Patterico's Pontifications

11/16/2012

Hostess to Shut Down Due to Strike

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:46 am

Go unions!

Hostess Brands — the maker of such iconic baked goods as Twinkies, Devil Dogs and Wonder Bread — announced Friday that it is asking a federal bankruptcy court for permission to close its operations, blaming a strike by bakers protesting a new contract imposed on them.

The closing will result in Hostess’ nearly 18,500 workers losing their jobs as the company shuts 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers nationwide, as well as 570 outlet stores. The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union represents around 5,000 Hostess employees.

“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” said CEO Gregory Rayburn in a statement.

Apparently other companies could come along and put out the products:

A letter that Hostess sent to its network of stores that carry its product said it expects “there will be great interest in our brands.” But it said it could not give a time frame for when the sales would take place and its products would be available again.

But even if those brands are bought and restarted, the Hostess workers will not get their jobs back.

“The industry has overcapacity. We’re overcapacity. Our rivals are overcapacity,” said Rayburn in an interview on CNBC. Asked if the shutdown decision could be reversed if the Bakers’ union agreed to immediately return to work, he responded, “Too late.”

You mean businesses still have the right to make decisions about their own companies?

Someone pass a law.

Thanks to MD in Philly.

141 Comments

  1. The First Lady should be celebrating.

    Comment by AZ Bob (1c9631) — 11/16/2012 @ 7:55 am

  2. Maybe somebody can sue them and demand they stay in business.

    Comment by JD (318f81) — 11/16/2012 @ 8:05 am

  3. Talk about cutting your own throat. And I mean both the unions and the company.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 11/16/2012 @ 8:06 am

  4. Maybe the union wants Hostess to go out of business to find a company with deeper pockets? They don’t care about the actual workers–they can always find new ones at a new company–but they sure could improve the lot of the union officials.

    Comment by Patricia (be0117) — 11/16/2012 @ 8:24 am

  5. The brands are valuable. Within a year, somebody will be making Twinkies, probably with the same plants and equipment and probably with some of the same employees. Does anybody want to take that bet?

    Comment by tomhynes (a2e520) — 11/16/2012 @ 8:32 am

  6. nk, the company isn’t cutting its throat. They’re maximizing value for their shareholders, as is their fiduciary duty.

    Patricia, Hostess has already told the baker’s union their is no company with deeper pockets that’s willing to buy the company and make them a better offer.

    This offer was the best Hostess could make. And no one was going to make a better one.

    You know who understood this? The union that represents the largest percentage of workers at Hostess; the Teamsters. They accepted the offer, and practically begged the baker’s union to accept it, too, to preserve 18,000 jobs:

    Teamsters urge secret Bakery union vote on Hostess

    “Teamster Hostess members and all Hostess employees should know this is not an empty threat or a negotiating tactic (by Hostess), but the certain outcome if members of the (bakers union) continue to strike,” the Teamsters said in a news release.

    The Teamsters said their assessment is “based on conversations with our financial experts, who, because the Teamsters were involved in the legal process, had access to financial information about the company.”

    A strike launched Nov. 9 by the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union “is now on the verge of forcing the company to liquidate,” the statement said. “It is difficult for Teamster members to believe that is what the (bakery union) Hostess members ultimately wanted to accomplish when they went out on strike,” the statement said.

    So, now the company is looking out for the best interests of the shareholders as it must. They’re far better off liquidating the company’s assests, including the rights to the brands, then operating at a loss.

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/16/2012 @ 8:34 am

  7. I realize the romantic knee-jerk populist instinct is to be angry at the rich guys who wear Brooks Brothers suits and drive a Mercedes to the Hostess headquarters, but this is the best option available for Hostess.

    Retailers must stock their shelf space with something, and when Hostess is unable to meet the demands of retailers due to the crippling strike affecting production, the retailers make agreements with other brands to fill the shelf “void” left by Hostess.

    So even if the dumb-ass unions had an epiphany last nite that all employees will return to work at 7AM sharp, the die has already been cast, and Hostess would have tremendous difficulty swimming upstream to get back to where they were…which was already shakey ground to begin with.
    By stopping the bleeding now, they probably make their acquisition by another entity more attractive now than if they were to accumulate more debts by flustering around for another several months—and then filed for bankruptcy.

    The union wages, benefits, and pensions at their current rates were too much for Hostess to continue absorbing.

    So, now, instead of the Hostess assembly line guys and bakers taking a slight wage reduction and paying several dollars more per month for their health insurance as Hostess requested during the negotiation, the assembly line guys and bakers will be without a job.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (65d289) — 11/16/2012 @ 8:37 am

  8. Where is the National Twinkie and HoHo Bailout.

    Comment by SarahW (b0e533) — 11/16/2012 @ 8:37 am

  9. The union plays chicken, and everyone — the company, ALL of its workforce, its loyal customers — loses.

    Oh, and — trivial little matter; barely worth mentioning — 18,000 people are going to be layed off (or at least know that the pink slip is coming) just as the holiday season is beginning.

    Perhaps they can all get fake ID’s made and go hit up Marion Berry for some free turkeys.

    Comment by Icy (e89474) — 11/16/2012 @ 8:40 am

  10. Steve57–The unions’ blame game amongst themselves on this one makes it extra juicy.

    Comment by elissa (74bc77) — 11/16/2012 @ 8:41 am

  11. ___________________________________________

    The road to hell — which is supposed to be paved with good intentions — can come with some big potholes and crumbling asphalt.

    There are a fairly large number of Americans who’d love to see our “road” built to French standards.

    businessweek.com, May 2012: Here’s a curious fact about the French economy: The country has 2.4 times as many companies with 49 employees as with 50. What difference does one employee make? Plenty, according to the French labor code. Once a company has at least 50 employees inside France, management must create three worker councils, introduce profit sharing, and submit restructuring plans to the councils if the company decides to fire workers for economic reasons.

    Companies say the biggest obstacle to hiring is the 102-year-old Code du Travail, a 3,200-page rule book that dictates everything from job classifications to the ability to fire workers. Many of these rules kick in after a company’s French payroll creeps beyond 49.

    There are now 2.9 million people out of work in France, almost 10 percent of the workforce and the most in 12 years. “For the 100 employees we have in France, we have 10 employee representatives, for whom we have to organize weekly meetings even when there is nothing to discuss,” [Pierrick] Haan [CEO of a French medical company] says. “Every time a social security contribution changes, which is frequently, we have to update software and send our HR people for training. We can’t fire anyone without exorbitant costs.”

    The code sets hurdles for any company that seeks to shed jobs when it’s turning a profit. It also grants judges the authority to reverse staff cuts years after they’re initiated if companies don’t follow the rules. The courts even deem some violations of the code a criminal offense that could send executives to jail.

    Software maker Viveo Group, an arm of Geneva-based Temenos Group, began the required talks with the workers’ council in February 2010 because it wanted to cut about a third of its 180-member staff, according to court records. Viveo offered employees a voluntary departure plan in June of that year as the council dragged its feet on evaluating the earlier proposal, court records show.

    The workers’ council then went to court to block the cuts. It won a ruling against the original plan in January 2011 on the grounds that Viveo was forecasting an 18 percent increase in sales, meaning its future didn’t depend on the layoffs. France’s highest appeals court is reviewing the decision and is expected to rule on May 3. “What holds back hiring in France is the lack of clarity on how to legally cut jobs,” says Déborah David, a labor lawyer at Jeantet Associés in Paris who has followed the case. If the decision is upheld, Viveo will have to take back the workers and hand over two and a half years in back pay, she says.

    ^ This illustrates why comments about what liberals will do, or would love to do, can never become too sarcastic or smarmy.

    Comment by Mark (5bf7b1) — 11/16/2012 @ 8:43 am

  12. At least there may be a silver lining to all of this for other companies/industries in the future. That is, when negotiating with the unions, if the company tells the union that the option of bankruptcy exists, they can always point to Hostess and it’s nearly 19,000 lost jobs as an example.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (65d289) — 11/16/2012 @ 8:45 am

  13. Yes, elissa. What makes it extra juicy for me is that when Hostess sells its brands at auction, and it will, these union workers won’t get their jobs back. The other companies who are candidates to produce the products already have the workers to make them.

