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Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:10 PM

Hostess closing Seattle bakery; 110 workers affected

Source: King5 News and Associated Press

Hostess Brands Inc. is permanently closing three bakeries following a nationwide strike by its bakers union.

The maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread said Monday that the strike has prevented it from producing and delivering products, and it is closing bakeries in Seattle, St. Louis and Cincinnati. The facilities employ 627 workers.

Thousands of members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union went on strike Nov. 9 to protest cuts to wages and benefits under a new contract offer, which the union rejected in September. Union officials say the company stopped contributing to workers' pensions last year.

Hostess has argued that workers must make concessions as it tries to improve its financial position. The privately-held food maker filed for Chapter 11 protection in January, its second trip through bankruptcy court in less than a decade. Hostess cited increasing pension and medical costs for employees as one of the drivers behind its latest filing.


Read more: http://www.king5.com/news/Hostess-closing-Seattle-bakery-two-others-178996421.html

36 replies, 5304 views

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Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply Hostess closing Seattle bakery; 110 workers affected (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Nov 2012 OP
SoapBox Nov 2012 #1
cstanleytech Nov 2012 #17
PatrynXX Nov 2012 #29
bloomington-lib Nov 2012 #2
Monk06 Nov 2012 #11
TheBlackAdder Nov 2012 #3
Honeycombe8 Nov 2012 #4
jtuck004 Nov 2012 #7
Honeycombe8 Nov 2012 #8
wordpix Nov 2012 #19
Kolesar Nov 2012 #21
GitRDun Nov 2012 #5
Honeycombe8 Nov 2012 #9
GitRDun Nov 2012 #13
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Nov 2012 #12
GitRDun Nov 2012 #14
FreeBC Nov 2012 #28
SomeGuyInEagan Nov 2012 #33
humbled_opinion Nov 2012 #6
longship Nov 2012 #10
shanti Nov 2012 #15
SomeGuyInEagan Nov 2012 #16
DollarBillHines Nov 2012 #18
Teamster Jeff Nov 2012 #20
Viva_La_Revolution Nov 2012 #23
rdking647 Nov 2012 #26
DollarBillHines Nov 2012 #27
AlexSatan Nov 2012 #32
MrModerate Nov 2012 #22
jmowreader Nov 2012 #24
kelliekat44 Nov 2012 #31
rdking647 Nov 2012 #25
Sherman A1 Nov 2012 #30
Kablooie Nov 2012 #34
BanTheGOP Nov 2012 #35
glacierbay Nov 2012 #36

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:16 PM

1. "Hostess cited increasing pension and medical costs for employees as one of..."

Anything about wanting increased payouts and golden parachutes, for executives?



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Response to SoapBox (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:18 PM

17. I know its tempting to point at those things however the real question here is

the Hostess claims legit or not? If not then of course the union should fight for there workers however if the problems Hostess is facing is legit and not the fault of criminal activity nor them trying to screw the employees then what do you want them (Hostess) to do exactly?

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #17)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:33 PM

29. Having been in this position before

and still don't have a job just yet more because I fell in a sand trap...

But I woulda taken a pay cut instead of losing local printing to a city hour south of here. Now that street faces yet another building to close and waterloo has fought long and hard to close it. This will be quick... I don't think Hostess has a choice.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:17 PM

2. another reason for universal healthcare

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Response to bloomington-lib (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:50 PM

11. Yep. One of the reasons why American companies tried to use NAFTA to dismantle the Canada Health


Act. Up here health care does not cost businesses one copper penny. Even with the Canadian and American dollars on par that is a significant cost saving.

Try arguing that point with the American Chamber of Commerce and other anti AFA right wingers.

Single payer health care is the prime example of how ideology trumps facts in the RW bubble sphere.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:25 PM

3. Most of your bread products, sold on shelves, are owned by a Mexican Company - Grupo Bimbo

Most of those US brands you buy profit a single Mexican company that is almost the size of Unilever, #1 bakery world-wide.

The larger they get, the more US firms they buy. It won't be soon until Hostess is owned by them.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:26 PM

4. I hate to hear this. I hope Hostess doesn't go under entirely. No more Twinkies?

I don't eat them, but they're a tradition. You always know they're there...just in case.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:33 PM

7. As long as no one eats them, they will always be there. n/t

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:36 PM

8. LOL. I've actually read that they are almost non-biodegradable.

Seriously. They last a looooooong time. Makes you wonder what's in those things.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:30 PM

19. I used to be so hooked on Twinkies about 35 lb. & 40 yrs ago

I'm slimmer now, I mean.

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Response to wordpix (Reply #19)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:36 PM

21. Lean, you mean ... eom

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:30 PM

5. This is just another screw the employees move!

Take a look at this article on the bankruptcy from early 2012:

http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/11/news/companies/hostess_bankruptcy/index.htm

The key information:

In its bankruptcy filing, the privately held company said that it owes more than $1 billion to creditors. The debt is spread out among a vast number of creditors -- between 50,000 and 100,000, the company said.

Pension funds feature prominently in the list of creditors.

The Bakery & Confectionary Union & Industry International Pension Fund has the largest claim, of $994 million.
The next largest claim, of about $12 million, is from Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Plan.


So they owe over a billion dollars to creditors and they owe over a billion dollars to the pension fund!

