

172. It's almost the same I received in unemployment

which was the equivalent of $10.65 an hour.

Maybe a year from now, they might be asked to work for even less. Eventually, being unemployed becomes the better option for a short time until you find a job with a decent wage.

Some things aren't worth clinging to like your life depended on it. Shit jobs from shit employers being at the top of that list.

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Response to FightForMichigan (Reply #172)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:38 PM

179. the average unemployment check is about 300/week

or about 7.50 an hour. plus you lose your benefits

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #179)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:44 PM

186. I'm ending this

You depress me.

You are worth more than $10.60 an hour. You are worth more than being told to do with less and less even as your corporate masters amass more and more.

You're worth more than that, but you'll never get it as long as you're clinging on to a piece of crap for fear that something better will never come along.

People like you are why people like them get away with it.

It's a damn shame, and all the more so because the more there are of people like you, the more that people like them can get away with robbing the rest of us.

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Response to FightForMichigan (Reply #186)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:49 PM

192. im sorry but i live in the real world

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #192)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:50 PM

193. It's worse than that

You live in fear, the sorriest state to live.

I wish you the best. Honestly.

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Response to FightForMichigan (Reply #193)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:56 PM

198. so what would you do

your now in charge of hostess. your losing 2m a week.
what are your plans to keep the company in business?

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #162)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:43 PM

185. yeah, they can leave and go out to look for a job in an environment of 8% unemploy-

 

ment and declining average wages.

made possible by the public which spouts lines like: 'they can find another job, it;s the union's fault, the company is innocent'

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #185)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:48 PM

190. Yes, exactly

Find a better job. Because the one they had treated them like dogcrap, and there IS better out there.

And I know, because I lived it. Scary months? Heck yes. In retrospect, glad that I got laid off? HELL yes.

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Response to FightForMichigan (Reply #190)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:12 PM

210. heres what one of hostesses unions had to say

“Hostess’ problems go back almost a decade. The company has clearly been mismanaged for quite some time. However, the workers should not suffer because of poor management and therefore, the Teamsters Union tried everything in its power during the company’s most recent financial difficulties to shape an outcome that would put Hostess on strong footing to be viable and preserve jobs. Unfortunately, the company’s operating and financial problems were so severe that it required steep concessions from a variety of stakeholders but not all stakeholders were willing to be constructive. Teamster Hostess members, based on the facts and advice from respected restructuring advisors, understood what was at stake and voted to protect all jobs at Hostess.

one union says no,everyone goes down with the ship

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Response to FightForMichigan (Reply #190)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:15 PM

214. unfortunately, your case is not the norm. most people who are laid off get reemployed

 

at less pay, or not at all.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #214)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:19 PM

222. I do know

My new job does, in fact, pay less. But the benefits are better and I am treated with respect. In fact, I've received a raise - unasked for - because I'm appreciated here, something that never would have happened before. I know it's scary to fall and not know where the bottom is. But I know that fear of falling often holds people back from reaching out for something better. There often comes a time when the thing you're grasping onto simply isn't worth it anymore. Letting go is terrifying. But often it's the fear of the thing that is worse than the actual thing itself.

But hey, as long as management can keep people good and scared, they've got you where they want you.

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Response to FightForMichigan (Reply #222)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:24 PM

225. i agree in general.

 

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #110)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:08 AM

125. They were going to shut it down anyway

Hostess is being harvested by a hedge fund and the union knew it was gone no matter what they did, might as well go out with their heads held high rather than crawling on their bellies.

And again, how cheap would you stand in front of that hot oven all day every day?

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #72)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:41 PM

182. bull. the company got $100 million/year in concessions from the union in 2009, then

 

the company turned around and stopped paying into the workers' pension fund while nearly doubling executive salaries.