    Hostess Brands closing for good

    But even if those brands are bought and restarted, the Hostess workers will not get their jobs back.

    “The industry has overcapacity. We’re overcapacity. Our rivals are overcapacity,” said Rayburn in an interview on CNBC. Asked if the shutdown decision could be reversed if the Bakers’ union agreed to immediately return to work, he responded, “Too late.”

    The bakers union bears primary responsibility, but I have no sympathy for the now out of work Teamsters. Because although they criticized the bakers union, they wouldn’t cross the picket line.

    They, any Hostess workers who are members of any other unions, and the non-union workers who wouldn’t cross the picket line and allowed the baker’s union to destroy the company are guilty of putting themselves out of job as well.

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/16/2012 @ 8:49 am

  14. That would be “the option of going out of business,” Elephant Stone. The company was already in bankruptcy.

    Comment by Icy (e89474) — 11/16/2012 @ 8:58 am

  15. As the article states, the industry is over capacity. Even Hostess is over capacity. When the brand is sold, it’ll be made elsewhere. Those jobs aren’t coming back.

    Comment by BigFire (484623) — 11/16/2012 @ 9:15 am

  16. Icy, friend, I apologize if I was not clear enough in #12. I was inferring in #12 that any company in the future can point to Hostess as an example of a company that really did enter into bankruptcy, as opposed to merely using the threat of bankruptcy as a bargaining tool in negotiations with the unions.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (65d289) — 11/16/2012 @ 9:35 am

  17. Comment by tomhynes — 11/16/2012 @ 8:32 am

    Gee, isn’t that what a lot of people said about the impending BK of the Big-Three back in ’08; that the brands and plants would mostly survive, it was just the contracts the companies were saddled with that needed to be discharged in BK.
    I think some guy named Romney actually said such a thing on the OpEd pages of the NYT, at the time, and has been crucified for it ever since.
    I’m sure that the DoJ will step in to force Hostess to remain in business, and turn over equity in the company to the Baker’s Union.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 11/16/2012 @ 9:36 am

  18. This is the third time that Hostess has gone into bankruptcy. But it’s the first time they went for straight liquidation. That means that the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (aka “the taxpayers”) will get Hostess’s pension obligations. All of Hostess’s union contracts and obligations will be gone–as will every job, union or not.

    Some of the assets may get bought out of bankruptcy–and some will simply be cloaed and gone forever. Employees and shareholders will all take a thumping–creditors will probably get paid at least something on the dollar.

    But what can’t continue–won’t.

    Comment by Comanche Voter (29e1a6) — 11/16/2012 @ 9:40 am

  19. 18. But what can’t continue–won’t.

    Comment by Comanche Voter — 11/16/2012 @ 9:40 am

    You mean like the taxpayer funded Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation?

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/16/2012 @ 9:44 am

  20. Dying for this headline

    “Bain buys Hostess”

    Comment by Hawkins (1fc204) — 11/16/2012 @ 9:45 am

  21. How dare they think they can shut down. Don’t they understand that profits no longer matter. This day and age it’s about giving people jobs that need it, not something as antiquated as profit. Why, we should have a law preventing just this sort of abuse of workers. We need to protect the people from these evil corporations and their greed. There has to be a law to protect the people. It is time to pass Directive 10-289.

    Comment by NJRob (94cca7) — 11/16/2012 @ 9:47 am

  22. That will leave a mark!

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 11/16/2012 @ 9:47 am

  23. Hawkins, lets start a rumor that Bain is buying Hostess, and moving all production to Canada.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 11/16/2012 @ 9:53 am

  24. The comments here that make reference to a company’s right to go out of business remind me of a San Francisco law. IIRC, it barred many gas stations from going out of business — never mind whether the station was profitable, etc. — on the grounds that the sometimes-very-old stations were “historical landmarks.” Of course, what was really going on was that the supposedly-greenie-but-still-car-driving rich SF folks didn’t want to have to drive a few more blocks to get their evil fossil fuels.

    Comment by Mitch (341ca0) — 11/16/2012 @ 9:55 am

  25. Mitch, I wouldn’t put it past this administration to reintroduce slavery; i.e. forcing people to work to their own detriment so the “fruits of their labor” go entirely to the benefit of others (paraphrasing how Lincoln described the evils of slavery). Because that’s the only way they’re going to get doctors to work under ObamaCare.

    It wouldn’t be that much of a leap for them to decide greedy business owners need to keep working even though they’re not making that evil profit.

    “There will be time for them to make profits, and there will be time for them to get bonuses,” Mr. Obama said during an appearance in the Oval Office with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner. “Now’s not that time.

    As an aside, I bet he’d be horrified if I told my employees, “there will be a time for you make a salary, and there will be a time for you to get bonuses. Now’s not that time.”

    It makes as much sense; why shouldn’t I expect others to work for free if as a business owner he’d expect me to work for free.

    Which seems more and more the case:

    Report: Obama administration set to give workers’ private contact info to unions

    In what is being called a payback for support from unions, Obama’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is set to give unions private contact information of workers employed by non-union companies, Joel Gehrke wrote at the Washington Examiner Thursday.

    “The National Labor Relations Board is expected to start work on a rule that would force businesses to turn over workers’ phone numbers, emails and shift times to union organizers,” the Associated Press reported last week.

    I really don’t see how any of this would be legal. Current law would require me to give unions the mailing address of my employees. But how can the NLRB pass a rule that would force me to do more?

    But then, I didn’t see how Obama could legally use his authority to make recess appointments when Congress wasn’t in recess either. President “we can’t wait” does seem to believe he can rule by decree when “Congress won’t act.”

    All I can say is if they legalize union thuggery, allowing them to call and spam my employees into unionized submission, combined with the costs of ObamaCare, skyrocketing electricity costs, and all the other burdens they have in store for me, my company will go the way of Hostess. And I won’t be alone.

    Of course, they don’t care. Recall what Clinton told a small business owner when he informed her that HillaryCare would bankrupt him.

    I can’t be responsible for every under-capitalized small business in America

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/16/2012 @ 10:13 am

  26. Perhaps some community organizers will band together to acquire the Hostess brands, and they’ll be able to use their late nite coffeehouse theories about running a business to get everything back on track. It should be pretty easy to do—after all, there are already roads and bridges and internet servers that other people built.
    I’ve been told that’s the predicate for a guarantee of business success !

    Comment by Elephant Stone (65d289) — 11/16/2012 @ 10:18 am

  27. The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union built that!

    Comment by Hu (c96087) — 11/16/2012 @ 10:22 am

  28. I bet bimbo picks up the brands for a song

    Comment by happyfeet (448298) — 11/16/2012 @ 10:26 am

  29. Besides, Elephant Stone, I hear Hostess is shovel ready.

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/16/2012 @ 10:39 am

  30. I read a quote from one of the union bosses to the effect that the Twinkie workers wouldn’t go back because they were given a “choice” by Hostess of losing their pensions or losing their jobs. So they elected to lose their pensions and their jobs. Brilliant!

    Comment by navyvet (02dd07) — 11/16/2012 @ 10:54 am

  31. Another victory for the free market. I don’t see what the issue is.

    Comment by Leviticus (1aca67) — 11/16/2012 @ 11:04 am

  32. They’re going to start making them in China now.

    Comment by Tillman (51d7aa) — 11/16/2012 @ 11:05 am

  33. Reality does not matter to community organizers–Perception is reality:

    Union: ‘Bain-style’ killing of Twinkie

    The Bain attack is back.

    This time it’s being used against Hostess Brands, the Twinkies and Wonder Bread maker that announced Friday it was closing. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka drew the comparison in a public statement Friday.

