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Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:08 PM

'Hostess story...has everything to do with the Enron-ization & Bain-ization of the American economy'


AlterNet / By Thom Hartmann

Twinkie CEO Admits Company Took Employees Pensions and Put It Toward Executive Pay
Hostess company continues to screw over its workers.

December 11, 2012 |


Twinkie-maker Hostess continues to screw over its workers. The company is in the process of complete liquidation and 18,000 unionized workers are set to lose their jobs. More troubling – they could lose their pensions.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal , Hostess’ CEO, Gregory Rayburn, essentially admitted that his company stole employee pension money and put it toward CEO and senior executive pay (aka “operations”). While this isn't technically illegal, it's another sleazy theft by Hostess executives - who've paid themselves handsomely while running their company into the ground. Just last month, a judge agreed to let Hostess executives suck another $1.8 million out of the bankrupt company to pay bonuses to CEOs.

If there's no way to recover the money for the Hostess pension plans for workers, then we the taxpayers - through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. - will have to foot the bill to make sure workers get the retirement money they paid in.

Hostess shows us clearly what Bain-style predatory capitalism is all about: big bucks for the very few rich executives, layoffs and poverty for the workers and their communities. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/corporate-accountability-and-workplace/twinkie-ceo-admits-company-took-employees-pensions-and-put-it



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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:16 PM

1. kr

 

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:56 PM

2. HUGE K & R !!!


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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:05 PM

3. Predatory capitalism.

We need legislation that requires executives to forgo their pay rather than take money intended for the lower wage employees' pension funds.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:17 PM

4. yeah that makes sense.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:22 PM

5. It used to be illegal and considered criminal scams. n/t

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Response to Cleita (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 06:10 PM

7. Do you have a link to that? Just curious. I know it feels wrong and immoral.


And people may believe something is being kept for them when it isn't but I can't find where it was ever illegal, and not common knowledge.

The assets of a company must be paid to creditors in a bankruptcy, and the pension is an asset of the company. If you don't own the assets, you don't matter to the people with the money.











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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 06:30 PM

9. No I don't have a link because there was a time before you probably were born that

pension funds were required to be in trusts, so that even if a company went belly up the pension fund remained. When I worked in the sixties and money was deducted from my check for a future pension, I was apprehensive so it was explained to me that this was the situation and if I lost my job or quit, the pension fund would give me the money back that I had invested and it was true for those companies that I had a pension fund. Since I usually changed jobs every two or three years (I would get bored), I would receive a check within the month of that money. It made a nice cushion until I got paid in my new job. Sure whatever funds the company had matched with remained with the company.

So I do believe there were laws that covered this that no longer do. I just don't know what those laws were. I do know that many businesses practices of today were considered mafia style gangsterism back in the sixties. Just saying.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 06:57 PM

10. Born 1954. Before that? I think people just want to believe what they want to believe, and then


they are shocked to find out that people were lying to them, (the Santa Clause) or people didn't tell them because they didn't ever think it could happen or successfully fooled them, or they were too lazy to go read the documents. Unlike the people that stole their pensions because they didn't own the assets.

This is important, because if it is going to get fixed we have to look at the real reason. This is gangster capitalism. There were no laws that prevented this, and just within the past 2 or 3 decades we passed laws that created tax loopholes for raiding companies, thus making it profitable to get a little money together, borrow a lot and buy a company, borrow more and pay yourselves, then dump it, paying yourself more, and letting the defaulted loans and lives sort it out for themselves, with all the assets in hock to the creditors.

Americans seem to be quite fond of saying "there used to be a law to prevent that" when there never was (I'm still waiting to be proven wrong on that one <G> and never will be. Would you want them to invest your retirement (it's invested somewhere) in a company that could just shove their money in a pension fund and tell you to get lost?

But perhaps it helps people avoid feeling responsible for helping put people in office who wrote tax and other laws that made it possible for this to be a money-making scheme that, in their lifetime, something they themselves made possible. Maybe they didn't look critically enough when their "friendly " candidate smooth-talked them into screwing themselves? They try to avoid responsibility by pointing their fingers at the bad guy. It doesn't help, the retirees get shafted (see below - it's a common story), and nothing changes.

Like a little kid blaming her sister for writing on the wall, when she has a crayon in her hand.

If people are ever going to get strong enough to stop these bastards, and sustain it for the long haul, they are going to have to grow up and start doing some learning, I think. Or quit whining. They are just as smart as the bastards that , and are still taking, their money, but they don't act like they believe it.




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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 07:49 PM

12. If you were born in 1954, you have no idea what laws were in place then. I started to notice things

changing and business practices becoming corrupt in the seventies. I believe a lot of laws protecting workers and their pensions were rescinded during Nixon and then the Reagan administrations that protected me when I entered the work force. I started noticing that I was no longer getting time and half for every minute worked after 8 hours in a work day, nor vacation guarantees for time worked and just a lot of stuff that labor laws once covered and then were no longer covered by the 1980s. No one even offered pensions by then unless you were executive class or union. It seems that gangster business practices had won out by the end of the century.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:19 PM

13. They got these new things called books. You didn't actually have to be there to read the laws.

We even have the Internet. Glory be!

>If you were born in 1954, you have no idea what laws were in place then.



One is free to believe what they wish, such as a 6000 year old earth and people riding dinosaurs and all that, as long as they aren't harmful to others or themselves. I mean, look at Sarah Palin...no, forget that, I said not harmful to others.

I think if people really care, and are not just paying lip service to wanting things to be different, they are better off to make sure they are focusing on the real problem and are using the most effective means to change it. And I think it is incumbent upon them to study this so they know what doesn't work If not they may be helping their opponent. oops.

The reason they got rid of pensions was to push the liabilities on to the employee (especially if the economy wasn't doing well when it had to be paid out, because often the money wasn't there yet. It wasn't required to be, and still isn't). And it is far easier to profit from some employees 401(k) without doing any of the labor they do if your money is in a 401(k).

One note - there are no states which do not owe more to their underfunded pension fund than the total amount of liabilities they have, so far as I can tell.

There is a test case right now in California, I think, and if that city bankruptcy stands their pension is gone. That will affect every single public pension in the country, both unpaid and quite possibly ones being paid now.

Might pay people to learn the facts, 'cause barring 1 or 2 that I am aware of, the people making the laws are eating lunch with the people that have their eyes on our money.

Ordinary people used to talk about things like that, back in the day...yeah, I know, I wasn't there either.




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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:33 PM

6. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp is a JOKE. Ask any Bethlehem Steel retiree.


For The Record

The Morning Call | August 5, 2006

An Aug. 3 editorial on Congress' pension reforms stated Bethlehem Steel retirees were getting smaller pensions from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. than they did from Bethlehem Steel. Some are but many are getting the same pension they did before the PBGC took over the plan. However, the PBGC did not continue to pay for retiree health benefits. Also, the PBGC refused to pay a $400-a-month incentive that Bethlehem Steel offered hourly workers to retire early.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 06:11 PM

8. Say it Loud and say it clear!!! That's exactly what I ahve been saying. nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 07:12 PM

11. The sentence should read "part" of the retirement money they paid in".


Because they will not get it all. That's almost guaranteed.

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