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Response to Plaid Adder (Reply #67)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:26 PM

163. Amen to that - equity firms are one of the single biggest evils facing the world right now.

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Response to Plaid Adder (Reply #67)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:22 AM

306. +1000

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:16 AM

71. CEO, just now on CNBC: "30% of workforce responsible for 18,500 out of a job".

You know, because greedbag profit-hungry CEOs and draconian wage cuts and union busting are COMPLETELY absolved of all blame here!! It's the WORKER'S FAULT!! God DAMN them for wanting a wage they won't starve off of.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #71)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:18 AM

73. in this case its true

30% went on strike. now they all lose their jobs

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #73)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:49 AM

82. Don't let the facts get in your way.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #71)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:47 AM

80. No, the truth is that management is responsible for 100% of the decision to liquidate the company.

It's a public company. Management could have simply raised prices, or lived with a cut in profits and dividends instead of folding operations. The workforce didn't make that choice.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #80)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:56 AM

87. This, exactly.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #80)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:55 AM

113. It's actually privately held, according to Wikipedia, although it may

 

have been publicly traded in the past. Apparently there has already been one bankruptcy in the past and company may have emerged from BK protection as a privately held corporation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hostess_Brands

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #113)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:22 PM

224. Same principles basically still apply.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #224)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:50 PM

252. Agreed, but because it's not publicly traded, its operations

 

can remain somewhat more shrouded from public scrutiny via SEC filings and what-not.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:10 AM

91. Deliberately engineered

Looks to me like they deliberately caused the strike, knowing that they could then blame the company's failure on the striking workers.

The local news interviewed one worker who said his wages would go from $16 to $11/hour. $10.60 is poverty level for a family of four.

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Response to democraticinsurgent (Reply #91)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:48 PM

191. +1. and i'll bet that was a higher-paid worker, as the media generally chooses some-

 

one who'll make the best case for the company.

"$16/hour? to deliver twinkies? obviously paid too much."

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:18 AM

93. Dolly Madison

Cue Dolly Madison Twinkies, Ding Dongs etc. in 5..4..3...

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Response to PD Turk (Reply #93)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:26 AM

97. Dolly Madison is owned by "Hostess."

Continental merged with Interstate in 1995.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #97)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:33 AM

100. Yep

And I'm betting they'll move the hostess brands over to Dolly, pretty much like Frank Lorenzo did when he stripped Eastern Airlines of its assets and moved them over to Continental back in the 80s.

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Response to PD Turk (Reply #100)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:51 PM

194. as i understand it, interstate was renamed "hostess brands" after the last

 

"bankruptcy". it's not just the people making hostess cakes who are sol, it's the people making dolly madison & everything else interstate/hostess makes, plus the teamsters who drive the product.

Hostess Brands, Inc. 2009

Effective November 2, 2009, the company was renamed Hostess Brands, Inc. after the cake division that featured Twinkies and cupcakes. Hostess continues its bread lines, including Wonder Bread.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hostess_Brands

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:24 AM

96. Another 1% corporation FUCKS it's employees...

... out of their retirement.

YAY "FREE MARKET" capitaism.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:28 AM

99. The twinkie brand has been on the chopping block for years.

I remember reading at least 3 years ago about the financial woes of the organization. To blame it on the strike in 2012 is disingenious at best. Apparently if they go under, they will put a death grip on 'something' other than poor sales and managment, and attempt to drag them down too.

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Response to Sheepshank (Reply #99)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:53 PM

196. the company had over $2 billion in revenues in 2008. They're the biggest company

 

of this kind in the us.

all the bankruptcies etc are just engineered to "shed costs"

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:33 AM

101. Hostess was cobbled together out of many mergers; there is probably no advantage to scale anymore

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hostess_Brands has a pretty interesting history of the company.

There appear to be lots of local and regional bakeries -- and I'd bet that new automated equipment for mixing, proofing, baking, etc. remove the advantages of large scale bakeries. Lots of supermarkets have in-house bakeries or get product from local bakeries.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:36 AM

102. Really? They'd shoot themselves in the foot like that?

That's not a good way to do business. I expect more of this - corporations laying off their workforces, cashing out and blaming unions or President Obama. I think we need to focus on buying local and supporting small business and services in our respective communities. Maybe the laid off workers can start up their own businesses. We're obviously being screwed by corporations, so it's time to move our dollars to companies that respect their employees.

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Response to liberalmuse (Reply #102)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:45 AM

109. Large corporations generally provide better jobs than small businesses

Large corporations have the economies of scale, barriers to entry, effective oligopolies, etc. that allow them to operate at high margins and pay their employees relatively well --whether union or non-union.

Small companies, partnerships, and proprieters pay less well, provide fewer benefits, and often go out of business unexpectedly.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:39 AM

103. as someone else pointed out

... this is more G.O.P. posturing/unionbusting. And expect to see more of it for electing the "wrong" president.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:43 AM

106. Yup......they can't afford the workers...........

Salary Increases at Hostess

Some creditors question Hostess pay raises approved in late July.