    “What’s happening with Hostess Brands is a microcosm of what’s wrong with America, as Bain-style Wall Street vultures make themselves rich by making America poor,” Trumka said in a public statement. “Crony capitalism and consistently poor management drove Hostess into the ground, but its workers are paying the price.”

    Comment by BfC (fd87e7) — 11/16/2012 @ 11:10 am

  34. You can make “healthy” treats. And market them as such. Could have made a gluten-free bakery. … Maybe they tried some or all of those things. ‘Tis sad, in a way. But mostly stupid, on all sides.

    Comment by htom (412a17) — 11/16/2012 @ 11:15 am

  35. The Teamsters seemed to acknowledge what was going on.

    I think the union membership should sue the union bosses for negotiating malpractice. They invested a responsibility in the union bosses to represent them and they did a lousy job. Being personally accountable for misleading people does inspire performance as opposed to not being responsible when other people suffer.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 11/16/2012 @ 11:39 am

  36. …the rich guys who wear Brooks Brothers suits and drive a Mercedes to the union hall…

    FTFY!
    as long as there are people dumb enough to join the union, the union chiefs will live well, no matter what happens to the fools paying the dues.

    Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 11/16/2012 @ 11:46 am

  37. Apparently, you cannot even blame the union as a blanket statement:

    The Irving, Texas-based company had already reached a contract agreement with its largest union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. But thousands of members in its second-biggest union went on strike late last week after rejecting in September a contract offer that cut wages and benefits. Officials for the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union say the company stopped contributing to workers’ pensions last year.

    Comment by BfC (fd87e7) — 11/16/2012 @ 11:49 am

  38. the Hostess story in one picture

    also, see #HostessShrugged hash tag on Twitter my donation, inspired by askeptic @ #23:

    “RT Bain is buying Hostess brands & moving production to Canada & Mexico for lower costs. #HostessShrugged”

    Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 11/16/2012 @ 12:32 pm

  39. My parents were Teamsters. At Brach Candy, Lake and Cicero, Chicago. My father was a chocolatier (enrobing), mama was general packing (five tons a day). The factory is in Mexico, for a time now.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 11/16/2012 @ 12:43 pm

  40. Mitch, I wouldn’t put it past this administration to reintroduce slavery; i.e. forcing people to work to their own detriment so the “fruits of their labor” go entirely to the benefit of others (paraphrasing how Lincoln described the evils of slavery). Because that’s the only way they’re going to get doctors to work under ObamaCare.

    It wouldn’t be that much of a leap for them to decide greedy business owners need to keep working even though they’re not making that evil profit.

    I’m sure they’d love to — Diocletian had nothing on these people — but I don’t believe they can.

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 11/16/2012 @ 12:44 pm

  41. Doctors poormouth, but they have a guaranteed baseline under Obamacare. As they have under Medicare. Don’t go giving much creedence to their bitchiness. The AMA was the biggest supporter of Obamacare.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 11/16/2012 @ 12:49 pm

  42. As unfortunate as this is for the employees, I hope all of those now unemployed have a very realistic understanding of what the union is all about and that by their very ‘nature’, do not have the individual employee’s best interest at heart first, but rather it is about keeping their power secure. Moreover, it would be even more beneficial if they clearly saw the unsustainable pensions.

    At this point in time where we are seeing the power of unions rule the roost, this is a bitter lesson. If anyone earns from it is another question entirely.

    Comment by Dana (292dcf) — 11/16/2012 @ 12:52 pm

  43. Oh my, what will we fat people do?

    Comment by Patrick in Michigan (7b58f8) — 11/16/2012 @ 12:55 pm

  44. ” If anyone earns from it is another question entirely.”

    Learns…

    Comment by Dana (292dcf) — 11/16/2012 @ 1:05 pm

  45. President “we can’t wait” does seem to believe he can rule by decree when “Congress won’t act.”

    Yes, he really does seem to believe that, and many people, including most journalists seem to believe it too. FDR had a similar conceit, if you recall.

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 11/16/2012 @ 1:06 pm

  46. So happy for the newly unemployed. Obama phones, food stamps, Section 8 and Medicaid. Easy living.

    Comment by Rodney King's Spirit (951136) — 11/16/2012 @ 1:32 pm

  47. #41 You are completely out-of-bounds and know not of what you write.

    The segments of medicine where Medicaid dominates, MDs have the lowest compensation. Pediatrics for example where the avg is around $110K per year. Garbage men make that.

    In addition, Medicare is only marginally better payer than Medicaid and in terms of market segments the most profitable are Private Pay and Private PPO. Private HMO some where in the middle.

    Comment by Rodney King's Spirit (951136) — 11/16/2012 @ 1:35 pm

  48. 44. ” If anyone earns from it is another question entirely.”

    Learns…

    Comment by Dana — 11/16/2012 @ 1:05 pm

    I liked the way you said it the first time.

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/16/2012 @ 2:00 pm

  49. “#41 You are completely out-of-bounds and know not of what you write.”

    Rodney King’s Spirit – Last stats I saw showed that the AMA only represented 17% of doctors and that only 13% of that AMA membership approved of the organization’s stand on Obamacare. It has been hemorrhaging membership.

    It’s much touted support is about as genuine as the AARP’s support of Obamacare.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 11/16/2012 @ 2:17 pm

  50. I’m sure they’d love to — Diocletian had nothing on these people — but I don’t believe they can.

    Why? Because it’s against the Constitution? Against the law?

    Comment by Rob Crawford (c55962) — 11/16/2012 @ 2:41 pm

  51. #49 MD do not support the AMA or AARP.

    Both sold themselves out. AMA to assure continued use of its proprietary coding books. AARP for its United Health Care monopoly on supplemental coverage insurance.

    The industry is in dire straights from years of margin compression, massive complexity imposition, and uber defensive medicine which drive up utilization.

    But MD per se are not making any more than your local Teacher or Firefighter who have some seniority and do some over time.

    You look at the specialty most effected by Government and Insurance — Pediatrics — and trust me it is awful how compensation has crashed for them as Medicaid has expanded. Practices are all merging, MDs have to see 50 kids a day …. just awful …. and then Medicaid denies a $35 claim for arbitrary reasons.

    Crisis in the making b/c as MD retire no one will do this type of medicine — add family practice to that too.

    Folks don’t even know a 1/10 of coming implosion … some of it just trends that can’t be avoided. Some Government and Obama Care.

    Comment by Rodney King's Spirit (951136) — 11/16/2012 @ 2:53 pm

  52. 18. That means that the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (aka “the taxpayers”) will get Hostess’s pension obligations…

    But what can’t continue–won’t.

    Comment by Comanche Voter — 11/16/2012 @ 9:40 am

    Just came across this.

    US pension insurer runs record $34B deficit

    I’m sure those good union members voted for Obama just like their shop stewards told them to.

    Wave bye bye to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, suckers, along with your jobs.

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/16/2012 @ 3:24 pm

  53. You can take my Twinkies and Ding Dongs when you pry them from my cold, dead hands!

    Obama’s destruction of America continues!

    Take back the country! Save the Twinkies and Ding Dongs!

    Comment by WarEagle82 (97b777) — 11/16/2012 @ 3:35 pm

  54. As I said on another thread, watch for the Sno Ball effect.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 11/16/2012 @ 4:29 pm

  55. You know, if the Mrs. wasn’t into getting rid of childhood obesity I bet someone could say Twinkies were an American icon and Hostess was too big to fail.

    I think someone should make a law about that.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 11/16/2012 @ 7:44 pm

  56. Doc, your wish is President Tiger Beat’s command!

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/nationalize-twinkie-industry/cJz0ngJR

    we petition the obama administration to:

    Nationalize the Twinkie industry

    We the undersigned, hereby request Barack Obama to immediately Nationalize the Twinkie industry and prevent our nation from losing her sweet creamy center.

    Created: Nov 16, 2012

    Issues: Civil Rights and Liberties, Human Rights

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/16/2012 @ 8:39 pm

  57. 35. The Teamsters seemed to acknowledge what was going on.