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Response to GitRDun (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:37 PM

9. I guess that means the co. isn't making enough $ to pay the bills?

That's the reason for the BR, right?

Too bad they couldn't come to an agreement. Something like forego payments to the pension for 5 years or something.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:56 PM

13. Lots of potential reasons

Big pensions were some of the duped investors in the financial crisis. They could have been one of the investors at the other end of one of those Goldman Sachs deals. Big investment losses inside the pension would require the company be liable for much bigger pension contributions to properly fund long term pension liability to employees.

Also, they could have made pension assumptions assuming a much higher return on assets than was realistic, then really taken a hit when the crash hit. Companies required pension contributions are based on employee factors like age, date of retirement, but also anticipated returns on assets.

There is a story here that likely has a lot more to do with bad management than workers demanding too much. I don't see how you get $1 billion in the hole on pension contributions overnight because of globalization issues (pension costs making them noncompetitive).

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Response to GitRDun (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:51 PM

12. So when they declare bankruptcy the taxpayers will have to pick up the tab for employee pensions

Via the Pension Benefit Guarentee Corporation. Plus the employees will only get a percentage of what they were originally entitled to.

This kind of fucking bullshit gets repeated by so many corporations these days.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:59 PM

14. You cannot discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy

without jumping thru MAJOR HOOPS, but you can dump your promises to employees on the taxpayer, no problem...we have soooooo far to go.

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Response to GitRDun (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:32 PM

28. +1

 

good point

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Reply #12)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 12:09 PM

33. Yeah. Been that way for years. n/t

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:33 PM

6. Hostess will

soon be opening a factory south of the border so they can pay less to their employees and charge more to their customers.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:43 PM

10. But I like Sno-balls!!

Coconut around marshmallow around cake around cream filling. What's not to love?

Especially in winter! Comfort food! Yum!

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:03 PM

15. just like the huge Campbell's soup factory here

in Sacramento that'll be closing. Except Campbell's is laying off 700, and this area has always had a high unemployment rate. not good

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:03 PM

16. They've been in trouble since ITT sold them off to Purina in the '80s ...

As I recall, ITT was a decent corporate owner. But it was Purina that really started fouling things up with poor management practices. Seems to have gotten worse with each sale.

At one time, much of the bread in stores besides Wonder in the Midwest was baked by Continental and Interstate Brands ... just stop the line, change the bags and start it up again. Not just white bread. Raisin, Oatmeal, all kinds of wheat, dark ryes. Even the store brands. It would still be warm when the route drivers were putting in the stores, which could be 200 miles away.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:25 PM

18. "Strike", hell. Their brand is dying because their product line is crap.

Hostess is blaming their brand failure on the workers rather than the product.

Good fucking riddance, Hostess.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:34 PM

20. Hotess/Interstate started up in 1930

So after 82 years the greedy workers put them out of business?

Bullshit

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Response to Teamster Jeff (Reply #20)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:41 PM

23. have you had a fruit pie lately?

they've become absolutely nasty, and half the size.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:13 PM

26. so what do the workers do????

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #26)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:24 PM

27. That's a problem.

The workers were in the unfortunate position of working for a dying brand.

We can only hope the best for them. It's a hard road.
DBH

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Response to DollarBillHines (Reply #18)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 10:49 AM

32. Them's fightin' words.

 

Don't be bad-mouthing my Ding Dongs and Suzy Qs (with their nutritious creamy filling!!!)!

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:40 PM

22. Hostess may be in trouble primarily because . . .

The market (i.e., people who might eat their crap) has moved beyond their product line to something less toxic. I mean, their products have been laughing stocks/despised by nutritionists for years.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:56 PM

24. Hostess' biggest problem is McKee Foods

Little Debbies are as good as Hostess, and a hell of a lot cheaper. There are also private labels of the same shit Hostess makes.

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #24)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 05:44 AM

31. Really folks, any food industry relying heavily on fructose is going down slowly.

All they would have to do is change their recipe. Bust Hostess is just not that good anyway,

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:12 PM

25. no matter who you blame the fact is thousands of employees may soon be out of work

the company is bankrupt. if your an emploee you have a simple choice. work for less or lose you jobs. thats it period. in bankruptcy it becomes the courts responsibility on what to do to maximize return to creditors. if the only way to continue as a company is to reduce wages then teh emplyees have the choice of pay cut or no job, It may suck but thats the only 2 choices.pesonally Im of teh opinion that the employees are pretty stupid to strike. all a strike does is pretty much guarantee a trip to the unemployment line. the company will liquidate,the recipes will be sold to other companies and will be made at new bakeries. the current employees get squat

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 12:12 PM

34. Ding dong the Twinkie's dead.

Naw. The US couldn't live without Hostess products.
I could, and do, but most couldn't.
It'll survive.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 01:04 PM

35. Owners are worth, cumulatively, a couple of billion dollars

 

This is why we need an EMERGENCY Executive Order from President Obama to prevent businesses from closing down without permission from the government to prevent job loss, especially when Obamacare is taken into consideration which the union is trying to preserve. This is intolerable, and the owners can easily cough up a few bucks to prevent this atrocity.

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Response to BanTheGOP (Reply #35)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 01:30 PM

36. Bullshit

 

the fed. govt has no business telling a private business whether or not they can close, that is a bad, bad idea.

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