Brian Driscoll, CEO, around $750,000 to $2,550,000
Gary Wandschneider, EVP, $500,000 to $900,000
John Stewart, EVP, $400,000 to $700,000
David Loeser, EVP, $375,000 to $656,256
Kent Magill, EVP, $375,000 to $656,256
Richard Seban, EVP, $375,000 to $656,256
John Akeson, SVP, $300,000 to $480,000
Steven Birgfeld, SVP, $240,000 to $360,000
Martha Ross, SVP, $240,000 to $360,000
Rob Kissick, SVP, $182,000 to $273,008


The judge should not allow the liquidation

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Response to thelordofhell (Reply #106)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:59 AM

117. he cant stop it.

in bk repaying creditors is all that matters. the company can decide to convert from reorginization to liquidation. the judge has no say

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Response to thelordofhell (Reply #106)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:03 AM

120. thats a total of about 8m in salarys

if you reduced them to zero that would be less than $10 a week per employee.

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #120)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:05 AM

121. Why stop there!

Minimum wage is more than $0, so let them take that. And give the leftovers to the executives listed above.

Hell with that, and respectfully, to hell with their apologists.

And the judge CAN step in and say "no." It's called fraud.

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Response to FightForMichigan (Reply #121)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:53 AM

149. its pretty obvious you dont know how BK actually works

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #149)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:54 AM

150. Wrong

I do, unfortunately, having gone through it.

Bankruptcy judges have broad powers.

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Response to FightForMichigan (Reply #150)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:31 PM

168. you went thru a corporate bankruptcy????????????

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #168)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:37 PM

177. Personal bankruptcy after being laid off from a job where I reported on corporate bankruptcy

Ain't life grand?

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Response to FightForMichigan (Reply #121)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:00 PM

202. +1. "Control fraud".

 

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #120)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:16 AM

134. shhhh

 

The maths hurts a person brain. And ruins a perfectly good fit of indignation!

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Response to thelordofhell (Reply #106)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:57 PM

199. +1. and concurrent with the raises, they suspended payments to the workers'

 

pension plan.

poor little ceos.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:43 AM

107. How much do you want to bet....

Some right-winger starts a rumor that this is because of President Obama and the First Lady's healthy eating iniative.

In any case, I am depressed about the news! I love the cupcakes!

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:08 AM

124. Same old story: the executives steal it for themselves while the employees suffer

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:09 AM

127. I cannot say I am surprised

And yes, another blow to Unions. What amazedps me is the bankruptcy judge has not had a good look at the salaries of those at the top.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:11 AM

130. It certainly is telling, when ...

society has devolved to a place where corporate executives would close up shop; rather than pay their workers a living, and negotiated, wage.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #130)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:17 AM

135. +1

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:17 AM

137. Criminal charges need to be brought against the owners

 

This is intolerable. Unions fighting for a FAIR wage should NEVER be thrust out like a bad Sarah Palin joke. These republican-party cretins need to be jailed and their entire fortunes stripped, to be used in fair distribution to the union members who lost their jobs.

THIS is why we need to start hitting the Wealth Tax Reforms PRONTO

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Response to BanTheGOP (Reply #137)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:53 PM

197. Doubt you'd have much success with that. They've been in Chapter 11 since January.

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #197)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:57 PM

200. But the company has been screwing the workers for DECADES.

 

And it's high time we call them on it. A simple Executive Order would implement things.

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Response to BanTheGOP (Reply #137)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:18 PM

270. Maybe they can share the cell next to you

Since laws, due process and all that seem to be beyond your ken, surely you wouldn't whine when you get tossed into the clink with the same considerations you espouse?

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:18 AM

138. It's unfortunate they couldn't come to a workable deal that included production of better foods

 

As to the effect of this loss on peoples' diets, I say no great loss. I hope the displaced workers find better jobs quickly.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:20 AM

140. DING DONG the witch's bread...

Sorry. F**ck that Twinky.

I'm genuinely sorry for the workers. But obviously, Hostess had serious problems in the first place, or they wouldn't be walking away from this business just because some workers are striking.