    I think the union membership should sue the union bosses for negotiating malpractice. They invested a responsibility in the union bosses to represent them and they did a lousy job. Being personally accountable for misleading people does inspire performance as opposed to not being responsible when other people suffer.

    Comment by MD in Philly — 11/16/2012 @ 11:39 am

    I think the union bosses represented them exactly how the rank and file wanted.

    Maine’s striking Hostess workers say company’s collapse a strong message of union resolve

    “Unions have been losing power for years,” said Ken Rumney, a striking worker outside of the Hostess plant in Biddeford on Friday. “This is an exceptional case. If Hostess had been allowed to get away with what they’d been trying to do, other corporations would have lined up to try the same tactics. Hopefully, this will be an example to other companies not to [try to] break their unions.”

    “I think we’re the first ones who have stood up and said, ‘We’re not going to let you get away with it,’” said Sue Tapley, the strike captain on hand Friday morning at the Biddeford plant, which employed nearly 600 people. “You can fight them. You can shut them down.”

    Unions. Winning!

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/16/2012 @ 9:00 pm

  58. background on the Hostess mess
    including the Demoncrap who owns the hedge fund that pulled the plug on them.

    Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 11/16/2012 @ 10:10 pm

  59. “Wave bye bye to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, suckers, along with your jobs.”

    Steve57 – Not necessarily. They’ll probably just sock other people with the tab if there’s a shortfall.

    From the PBGC website. Did you know;

    “PBGC receives no funds from general tax revenues. Operations are financed by insurance premiums set by Congress and paid by sponsors of defined benefit plans, investment income, assets from pension plans trusteed by PBGC, and recoveries from the companies formerly responsible for the plans.”

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 11/16/2012 @ 10:23 pm

  60. daley, do you think they’ll have better luck milking a dry udder than the unions did milking hostess in the first place?

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/16/2012 @ 11:18 pm

  61. 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 Gephardt, who in 2005 founded the Gephardt Group, an Atlanta consulting firm that provides “labor advisory services.”

    …Ripplewood pumped a total of $170 million into the company, but the string of CEOs it appointed could not keep the company from sliding back into Chapter 11…While it still retains some debt, Ripplewood has little chance of recouping any of its investment.

    I dunno, red. If I was the lender I don’t think I’d have thrown more money down this hole either.

    I wonder if after “exploring” this particular deal with a “union-involved” company Ripplewood’s curiosity is satisfied. Mine would be.

    I loved this part:

    On exiting the first bankruptcy, Hostess’s total debt load was nearly $670 million. That was well above what it went into bankruptcy with in the first place

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/16/2012 @ 11:34 pm

  62. “daley, do you think they’ll have better luck milking a dry udder than the unions did milking hostess in the first place?”

    Steve57 – I don’t know the funding status of the Hostess pension plans. There have to be at least two plans. The PBGC isn’t required to fully fund promised plan benefits, just look at the case of the Delco salaried employees. That’s one way they stay in business. The ability to assess other solvent employers, however, does give the PBGC flexibility but encourages sin by employers and employees.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 11/16/2012 @ 11:36 pm

  63. “That was well above what it went into bankruptcy with in the first place”

    Steve57 – That is sort of unusual because typically some creditors take some pipe during bankruptcy so the debt burden is lower, not higher coming out. Unless the higher debt is trade credit to carry inventory or receivables because Hostess was growing while in bankruptcy or Ripplewood was just a flat out idjit and overpaid, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense on the surface to me.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 11/16/2012 @ 11:44 pm

  64. Take back the country! Save the Twinkies and Ding Dongs!
    Comment by WarEagle82 — 11/16/2012 @ 3:35 pm

    – Didn’t the country just re-elect Twinkie & Ding Dong?

    Comment by Icy (e89474) — 11/17/2012 @ 2:08 am

  65. Another victory for the free market. I don’t see what the issue is.
    Comment by Leviticus — 11/16/2012 @ 11:04 am

    They’re going to start making them in China now.
    Comment by Tillman — 11/16/2012 @ 11:05 am

    – Well-played!

    Comment by Icy (e89474) — 11/17/2012 @ 2:12 am

  66. I bet bimbo picks up the brands for a song
    Comment by happyfeet — 11/16/2012 @ 10:26 am

    – Bimbo Ding Dongs . . . not to be confused with “Bimbos With Ding Dongs,” new on DVD.

    Comment by Icy (e89474) — 11/17/2012 @ 2:22 am

  67. my point about Ripplewood is that the MFM is NOT mentioning them in the stories they carry on this…

    i guess only conservative owned equity companies are teh ebil

    Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 11/17/2012 @ 3:28 am

  68. Irregardless of the Teamsters’ tumultuous origins, it has been a sweetheart union since Hoffa the older’s disappearance. Maybe that’s why he was disappeared?

    It’s a system that’s worked, though. Teamsters stay employed at a decent wage. Union agents that raid the pension fund get a bullet in the back of the head. (If you have seen the movie Casino, that was my parents’ pension that was raided by Dorfman.)

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 11/17/2012 @ 3:32 am

  69. To some people, that word is like fingernails on a chalkboard.

    Comment by Icy (e89474) — 11/17/2012 @ 3:40 am

  70. Casino or Teamsters? If it’s Casino, those guys are all dead or dying in prison.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 11/17/2012 @ 3:44 am

  71. Ho Ho® de Ding Dong®
    I got yer Twinkie® right here
    suck Sno Balls® Cupcake

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (29048f) — 11/17/2012 @ 4:09 am

  72. True. But what happened to, and where is all the raided teamster pf money, nk? How much was recovered?

    Comment by elissa (2eaf50) — 11/17/2012 @ 4:13 am

  73. There was a trustee appointed, elissa. We did have a hard time getting my father’s pension.

    I had to fight to get him full pension instead of early retirement. But, well, that’s why he paid for my law school.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 11/17/2012 @ 5:00 am

  74. I don’t believe any of the money was recovered. That’s part of the reason the Spillotros were buried alive, and Aleman is the precedent for double jeopardy not applying in the exact same case and jurisdiction.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 11/17/2012 @ 5:05 am

  75. Spilotro, at one time, tried to blow up Harry Reid,

    Comment by narciso (ee31f1) — 11/17/2012 @ 5:27 am

  76. nk–Over the summer I just read the book about the Aleman case and the years long quest for justice written by Possley and Kogan, titled Everybody Pays. Wow. Grim but fascinating stuff.

    Comment by elissa (2eaf50) — 11/17/2012 @ 5:32 am

  77. ______________________________________________

    “You can fight them. You can shut them down.”

    That makes me think of someone with a gun pointed at his own head saying, “If you come any closer, I’m gonna shoot!”

    Comment by Mark (5bf7b1) — 11/17/2012 @ 6:06 am

  78. Between Obama and idiot unions like these there won’t be a job left in America in 20 years.

    Well, except for illegal aliens blowing leaves off of lawns and mowing grass for union bosses and politicians.

    Welcome to the New World Order. Love it or else…

    Comment by WarEagle82 (97b777) — 11/17/2012 @ 6:34 am

  79. 64. Take back the country! Save the Twinkies and Ding Dongs!
    Comment by WarEagle82 — 11/16/2012 @ 3:35 pm

    – Didn’t the country just re-elect Twinkie & Ding Dong?

    Comment by Icy — 11/17/2012 @ 2:08 am

    Couldn’t have, Icy.

    The Twinkie is dead.

    And Al Qaeda is alive.

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/17/2012 @ 7:30 am

  80. Spilotro, at one time, tried to blow up Harry Reid,

    Comment by narciso

    we had high hopes but
    ev’ryone knows an Ant can’t
    one Harry Reid plant

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (4e59c4) — 11/17/2012 @ 8:24 am

  81. I see that the SEIU is going to try to shut down LAX Thanksgiving Eve, complaining that some firms aren’t offering a “living wage.”

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 11/17/2012 @ 8:55 am

  82. And, supposedly, some WalMart workers are going to attempt to shut down stores on Black Friday. Sounds like a new job opportunity may be opening up for the former Hostess employees.

