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Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:46 AM

I have a question IRT the Hostess situation.

some of us were talking at work. non union shop, and no one involved has ever been in a union (myself included).

with the way the Hostess situation was reported in the press,
where basically a smaller group basically shut down the company
and cost 18k people their jobs. do you think this helped or hurt
over all union recruiting, and of the non union people who lost
their jobs how likely do you think they will join a union in their next job?

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Reply I have a question IRT the Hostess situation. (Original post)
littlewolf Nov 2012 OP
Lars39 Nov 2012 #1
Lasher Nov 2012 #3
Sekhmets Daughter Nov 2012 #5
Lasher Nov 2012 #2
Sekhmets Daughter Nov 2012 #4
HopeHoops Nov 2012 #6
littlewolf Nov 2012 #7
HopeHoops Nov 2012 #10
littlewolf Nov 2012 #8
Lars39 Nov 2012 #9

Response to littlewolf (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:50 AM

1. The owners put the company very deep in debt,

And gave themselves huge bonuses and salaries. It wasn't the union that shut it down.

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:08 AM

3. Not the owners.

It's a publicly traded corporation, so the shareholders are the owners. Senior management is the villain here, along with a complicit Board of Directors. But it is otherwise just as you say.

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Response to Lasher (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:23 AM

5. It went "private" after the first bankruptcy..

The "shareholders" of which you speak are a few private equity firms who loaded the company down with an enormous amount of debt and paid off the executives with huge bonuses and salary increases.

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Response to littlewolf (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:01 AM

2. Info about the Hostess Brands (it's not the unions)

This isn't an old established company that has run into trouble after years because of the nasty unions. It is an overleveraged venture capitol op. that has been in bankruptcy for most of it's existence.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021833868

Hostess wants pay executive bonuses while "liquidating"

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Response to littlewolf (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:21 AM

4. Depends on how smart they are...

If you have and benefits at work, (health insurance, some sort of pension plan,) if you get time-and-a-half for overtime, if you have any paid vacation time and sick leave...all those things were won by unions.

The Baker's Union had already accepted pay cuts as a result of the 2001 - 2004 bankruptcy which took the company private. Private equity firms had loaded the company down with over $800 million in debt and the executives had given themselves enormous raises just prior to filing for bankruptcy this time. Yesterday, on CNBC, Bill Griffeth and Michelle Caruso-Cabrera interviewed a member of the Baker's Union. They asked him about the negotiations... He said that under their contract the company withheld $4.00 an hour from their wages, money that was supposed to go into their pension plan. For the last 2 years the company has not contributed a dime to the pension fund, (that's been reported in other sources) so they've been stealing from the employees. He concluded "You can't negotiate with someone you don't trust and you can't trust someone who steals from you."

Now to your question. He was asked if he would consider working for another company without a union, (note the assumption that he would remain in a union?) He said he would consider it if the wages, benefits etc were comparable. While he is unemployed he will receive union benefits as well as state unemployment. Griffeth concluded the interview by saying, you seem like an intelligent man and I believe you'll land on your feet, or words to that effect. This was also the only time I've seen Caruso-Cabrera not sneering at the hoi polloi. The union is being blamed by people who want you to work for peanuts while they work for filet mignon. I hope that we will see a resurgence of unions. If they continue to disappear, people who must actually WORK for a living will find themselves facing ever diminishing wages and benefits.

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Response to littlewolf (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:10 PM

6. They went Chapter 11 four times. The end was coming and everyone knew it.

 

The brands will probably be sold to Chinese companies and become even worse than they were to begin with - Wonder Bread? This is a case where being in the union didn't mean squat. Hostess went tits up and the union employees went along for the ride. I don't think it will have any impact on union recruiting.

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:25 PM

7. actually it looks like it will go to a Mexican company.

Blimbo or something like that they
also do Entimenns (sp) and Thomas and others.

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Response to littlewolf (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:33 PM

10. Yeah, big shock there.

 

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Response to littlewolf (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:28 PM

8. I understand what your saying about

the unions. But they way they are being portrayed
in the media, the unions are the bad guy.
Do you think this has hurt overall union recruitment?
and of the non- union folks who lost their jobs
at Hostess, do you think they are more or less
likely to join a union?

S.Daughter- Thank you, that is what I am looking for,
anyone else?

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Response to littlewolf (Reply #8)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:31 PM

9. *Corporate* media is part of the union-busting efforts going on in the country right now.

It has hurt union recruitment in the past, imo, but I believe there's a resurgence in unions happening right now, too.

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