As a kid I toured the Hostess/Wonder Bread plant in Framingham, MA. One of the best memories of my youth...got to see how they get the cream into the Twinkies, and they gave us two slices of warm fresh-baked wonder bread after the tour. It tasted awesome...and I never ate white bread again!

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:47 AM

146. hostess has gone through two bankruptcies since 2004 in order to shed workers &

 

"legacy costs". i have no doubt this is more of the same, as that's what they're bitching about.


When Hostess Brands announced that it would close up its operations, the forces most responsible for that decisions were two hedge funds that control hundreds of millions of the debt of Hostess have finally decided that they won’t squeeze any more filling into the Twinkie. The funds, Silver Point and Monarch, are what are known as distressed debt investors... Others say they are “vulture funds...” Without large union concessions—what some would say, total union capitulation—the hedge funds decided Hostess would have to die.

This is not the first time Hostess Brands has entered bankruptcy. Weighed down by an balance sheet heavy with debt and pension obligations, costly labor rules, and declining sales, the company sought bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 in 2004.

After nearly five years in bankruptcy, Hostess emerged in 2009 under the control of a private equity firm called Ripplewood Holdings... the unions agreed to concessions that would save the company around $110 million a year in labor costs. The lenders, led by the hedge funds Silver Point and Monarch, agreed to provide a new secured loan of $360 million, forgive half the existing debt, and exchange the rest of that debt for a payment-in-kind loan... Silver Point and Monarch put in another $30 million and then, after the company filed for Chapter 11 again in January of this year, another $75 million...

What happened next was just a mess. The CEO quit. The unions described the pay of the new CEO as “looting.” Acrimonious would be a very mild term to describe relations between management and the unionized workers. One person familiar with the matter described it as “all-out war...” Finally, there are the woebegone Teamsters. They have plenty of skin as well -- and feel as if they've been fleeced out of almost $100 million from Hostess after the company "temporarily" ceased making union pension contributions last August. That move by Hostess was a breach of its collective-bargaining agreement with the unions...

http://www.cnbc.com/id/49853653

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:51 AM

147. I love the movie Zombieland. This will forever change an aspect of this dialog.

Tallahassee: Sno-Balls? Sno-Balls? Sno Balls? Where's the fucking Twinkies?
Columbus: I love Sno-Balls.
Tallahassee: I hate coconut. Not the taste, consistency.
Columbus: Fresh.
Tallahassee: Oh, this Twinkie thing, it ain't over yet.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:00 PM

153. Maybe too many people have stopped eating artificial crap full of

empty calories that can cause them to become obese.

Bummer for the workers.

Looks like nationalization of the factors and means of production is inevitable.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #153)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:29 PM

166. According to Wikipedia, the company is privately owned. So there are

 

Last edited Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:41 PM - Edit history (1)

physical assets (like the plant) and intangibles (like the brand).

Wonder if the bakers have given any thought to seizing the plant (a la Flint, MI 1937)?

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #166)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:52 PM

195. I'd suggest seizing the plant. n/t

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #166)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:18 PM

220. It seems business owners are deliberately punishing workers by making this

punishment a political statement and a consequence of Romney losing the election.

I don't know if this is pertinent to the Hostess situation, but, anyway...

It appears to me that too many business owners nowadays believe that they have the right to play with the lives of workers at will, evidenced by what appears to primarily be poutrage inspired acts of economic vengeance toward workers over the election. This type of behavior is not going to fly for very long. The vast majority of workers will eventually realize that they cannot be subjected to a political and economic system that is continually rigging the game against them, in order to provide unreasonable profits for ownership and upper level management, while at the same time, continually weakening the power of workers to improve their situation, rendering them and their families desperate and destitute, into a permanent condition that might be described as modern day indentured servitude in service to a bunch of spoiled, ignorant rich RW brats.

It's a powder keg with a relatively short fuse, and if the life experience of workers continues to rapidly deteriorate into a condition of quasi-slavery, it won't be long until someone lights that fuse.

It would be *fascinating* if the the workers at Hostess seize the plant, but if they do, they first seriously need to consider the fact that law enforcement will have the green light to attack them using modern crowd control weapons with extreme and inordinate violence, and they can do this with relative impunity as well.