    Comment by Icy (093576) — 11/17/2012 @ 9:03 am

  83. “You can fight them. You can shut them down.”

    That makes me think of someone with a gun pointed at his own head saying, “If you come any closer, I’m gonna shoot!”

    Comment by Mark

    You mean this ?

    Comment by Mike K (326cba) — 11/17/2012 @ 10:12 am

  84. Steve57 @ 38,

    Thanks for the second link. It’s eye-opening to see how they view the demise of Hostess and how neatly they attempt to turn it into a We showed them workers’s victory. as they stand in the snow. Around fire barrels to keep warm.

    Class warfare – it never gets old.

    Comment by Dana (292dcf) — 11/17/2012 @ 10:25 am

  85. There seems to be lots of urgent bakery business (both branded and house brands) out there ready to be sold outright or contracted out to Hostess’ one time competitors. Chi Trib had this today which references Jewel, one of the large chains here and just one of the chains Supervalu owns nationally:

    The closure of Hostess plants as the company faces liquidation leaves Supervalu Inc. looking for a new baker for Essential Everyday breads sold in its stores, including the Jewel chain.

    Hostess produced the private label bread brand Supervalu launched this year.

    “It is possible that in some markets there may be some shortages of Essential Everyday, but we are quickly working to implement our contingency plan,” spokesman Mike Siemienas said. “We’re working with some vendors to produce more and others to produce the product.”

    The Hostess plant in Hodgkins that produced Essential Everyday bread also made Beefsteak, Butternut, Home Pride, Nature’s Pride and Wonder breads.

    Comment by elissa (88944e) — 11/17/2012 @ 12:12 pm

  86. Sy Rosen/Marry Ann is the brand for “bread” in Chicago. Nobody has better buns than Marry Ann. A Chicago hot dog is Vienna Beef in a Mary Ann bun, with mustard, onions and relish. Tomatoes, peppers and pickle optional. (And you can imagine all the dirty jokes you like about that.)

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 11/17/2012 @ 12:34 pm

  87. And my stupid pills (lorazepam, folic acid, B1) have given me total anorexia so I can’t get myself up to drive for a couple.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 11/17/2012 @ 12:38 pm

  88. Nobody has better buns than Marry Ann.

    – J-Lo is sooooo mad at you right now!

    Comment by Icy (093576) — 11/17/2012 @ 1:07 pm

  89. 88.Nobody has better buns than Marry Ann.
    – J-Lo is sooooo mad at you right now!

    Comment by Icy — 11/17/2012 @ 1:07 pm

    How about we just limit the contest to the castaway’s on Gilligan’s Island?

    Then I agree with nk. Ginger was a distant second when Mary Ann wore those short shorts.

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/17/2012 @ 1:27 pm

  90. i could do with a stupid pill or two

    Comment by happyfeet (dd80f2) — 11/17/2012 @ 1:33 pm

  91. ______________________________________________

    America right now seems like a dark version of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” In the altered-reality answer to that story, the character of George Bailey dies at an early age and his town (ie, society) eventually is taken over by Mr. Potter. Unethical, greedy, amoral, cretinous behavior soon runs rampant.

    Instead of Potterville, welcome to Obamaville.

    Comment by Mark (52bc92) — 11/17/2012 @ 1:37 pm

  92. I don’t know the whole story. Mary Ann was a Greek girl (Maria Antonia), I don’t know whether Sy Rosen conceived her, married into her family, or just bought her daddy’s bakery. My father applied there for a job but he picked Brach’s.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 11/17/2012 @ 1:54 pm

  93. Just remember to eat, happyfeet. Four BLTs a day, if you can. Chocolate ice cream in between. You will have all the nourishment you need.

    It’s the weekend, and the daughter (my the daughter) will be with me. I’m planning pasta with parmesan and marinara.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 11/17/2012 @ 1:59 pm

  94. And, BTW, she’s on her third love affair. With a boy.

    At age ten years, seven months, twenty-eight days, seven hours and fifty-four minutes. I did something right, I think.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 11/17/2012 @ 2:06 pm

  95. At the Hostess bakery it’s breast cancer awareness week in the Sno-ball aisle
    I do declare

    Comment by pdbuttons (71b691) — 11/17/2012 @ 2:44 pm

  96. Then I agree with nk. Ginger was a distant second when Mary Ann wore those short shorts.
    Comment by Steve57 — 11/17/2012 @ 1:27 pm

    – Mary Ann for booty, Ginger for booby.

    Comment by Icy (093576) — 11/17/2012 @ 5:51 pm

  97. http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-Brand-New-Sealed-Hostess-Bakery-Twin-Pack-Twinkie-Cakes-RARE-COLLECTORS-ITEM-/181027018043?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a260d153b

    Comment by Dustin (73fead) — 11/17/2012 @ 6:06 pm

  98. I don’t know where I read where they asked the professor why he never figured a way off the island and he said he was there with Mary Ann and Ginger and his competition were the Skipper and Gilligan.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 11/17/2012 @ 6:37 pm

  99. And the daughter’s dinner was pepperoni pizza, after all.

    And she says she does not care if there are no more Twinkies, HoHos or DingDongs.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 11/17/2012 @ 6:41 pm

  100. “I think we’re the first ones who have stood up and said, ‘We’re not going to let you get away with it,’” said Sue Tapley, the strike captain on hand Friday morning at the Biddeford plant, which employed nearly 600 people. “You can fight them. You can shut them down.”
    Unions. Winning!
    Comment by Steve57 — 11/16/2012 @ 9:00 pm

    That is too crazy; cutting off your nose to spite your face to the max. I wonder when they will figure out they didn’t win much after all.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 11/17/2012 @ 7:27 pm

  101. we petition the obama administration to:
    Nationalize the Twinkie industry
    We the undersigned, hereby request Barack Obama to immediately Nationalize the Twinkie industry and prevent our nation from losing her sweet creamy center.
    Created: Nov 16, 2012
    Issues: Civil Rights and Liberties, Human Rights
    Comment by Steve57 — 11/16/2012 @ 8:39 pm

    Umm, I’m going to have to be more careful about the suggestions I make…

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 11/17/2012 @ 7:30 pm

  102. 100. I think we’re the first ones who have stood up and said, ‘We’re not going to let you get away with it,’” said Sue Tapley, the strike captain on hand Friday morning at the Biddeford plant, which employed nearly 600 people. “You can fight them. You can shut them down.
    Unions. Winning!

    Comment by Steve57 — 11/16/2012 @ 9:00 pm

    That is too crazy; cutting off your nose to spite your face to the max. I wonder when they will figure out they didn’t win much after all.

    Comment by MD in Philly — 11/17/2012 @ 7:27 pm

    I know, Doc. Two points about what’s absolutely insane about Sue “psycho” Tapley’s remarks.

    1. Yeah, there’s a reason you’re the first ones, ya dumb broad. The unemployment rate in Maine has gone up from 7.4% in September 2011 to 7.6% in September 2012. I think everyone else in Maine is looking at you and saying, “It’s November. We’d rather not choose between food and heat right about now.”

    2. You can shut them down. When you’re one of the two main reasons they’re already in bankruptcy in the first place.

    Those fortuities aggravated Hostess’s two root problems — a highly leveraged capital structure that had little margin of safety, and high labor costs

    The odd thing is, Sue “Psycho” Tarpley may be patting herself on the back. But she was just the indirect cause of Hostess folding. Because the lenders, the hedge fund guys, stuck around during the first bankruptcy. But they looked at these idiots in the unions and then at their position and said, “The only downside for us is if we stick with this clown.” And they aren’t going to be hurt at all by Hostess closing. They should do quite well as the secured creditors from the liquidation. I don’t know how badly Rippleside is going to be hurt by losing their $170M, but if they had the kind of money to risk on Hostess then something tells me they’ll limp along OK.

    The only people, really, she’s “shut down” completely are the ones who depended on that job at Hostess to keep body and soul together.

