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Sat Nov 17, 2012, 02:51 PM

Are Hostess higher-ups using employee strike as cover for planned closings? (re: Benghazi)

Oh, sweet irony of all ironies. First, thanks to DU user TeeYiYi in this thread for finding a post from a Hostess employee in the comments section of a WSJ article on the matter:

12:10 am November 13, 2012
St Louis wrote :

Unions are not what is wrong with Hostess. Management is what is wrong. My husband has worked for WonderBread for 13 years. Explain to me how 4 mgrs for 5 employees makes sense? Tell me how the company goes into bankruptcy but can pay someone $1 million to "fix" the company. Those that are not involved with the company can say anything. It’s always the Unions fault. If you only knew what was really going on within that company.This statement is exactly what has happened. St Louis has been rumored to close for at least 3 yrs now. I would like to see you go to work tomorrow and say OK to any paycut. At some point you have to stick up for yourself.

I am a Hostess employee. Hostess stopped our pension contributions a yr & a half ago. Then they gave the top execs pay raises of 30-80%. They offered new contracts: no pension payments (no retirement plan at all for union employees, but company management still gets contributions to their retirement plans) for another 2 & 1/2 yrs, and then a 75% reduction in pension when they do start paying into it again; we have to pay an ADDITIONAL $200/ mo for health insurance; They took away our last cost of living raise; they gave us an 8% wage cut on top of that; they are outsourcing all of the office work to Manilla; they are closing 12 plants. THIS WAS ALL PART OF THE CONTRACT THAT WENT INTO EFFECT LAST MONTH!!

The 3 bakery closures were not due to the labor strike, they were locations on the closure list. Hostess used the opportunity provided by the strike to close them w/o having to pay severance or give notice. Hostess will be closing more plants whether the strike is resolved or not. We were told that if both major unions did not accept the new contracts, Hostess would IMMEDIATELY liquidate and we would all lose our jobs. Teamsters accepted (barely), Bakers did not. Hostess didn’t liquidate. We were told that if there was any kind of a strike, Hostess would IMMEDIATELY liquidate & we would lose our jobs. Bakers went on strike, Hostess didn’t liquidate. The Seattle bakery was literally 100 years old. They have been talking about closing it for years. Of the 3 plants closed- the only one on official strike was Seattle. St. Louis & Cincinnati were not on strike.

It’s frustrating for Hostess employees working their butts off and taking all these cuts, to still see Management driving luxury rental cars, flying all over the county at $1,000/ ticket, having meetings in Vegas, spending $200/ night on hotels, $75 on ONE meal for ONE person, golf tournaments at $1,000/ea, throwing away MASSIVE amounts of product because they don’t do their jobs right, the list goes on.

We keep taking cuts and they keep wasting money. We took cuts a few yrs ago (during the LAST bankruptcy) and the money was supposed to be used to update equipment, facilities, 50 yr old route trucks; new product development, etc. None of that ever happened. They wasted the money and then came back to us for more. Where are their cuts and sacrifices? I wish people out there would realize what’s going on. 6 CEOs in the past few yrs?? Doesn’t anyone see what’s wrong w/ this picture? There’s no one there anymore who truly cares about this company. It’s nobody’s ‘baby’. Nobody w/ the power to make decisions loves it. They just care about the money. It’s heartbreaking. I don’t blame any of the employees for finally saying they’ve had enough.


Now, what have the sociopathic mouth-breathers at FAUX News been force-feeding the nation for months about Benghazi? That it absolutely wasn't part of the demonstrations or about a video, and any suggestion otherwise was part of a nefarious cover-up. That it was planned long in advanced, and failure to immediately recognize this meant sheer incompetence. To reiterate:

The 3 bakery closures were not due to the labor strike, they were locations on the closure list. Hostess used the opportunity provided by the strike to close them w/o having to pay severance or give notice. Hostess will be closing more plants whether the strike is resolved or not.