Turning fire hoses on the cops, and throwing twinkies at them, probably won't be as effective as it may have been in the 30's, so workers would need to devise innovative and ingenious methods for their protection if they wish to be successful in effectively seizing the plant.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #220)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:45 PM

251. They're located in Irving, TX, long known as a hotbed of

 

radical labor activism

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #251)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:56 PM

267. The workers are screwn. nt

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Response to Zorra (Reply #153)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:05 PM

204. over two billion in revenues in 2008. so doubtful.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #204)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:42 PM

236. Wow! Thank you. nt

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #204)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:51 PM

264. "declining sales and lost market share"

Twinkie Maker Hostess to Shut Down After Strike

“The crisis facing Hostess Brands is the result of nearly a decade of financial and operational mismanagement that resulted in two bankruptcies, mountains of debt, declining sales and lost market share,” the union said yesterday in a statement. Hostess “attempted to resolve the mess by attacking the company’s most valuable asset -- its workers.


Sugary cakes are not the healthiest foodstuffs on the planet, and the Hedge funds that control Hostess have/had no interest in improving the business, especially by catering to a changing market, whatsoever.

Hedge fund vampires have been sucking the blood and life out of Hostess for a long time. The vampires are probably going to take what they can get out of the dying body and then sell it to the vultures, who will absorb some of the workforce and pay them as little as possible after restructuring.

Anyway, I think that's the way capitalism works these days.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #264)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:17 PM

269. regardless, $2+ B in revenues in 2008. so that's a damn big market, & hostess is the

 

biggest player in it.

"a decade of financial and operational mismanagement" & fraud, basically.

here's the revenues 2003-2005 (scroll down): over $3 billion each year:

http://www.privco.com/private-company/hostess-brands-inc

and $2.7 B in 2008 per wikipedia.

at $3B/yr that's 150K in revenues per employee, and that includes the overpaid management.

regular employees make an average of $12-$16/hr, = max $33K, average $14/hr = $29K, round to $30.

double that for pensioners & benefits & you still get $1.2 B max, which leaves $1.8 B in revenues to pay for everything else.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:59 PM

201. The Little Debbie people must be thrilled

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Response to valerief (Reply #201)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:08 PM

205. yeah, non-union, southern, 7th-day adventist chicken torturer.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #205)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:10 PM

207. Pumpkin Delights have CHICKEN in them?

 

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #207)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:13 PM

211. eggs. baked goods. not sure why this is so hard for you.

 

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Response to valerief (Reply #201)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:09 PM

206. And the Bimbo people

 

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:14 PM

213. Just another vulture capitalist scam.

 

War against The People's rights to collectively bargain.

The buy out company will walk away with million$.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:37 PM

232. After living in the South for 13 years, I have been converted to Little Debbie's






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Response to aikoaiko (Reply #232)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:39 PM

235. non-union, 7th day adventist chicken torturer.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #235)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:04 PM

256. I'm sure there were no chickens harmed in the making of my Swiss Rolls or Christmas Tree cakes




I admit that I sometimes buy from non-union places and don't much care about people's religion.

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Response to aikoaiko (Reply #256)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:53 PM

265. cake = eggs.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #265)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:19 PM

281. that's true, isn't it.


Still I can live with it.

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Response to aikoaiko (Reply #281)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:18 PM

284. yes, we can all "live with it". until we can't.

 

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:38 PM

233. Just a legal move..

They get permission to "re-organize" and re-open with a "cheaper" workforce..

Businesses do this all the time..

that's how they wiggle out of paying debts & contractual obligations

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:43 PM

237. My first thought was that the closing of this business has nothing to do with the

strike,,Who wants to bet there were too many fingers in the pot and the pot went dry.But that don't mean there wont be a gigantic severance pay for top execs...
I wont miss the high carb unhealthy sweets but I really feel bad for the nearly 19,000 that will lose their jobs.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:44 PM

238. Funny, DUers were all over mitt romney for the same stuff, now some are defending

 

this crap.

because sugary cakes are baaaaaaad.

The government is subsidizing the vulture funds' destruction of production in the US.