    Great job, Sue “Psycho” Tarpley! You think you nailed those “fatcats.” You know, the guys who stepped in and rescued your job when your company was about to go under and kept you in porkrinds and beer for a couple of years. You think you got revenge on them for that.

    You didn’t.

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/17/2012 @ 8:57 pm

  103. If a corporation can’t pay its workers decent wages and benefits, then who cares if they go under? You can all eat the new made in China Twinkies, and blame the unions for multinational corporate greed, and a general lack of sentiment for the goodwill of the worker. No one will care. When did it become wrong in this country to want a decent wage with decent benefits? When did that become such a demonizing thing? You can wash them down with your Belgian-owned Budweiser while waving your flag and bad mouthing those nasty workers, oops, I mean unions.

    Comment by Sirch Theoon (78cfaa) — 11/18/2012 @ 2:52 am

  104. You can want anything you like, but you’re not entitled to it. The only purpose of a business is to make money for its owners. It doesn’t exist for the benefit of its workers, or its customers, but its owners. But the workers and the customers benefit, and if it doesn’t make them money, then the owners close it down and the workers and customers lose.

    And what is a “decent” wage, or “decent” benefits? What makes one level “indecent” and another “decent”? And what makes you think that what the Bakers union was demanding was not extremely indecent? What we know is that it was more than the owners could pay, and more than they could get anywhere else, so it was by definition more than their work was worth, and thus more than they deserved.

    Unions are parasites, but a wise parasite takes great care to keep its Hostess alive. The Teamsters Union is a wise parasite; the Bakers a foolish one.

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 11/18/2012 @ 8:51 am

  105. The ‘goodwill’ of the worker! Yeah-Pleasantville!
    There’s a cat in the tree

    Comment by pdbuttons (71b691) — 11/18/2012 @ 8:58 am

  106. Sirch Theoon. Failed at economics and math. Joined a union.

    Let’s not talk hypothetically. Let’s apply your windy generalities to the case at hand.

    103.If a corporation can’t pay its workers decent wages and benefits, then who cares if they go under?

    Hostess could pay a decent wage, genius. That’s why the Teamsters took the deal. That’s why the majority of Hostess workers took the deal. This may be news to you but the bakers’ union was not the largest union at Hostess. The Teamster’s were. And there were something like a dozen smaller unions represented at the company along with non-union workers and managers.

    But good union drone that you are, the baker’s union comes out with this “not a living wage crap” and you parrot it.

    The fact that companies can pay a decent wage is why picket lines are necessary. Because if these striking workers didn’t form picket lines to prevent people from taking their jobs, other people would go in and take their jobs.

    Hate to break it to you, but the existence of “scabs” proves you wrong.

    You can all eat the new made in China Twinkies, and blame the unions for multinational corporate greed, and a general lack of sentiment for the goodwill of the worker.

    My gawd, in the case of Hostess you have things bass ackward. Hostess would have gone under five years ago at least for two reasons. High labor costs were one of them. The unions were sucking the company dry. The only reason it survived until 2012 was because a private equity firm and a secured lender in the form of a hedge fund came along to save those union jobs. It wasn’t just the unions, but again the unions were a leading cause forcing the company into bankruptcy again.

    I know I’ll not have any better luck schooling you on the purpose of bankruptcy than Mitt Romney did schooling Barack Obama, but bankruptcy doesn’t mean jobs and assets just disappear. If a company is merely economically distressed then bankruptcy is a court ordered restructuring generally to remove the excessive debt. Such as those caused by rapacious union contracts. If a company isn’t economically viable than bankruptcy becomes a court-supervised sale of assets so someone else can come along and make use of them. The bakers’ union wasn’t the only reason Hostess was in the first category, but their greed was the only reason Hostess moved to the second category.

    Corporate greed isn’t the only form of greed friend. What the baker’s union did is essentially turn on the people who had shown them goodwill by saving their arses out of pure unadulterated greed and selfishness. And they said F.U. to the Teamsters and the other workers as well.

    Hostess Liquidation: Teamsters Seen As Collateral Damage In Bakers Union Strike

    “We did everything we could to save the company,” said Joseph Ortuso, a Teamster and sales route driver from New Jersey who’d been with Hostess or its acquisitions for more than two decades. “We never gave up during bankruptcy. We fought in the marketplace to retain our business. In the end, somebody else made the decision.”

    “They’re losing [5,000] jobs,” Ortuso said of the bakers’ union, “but they’re costing 18,900 people their jobs.”

    Got that, union drone? 13,900 other workers thought that Hostess did offer them a wage and benefits package they could live on. They wanted those jobs.

    But no. If the bakers’ union couldn’t get anything they wanted then nobody could get anything. Demonstrate whether or not you’re capable of thinking beyond cliches, Mr. Theoon, and tell me something. Who’s the greedy one again?

    No one will care.

    I certainly will. If I find a current or former member of the baker’s union ever tries to hit me up for a job then that person gets turned down.

    That’s how much I care.

    When did it become wrong in this country to want a decent wage with decent benefits? When did that become such a demonizing thing?

    I’d say back in the seventies when that “decent wage” crap just became a euphemism for “screw the company and the consumer, I want all I can get.” Then states started getting onboard with the program and gave public employees collective bargaining rights. Which basically involves a couple of foxes getting their heads together and deciding how many chickens the taxpayers were going to have to give up.

    Special Report: How a vicious circle of self-interest sank a California city

    Go ahead. Read it. It’s the state of Kali on a micro scale. The self-interest? Read greed. It’s exactly how I say; that of the union foxes and politician foxes. Nowhere will you read of the taxpayer. The only corporations you’ll read of are “Wall Street” pension bond insurers who, I’ll admit, acted greedily. But then they wouldn’t have been given the opportunity without the insatiable greed of the union pension fund managers such as at CALPERS. People who are themselves union workers. Now they’re at each others throats because while still in the process of screwing the taxpayers they now want to screw the Wall Street people they formerly colluded with to gang bang the taxpayers.

    Yet even in bankruptcy, reducing pension costs by cutting benefits is not an option – at least according to Calpers.

    The pension agency says the benefits are carved in stone, arguing that from the day a worker is hired, the pension plan in place on that day for that person can never be reduced in value under any circumstances, including municipal bankruptcy.

    That argument has never been tested in court: When the Bay Area city of Vallejo went bankrupt in 2008, it declined to challenge the pension payments to Calpers, in part because of the daunting legal costs involved.

    But the pension-bond insurers who are now on the hook for defaulted bonds in both Stockton and San Bernardino have signaled their intention to do battle with Calpers in bankruptcy court. San Bernardino, in an unprecedented move, has already stopped making payments to Calpers.

    “Calpers is the 800-pound gorilla in the room,” said Michael Sweet, a bankruptcy attorney at Fox Rothschild, which is not representing any parties in the San Bernardino bankruptcy. “No one has yet taken on Calpers. This is going to be a huge fight, and it’s going to be Calpers versus Wall Street.”

    Who are you going to blame for being greedy? One side only, Wall Street, while the other side says the taxpayers must continue to pay for a deal that was cut at a table they never had a seat at?

    You can wash them down with your Belgian-owned Budweiser while waving your flag and bad mouthing those nasty workers, oops, I mean unions.

    Comment by Sirch Theoon — 11/18/2012 @ 2:52 am

    I highlighted the one part you got right. I hate unions with a passion, ever since I worked in a union shop. But I care very much for the goodwill of workers. I have 13 of my own. In an industry with very high turnover we’ve managed to retain a high percentage of those who started with us. We can come to an arrangement without a parasitic union standing between us.

    Let’s face it. Hostess was killed by a tapeworm called the bakers’ union.

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/18/2012 @ 10:00 am

  107. Some fun factz, kidz, about the tapeworm that is the baker’s union. Taken from:

    http://www.unionfacts.com/union/Bakery%2C_Confectionary%2C_Tobacco_Workers_%26_Grain_Millers

    Officers and Employees

    Average Total Compensation: $94,797.07

    Total Employees: 58

    Employees Making more than $75,000: 31

    President Frank Hurt $262,654.00

    Secretary-Treasurer David Durkee $244,396.00

    Exec. VP David Thibodeau $218,989.00

    I don’t know why they need seven vice presidents, but you’ll be pleased to know they all make under $200k. Yup. The parasites living off he backs of the other parasites have a salary range of $198k – $162k.