To be clear, I understand that there is (and was) a lot more ambiguity and confusion involved in the Benghazi situation, since it occurred during a particularly turbulent time and that is the nature of intelligence gathering in the aftermath. People demanded answers immediately, and the administration was stuck with trying to give them as they came in real-time. But that's not the vicious narrative that FAUX News has almost exclusively dedicated their channel to these past months (with a slight break in schedule for Hurricane Sandy and election results). No, the administration (and the president himself) lied, and they deliberately used the video/demonstrations as cover! (I'm not going to go into what other heinous accusations they've charged and why it's bullshit on so many levels, it hurts my head just thinking about it.)

Meanwhile, FAUX dedicates and uses its coverage of the Hostess closure/liquidation to shit on Unions. But, as the working-class Hostess employee reveals, this has been planned for months, if not years, thanks to the horrific actions and decisions of the management (here and here). Yet, they blamed those three plant closings earlier in the week on striking workers - even at plants where strikes weren't even happening! From the WSJ comment:

St Louis has been rumored to close for at least 3 yrs now.
...
The Seattle bakery was literally 100 years old. They have been talking about closing it for years. Of the 3 plants closed- the only one on official strike was Seattle. St. Louis & Cincinnati were not on strike.
...
Hostess used the opportunity provided by the strike to close them w/o having to pay severance or give notice.


This is precisely what they have been accusing (and outright attacking) the administration for doing in regards to Benghazi! I don't know, maybe this is a bit of a stretch on my part. And I know it would amount to just one of the myriad of their rank hypocricies when it comes to the Benghazi "scandal." I just can't help but see the connection and blatant cognitive dissonance, and it's making my head do this ---->

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Reply Are Hostess higher-ups using employee strike as cover for planned closings? (re: Benghazi) (Original post)
drokhole Nov 2012 OP
HopeHoops Nov 2012 #1
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #2
HopeHoops Nov 2012 #3
malaise Nov 2012 #5
stanchaz Nov 2012 #4

Response to drokhole (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 03:06 PM

1. Fuck no. The company has been screwed for years. That was their 4th Ch. 11.

 

It's going to kill something like 18,000 jobs. But it's also a case of "why didn't you see this coming and get another job?"

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 03:11 PM

2. Because we are at full employment

and jobs are literally all over the place... oh wait...

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 03:15 PM

3. LOL!!!!

 



THAT was a good one!

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 03:42 PM

5. DUzy

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Response to drokhole (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 03:38 PM

4. Bain Capital Vulture Economics Lives

Wall street vultures are blaming workers for getting rid of your sweets—and that’s just not right.
You might have heard that Hostess Brands, the company that makes Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other desserts, filed for court permission to go out of business, and that its blaming a worker strike for the shutdown.
The Wall Street hedge fund managers who run the company have squeezed every cent out of Hostess for eight years. And they’ve put their friends with no experience in the baking industry in high-level management positions 
What’s happening here is a classic Bain Capital-style assault—blame the little guy to cover the greedy corporate policies that are gutting the middle class.
It’s not just happening to the workers who make the great products Americans love. What’s happening at Hostess is happening to workers all over this country. It’s wrong. And it has to stop.
Crony capitalism and poor management drove Hostess into the ground, not the workers who are now paying the price. In this struggling economy, the greedy corporate executives are willing to let 18,000 people lose their jobs—just so they can pad their pockets.
Hostess' executives are now blaming workers who’ve offered their company multiple concessions and want it to succeed. This is what’s wrecking our country.
Workers have borne the brunt of bad decision-making by executives who didn’t know anything about the baking business. And they’re the ones getting fired?
These brave workers need to know we stand with them—and we’ll stand with everyone who will take a stand against the corporate race-to-the-bottom.
Hostess workers are being scapegoated because they are standing up to corporate greed.
Hostess' executives are now blaming workers for poor decisions they made that drove Hostess into the ground.What’s happening here is a classic Wall Street tactic—blame the little guy so that they can cover their greedy corporate policies that are gutting the middle class. Sign our pledge to stand with Hostess workers and against the tide of corporate greed wrecking our economy. http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=5109

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