The whole business was about maximizing debt, extracting cash, cutting head counts, skimping on capital spending, outsourcing production, and dressing up the deal for the earliest, highest-profit exit possible. Occasionally, we did invest in genuine growth companies, but without cheap debt and deep tax subsidies, most deals would not make economic sense.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/14/david-stockman-mitt-romney-and-the-bain-drain.html

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:44 PM

239. This will be a bad thing when the Zombie Apocalypse comes.

 

Twinkies have the same half-life as U-235. They have a longer shelf life than any canned food.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:50 PM

253. Hostess has filed bankrupcty twice. It was very poorly managed.

 

Make no mistake Bimbo or one of the other bakeries will buy up the name and brands and will produce these beloved American staples. The value in these brands is huge. We may not see Hostess branded products for the short term, but the products will definitely survive this.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:36 PM

261. More corporate raiders and labor rapists looking to blame unions for their woes. You

 

know that "War on the Working Class" that people are always talking about? This is the front line.

This election was so important to us, we were saved from the Outsourcer, now we need Obama and a strong NLRB to come to the rescue of the working class in America.

Help us Obi-Wan Obama, you're our only hope!

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:44 PM

262. My first thought

was that poor dude in Zombieland.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:07 PM

276. I tried to buy a box of Twinkies today

walmart was sold out!

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:04 PM

283. Hard choice in the end

take cuts and remain employed for a year or maybe longer, or choose to be unemployed now. BCTGM decided they would rather be unemployed immediately as is their right.

Fortunately Hostess is hardly the player it used to be in the snack cake industry, so Americans will still be able to satisfy their sweet tooths.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:19 PM

285. CEO of Hostess was awarded a 300 percent raise

Hostess Blames Union For Bankruptcy After Tripling CEO’s Pay

By Annie-Rose Strasser on Nov 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Today, Hostess Brands inc. — the company famed for its sickly sweet desert snacks like Twinkies and Sno Balls — announced they’d be shuttering after more than eighty years of production.

But while headlines have been quick to blame unions for the downfall of the company there’s actually more to the story: While the company was filing for bankruptcy, for the second time, earlier this year, it actually tripled its CEO’s pay, and increased other executives’ compensation by as much as 80 percent.

At the time, creditors warned that the decision signaled an attempt to “sidestep” bankruptcy rules, potentially as a means for trying to keep the executive at a failing company. The Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers International Union pointed this out in their written reaction to the news that the business is closing:

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.

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/11/16/1203151/why-unions-dont-shoulder-the-blame-for-hostesss-downfall/?mobile=nc

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:04 PM

286. The twinkies have a shelf life comparable to nuclear waste

so it's not like they are going away!

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:31 PM

289. i love coming to DU to read anti-union sentiments.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 03:37 PM

299. The CEO of Hostess is a very liberal Democrat and posts to DU!

… Ripplewood’s foray into Hostess was partly enabled by Collins’s connections in the Democratic Party. He wanted to explore deals with union-involved companies and sought the help of former congressman (Dick) Gephardt, who in 2005 founded the Gephardt Group, an Atlanta consulting firm that provides “labor advisory services.” In his 2004 presidential bid, Gephardt — whose father was a Teamsters milk truck driver — was endorsed by 21 of the largest U.S. labor unions; in 2003, Collins was one of 19 “founding members” of Gephardt’s New York State leadership committee.
“Tim Collins of Ripplewood, was a prominent Democrat, a position which allowed him to get involved in the first bankruptcy process in the first place, due to his proximity with the Teamsters’ long-term heartthrob Dick Gephardt (whose consulting group just happens to also be an equity owner of Hostess)”.

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Response to Forthelulz (Reply #299)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 03:47 PM

300. Welcome to DU!

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #300)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 04:09 PM

301. Thank you

I just wanted to point this out because everyone here seems to think he's evil...he's not, he's actually one of us and he's tried hard to save Hostess.

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Response to Forthelulz (Reply #299)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 04:10 PM

302. Why didn't you post the entire article? The problem isn't limited to "Democrat" and "Republican"

The problem is greedy, selfish capitalist PIGS who don't give a gotdamn about anydamnthing but their bank accounts.

They are all a disease running rampant not only here but internationally. Profits before people is their mantra; privatize the profits socialize the risk is their only goal. Loyalty to citizen and country is nonexistent.

You really should post the entire article:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-11-16/hostess-liquidation-curious-cast-characters-twinkie-tumbles

ETA: My question should have been posed as, why didn't you post the entire article you were referring to? This one from zerohedge seems to be close but if you're posting to add to the conversation, then you really should post your reference so everyone can get the entire sordid story.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:16 AM

314. My wife told me last night that we're all done having children,

because she won't make it through another pregnancy without twinkies or ding dongs.

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