    Like a lot of people, my first job was at a grocery store. Unfortunately, mine was union so I had to join the UFCW. All these a-maggots did was take a big bite out of my paycheck, then occasionally prevent me from going to work at a job I was perfectly happy with because they decided the haul in union dues wasn’t big enough for them.

    Now nearly 19,000 people are out of work because I guess it was important to prove to other companies that they’re a bunch of tough guys.

    Yeah, Sirch Theoon, I will enjoy that Belgian Beer while giving the finger to these commie anti-American hacks.

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/18/2012 @ 12:15 pm

  108. And in case anyone thinks I’m being too harsh in my assessment of unions:

    YouTube: Communists and SEIU Members march together at May Day Demonstration, L.A., Ca.

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/18/2012 @ 12:17 pm

  109. Oh, the “greedy Wall St vultures” who wouldn’t give the union what it wanted and brought the company down? Here’s their information. How interesting.

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 11/18/2012 @ 12:48 pm

  110. CBS told us this morning that greedy corporate capitalists are responsible for the death of an American icon.

    Union? What union?

    Comment by Patricia (be0117) — 11/18/2012 @ 12:53 pm

  111. http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2012/11/16/bakers-union-releases-statement-on.html?page=all Probably some truth in this statement-reader beware!

    Comment by Leon Dixon (e1416d) — 11/18/2012 @ 4:01 pm

  112. Leon, how dare you bring facts into this conspiracy theory cesspool of a blog. You mean it WASN’T the union’s fault? Big surprise there.

    Just like every other conspiracy theory they try to float here, from Benghazi to Mexican gunrunning to “snowplowgate” and beyond. It always ends up being BS. I think the last one that panned out was Congressman Weiner, and boy was that important. Everything else always ends up a misinformed fail. When is anyone actually going to try to improve the Republican party so they can win elections again? You’ve got a bunch of crazies to evict. Get over the election already. Your chances of getting rid of Obama are zero at this point. Tough. No matter how much you dislike him, there is no credibility to any of the accusations made about him. It’s just a bunch of partisan sour grapes. Get over it, crybabies.

    Comment by Sirch Theoon (78cfaa) — 11/18/2012 @ 4:29 pm

  113. Facts? The greedy baker’s union issues a misleading and self-serving statement and you call what it contains “facts?”

    There’s another word for what’s in there in farm country.

    What did you think this arse covering a-maggot was going to say? Yeah, we just killed our people’s jobs but so what? Of course they’re going to say “wasn’t us” and blame “Wall Street.”

    But as I said, you be good union drones. All the greed is on Wall Street. That’s what they want you to think.

    Hefty salaries, perks for union leaders raise eyebrows

    These people know how to play you union types for the suckers you are. Look, over there suckers, there’s a vulture capitalist, sez the union boss lining his pockets at your expense.

    Life is good at the top of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers.

    The union, with its headquarters in Kansas City, Kan., represents about 59,000 workers in the U.S. and Canada who make and repair boilers, fit pipes and work on ships and power plants. The recession has hit their trade hard, reducing union membership.

    At the same time, the president’s salary has surged 67 percent in the past six years, not counting a recent raise. Add in travel and some other expenses, and Newton B. Jones received more than $600,000 last year, putting him at the absolute top of the presidents of the dozen biggest unions in the country.

    Many relatives of union officers also ride the payroll.

    Totaling the pay to just the families of Jones and two other executives, the union and its affiliates gave them more than $2 million in annual salary, according to the most recent financial reports filed by the organizations.

    These people at Hostess deserve to be out of their jobs. And guess what girls? Wall street made out just fine.

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/18/2012 @ 5:01 pm

  114. It looks like Frank Hurt had Trumka write his press release. Or at least he sent Hurt an email and told him, “Look, I’ll go first and show you what you have to say to keep your membership fooled. By the way; want to buy my old yacht? I’m getting a new one due to that raise I gave myself.”

    Union: ‘Bain-style’ killing of Twinkie

    The Bain attack is back.

    This time it’s being used against Hostess Brands, the Twinkies and Wonder Bread maker that announced Friday it was closing. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka drew the comparison in a public statement Friday.

    “What’s happening with Hostess Brands is a microcosm of what’s wrong with America, as Bain-style Wall Street vultures make themselves rich by making America poor,” Trumka said in a public statement. “Crony capitalism and consistently poor management drove Hostess into the ground, but its workers are paying the price.”

    He hits all your hotbuttons guys. Not a fact in there. It’s like a Twinkie. All empty calories. Since Twinkies are no more, enjoy your soft spongecake of anti-capitalism wrapped around the sweet creamy center of on-the-take.

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/18/2012 @ 5:15 pm


  115. He hits all your hotbuttons guys. Not a fact in there. It’s like a Twinkie. All empty calories.

    — Steve57

    That sounds remarkably like this blog. Sometimes you guys get confused, and think you are the arbiters of truth, when in reality, you are the stokers of conspiracy theory fires. One of these days you will wake up and realize you have been spoon fed one lie after another, and the whole house of cards will come down. But if you keep diving down the rabbit hole far enough, I suppose you could keep yourself ignorant enough to never have to acknowledge the misinformed right-wing bubble that you live in. You are so far down the rabbit hole you probably think Clinton didn’t have a surplus, and capital gains are double taxed, and Obama raised your taxes.

    Comment by Sirch Theoon (78cfaa) — 11/18/2012 @ 6:41 pm

  116. In my comment #106 I challenged Sirch Theoon:

    Demonstrate whether or not you’re capable of thinking beyond cliches, Mr. Theoon,…

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you his preceding post #115 as all the evidence you’ll ever need that he is not.

    One of these days you will wake up and realize you have been spoon fed one lie after another, and the whole house of cards will come down.

    I assure you, sir, that you never will.

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/18/2012 @ 6:53 pm

  117. That, sir, is the advantage of not jumping on every conspiracy theory bandwagon, which almost always end up being bunk. I don’t look stupid when it turns out not being true, and you do.

    Comment by Sirch Theoon (78cfaa) — 11/18/2012 @ 6:56 pm

  118. Why is it always a matter of labor being too high of a cost, and not product cost being too low?

    Comment by Sirch Theoon (78cfaa) — 11/18/2012 @ 7:11 pm

  119. Sirch, I would respond but I’m still stunned by your and Leon Dixon’s rhetorical jujutsu. I railed in two posts about union greed, one in general, the other specifically about the officer’s of the baker’s union (naming Frank Hurt, president of the union, by name). And how they’re run for the benefit of the union bigwigs, not the members.

    And then Leon responds with the TWOOF! And you were like “Yeah! Take that, Steve57.”

    Straight from Frank Hurt’s mouth. Proclaiming it’s those other fatcats who are to blame.

    Wow. I never coulda seen that press release coming. It was the verbal equivalent of that secret Chinese death blow Uma Thurman put on David Carradine in “Kill Bill.”

    The effect was different of course. Instead of dropping dead after taking a few steps my sides started splitting.

    Let me catch my breath.

    Oh, by the way.

    Why is it always a matter of labor being too high of a cost, and not product cost being too low?

    Where’d you get your Phd in economics?

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/18/2012 @ 7:54 pm

  120. Probably some truth in this statement-reader beware!

    “Probably”? On what basis do you make that assertion? Why would anyone assume that? Wanting there to be some truth in it won’t make it magically appear.

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 11/18/2012 @ 8:32 pm

  121. Why is it always a matter of labor being too high of a cost, and not product cost being too low?

    Um, what?

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 11/18/2012 @ 8:36 pm

  122. Once again, in case you missed it, here’s the skinny on those “right-wing vulture capitalists” you’re busy lambasting.

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 11/18/2012 @ 8:41 pm

  123. Oops, tried closing the <a> tag with a </i>. That never works…

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 11/18/2012 @ 8:44 pm

  124. 121.

    Why is it always a matter of labor being too high of a cost, and not product cost being too low?

    Um, what?

    Comment by Milhouse — 11/18/2012 @ 8:36 pm

    I think he was trying to say that if Hostess quintupled the price of Twinkies then it could afford to pay it’s labor force more.

    Just the prescription for a company whose sales have dropped nearly 30% since 2004.

    And, yes, I know now that the campany is shutting down people are hoarding Twinkies and Ding Dongs and trying to sell them on Craigslist for $100 per box. I know of no stupider “craze” since anyone can go online and see that other companies are lining up to bid on the more popular Hostess brands.

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/18/2012 @ 9:18 pm

  125. Yeah, because prices are set at the manufacturer’s whim. Which means that this creature actually thinks the greedy greedy manufacturers are simultaneously incredibly generous to the public, setting the price far lower than they had to! They could have raised the prices without losing any money, but they chose to keep them low out of the goodness of their hearts. So where’s the greed? Doesn’t this make them philanthropists and public heroes?

    And he’s actually demanding that the manufacturer raise the price, thus squeezing more money from hundreds of thousands of consumers, so a few hundred bakers could be paid more. Assuming for the moment that this could be done, why on earth would you want it to? Which lefty model of “social justice” puts the interests of a few greedy bakers over those of the hungry public? I thought socialism taught the opposite: Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz and all that. Surely they should sacrifice for the public good, no?

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 11/18/2012 @ 9:49 pm

  126. 125.Yeah, because prices are set at the manufacturer’s whim.

    Wouldn’t this be illegal in New Jersey?

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/18/2012 @ 9:57 pm

  127. Actually, it’s a federal law. Manufacturers are not allowed to set prices on some things. That’s why you see MSRP.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 11/18/2012 @ 10:44 pm

  128. nk, Steve57 is talking about NJ’s ridiculous “price gouging” law. And we’re not talking about dictating prices to resellers, we’re talking about setting your own prices. The laws of the government may let you set them however you like, but the laws of economics are stricter. If you set the wrong price for your product, you will lose money and be driven out of the market.

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 11/18/2012 @ 11:21 pm

  129. The Illustrated Twinkie:

    http://www.imao.us/index.php/2012/11/ich-bin-ayn-twinkie/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+imao%2FjNDB+%28IMAO%29

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 11/19/2012 @ 7:51 am

  130. It looks like I was right about Trumka writing Hurt’s press statement. Trumka has an opinion piece that’s on top of the stack on the BCTGM homepage.

    Anyhoo, great job, union workers! Way to not give in to those Wall Street fatcats. You’re out of a job, Frank Hurt and Dick Trumka have got their six figure salaries. Oh, and by the way, those Wall Street fatcats will make millions selling off those Hostess brands in deals like this:

    The Twinkie: Will it return as a Mexican expat?

    But another possible bidder hints at the future of Twinkies and maybe the US bakery business as a whole: Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo, the world’s largest bread baking firm, which already owns parts of Sara Lee, Entenmann’s and Thomas English Muffins.

    Bimbo almost bought Hostess the first time it went through bankruptcy, so this deal is likely.

    Especially if a Mexican buyer is involved, production may go the way of the Brach’s and Fannie May candy concerns: south of the border. With US sugar tariffs set artificially high to protect Florida sugar-growing concerns, a non-unionized shop with access to lower-priced sugar in Mexico could be the Twinkie lifeline, economists suggest.

    On the other hand, if Hostess’ problem is its legacy delivery system, which is what University of Maryland economist Peter Morici suspects, Bimbo may be able to squeeze profits out of the supply chain while still making Twinkies in the US, albeit probably not in union shops.

    You know, maybe I’m still asleep in my “misinformed right-wing bubble” but it sure looks like the only ones really getting screwed here are the rank-and-file baker’s union members. And they did it to themselves because they believed union leaders like Frank Hurt were looking out for their best interests and were telling them the TWOOF! And, the best part for me, is they got screwed thinking they were going to screw people they couldn’t screw. Which makes them very unsympathetic characters to me. Sort of like burglars who get shot.

    Enjoy your federal and state unemployment benefits this Holiday Season.

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/19/2012 @ 8:03 am

  131. rank-and-file baker’s union members

    The news reports that here in Philly they are still on the picket line, that they still think the bankruptcy stuff is some kind of negotiation ruse.
    And it wasn’t long ago that long time local favorite TastyCake went under and what was left bought by somebody else.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 11/19/2012 @ 8:43 am

  132. Doc, apparently these people have been misled on many different levels. I’m told, but I can’t find any on-line references, that the union bigwigs convinced the membership to vote to strike because they told them there was a buyer for the company. Which is why management continuously had to come out and say that there was no white knight waiting in the wings and that they weren’t making empty threats when they said they’d have to liquidate the company.

    It’s sad. Sorta.

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/19/2012 @ 9:37 am

  133. Yup. Their union is still lying to them. Their union is still lying to them.

    Frank Hurt, president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union told the Wall Street Journal that there’s “more than a good chance” someone would swoop in to buy the company’s 30 brands and preserve jobs. He said that Twinkies and Wonder Bread are popular and they will be “produced somewhere, some time and by our members.

    Not after that juvenile display you had your members put on.

    Nobody is going to put themselves in a position where this fool’s union will be involved.

    Yet, his union membership still hangs on his every word.

    I believe the child-like faith union members have in the honesty and the benevolence of their fatcat labor bosses is their most endearing feature.

    But it’s also why I wouldn’t hire them.

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/19/2012 @ 2:38 pm

  134. Funny, how that works out;

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2012/11/romney-47-party-host-may-rescue-thousands-of-union-jobs-at-hostess/

    Comment by narciso (ee31f1) — 11/19/2012 @ 3:20 pm

  135. No so fast; apparently Hostess and the baker’s union have accepted mediation at the bankruptcy court’s request.

    I do have to admit it’ll be funny after all the big talk about “not a living wage” and “let’s see another company try to break the unions” blah blah blah if the baker’s union meekly accept the deal that the Teamsters took in September.

    Wonder how those other 14k workers are going to welcome these guys back after they so cavalierly attempted to put them out of a job.

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/19/2012 @ 5:21 pm

  136. What’s bizarre is that I am seeing Democrats calling the Hostess action the fault of Bain and Romney … even though neither Bain nor Romney have anything to do with this. Ripplewood Holdings is more associated with Democrats than the GOP.

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 11/19/2012 @ 6:43 pm

  137. If BHO’s former stepdad Lolo Soetero visited DC, and the President and the Congressional Progressive Caucus killed some blind kid’s seeing eye dog to throw him a BBQ, they’d tell the blind kid it was Bain Captital and Mitt Romney’s fault.

    Comment by Steve57 (7a880e) — 11/19/2012 @ 11:36 pm

  138. I don’t know. If I had the money I might consider buying it, but I would definitely not hire any of the strikers to work there.

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 11/19/2012 @ 11:54 pm

  139. So a judge tells the company they can’t go bankrupt, yet anyway?

    http://wizbangblog.com/2012/11/20/bankruptcy-judge-orders-hostess-and-union-to-mediation/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Wizbang+%28Wizbang%29

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 11/20/2012 @ 5:12 am

  140. MD, they’re already bankrupt, which means they’re under court supervision to prevent them from wasting the creditors’ assets. Therefore they need the court’s permission to shut down production; they need to convince the court that this is in the interest of the creditors, that the company will be worth more without the production than with it. The unions’ interest isn’t supposed to factor into this at all.

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 11/20/2012 @ 1:35 pm

  141. Thanks, Milhouse.

    So is the judge in effect saying “the creditors would be best served by production not stopping if a new labor deal can be arranged using arbitration”.

    I guess that makes sense, whether it will work or not I guess we will see.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 11/20/2012 @ 2:32 pm

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