Twinkie Offense: Unions kill off Hostess Brands

Nov. 19, 2012

By Jennifer Kerns

They were the Hostess with the mostest. The most labor headaches.

Last week Hostess Brands shut its doors after 82 years in business following a food fight with its bakers’ union over wages and benefits.

Citing concerns over finances, the company asked its bakers to take an 8 percent cut in wages for three years. After that, salaries would be bumped up 3 percent. Then an additional 1 percent a year in later years.

Hostess also sought to reduce its pension obligations and healthcare liabilities. In return, the workers would have received a whopping 25 percent equity stake in the company. And two union representatives would have been placed on the company’s eight-member board of directors.

The union said “No,” however, and 18,500 workers were fired.

As an excuse, maybe the unions will take the Twinkie Defense.

Shelf life

Several years ago, a colleague with whom I worked in the healthcare industry in Orange County wrote an article warning consumers about the unnaturally long shelf life of a Twinkie.  The story was met with much media attention and a cease-and-desist letter from the Hostess Brands corporation which vigorously defended its product.

Now Hostess has given up the fight. It seems the makers of the snack food that could nearly withstand a nuclear holocaust could not withstand another term of anti-market policies.

Who can blame them?

During his 2012 election bid, President Obama promoted “tax the rich” fiscal polices. And the president clearly has telegraphed which side of labor disputes he comes down on.

It was just over one year ago that the administration intervened on labor union matters at Boeing.  The National Labor Resources Board filed a complaint to block the company’s relocation of an airplane production line from Washington state to South Carolina because the Palmetto State enjoys right-to-work laws.

Although the dispute eventually was settled and Boeing opened its new facility, the dispute had one chilling effect: It signaled the brass-knuckles stance of Obama’s NLRB, which had gained Democratic majority status following the 2008 Election.

So, nevermind that noise you hear. It’s the crinkle of the wrapper on my last Twinkie as I bid adieu to a great American institution — and to an era gone by, when we respected the right of every American company to make dough, and got out of their way.

 

 

 

15 comments

Write a comment
  1. Ted
    Ted 19 November, 2012, 10:36

    I “guess” you could say unions did it. Or, you could say, they ran their company so bad that they couldn’t afford to pay the prevailing wage? I thought repubs liked to see things go bk when they could not sustain in the market?

    Reply this comment
  2. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 19 November, 2012, 10:44

    Or, you could say, they ran their company so bad that they couldn’t afford to pay the prevailing wage?

    There is no “prevailing wage”. The wages are whatever is negotiated in the contract. Nice try teddy.

    I guess you could also say that 18.5K Hostess employees are now unemployed, including the Teamstaers who agreed to a new K.

    Someone will buy the brand, and will keep making Cup Cakes, Ding Dongs and Twinkies, but the pay will be well below what was offered last week, there will be no union and the jobs will be filled.

    Reply this comment
  3. Ted
    Ted 19 November, 2012, 10:48

    LOL— It’s the workers fault? Not the jackwagons who ran the company into the ground? LOL Joke!!

    Reply this comment
  4. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 19 November, 2012, 11:56

    So once again an arrogant and greedy labor cartel shoots itself in the foot. What kind of lunatic organization would reject the offer of 25% stock ownership and a permanent place at the management table because they might have to compromise a little in the short run? The Bakers Union fat cats still get to collect their 6 figure salaries with gold plated perks and the rank and file union slobs get pink slips for the holidays. That certainly seems like a fair deal.

    Ted, you have to be very confused to think this is something about “prevailing wages”. Ultimately, the only wage that prevails is a wage rate that allows an employer to make a profit while satisfying shareholders and customers. Artificial, jacked up Santa Claus wages for half educated, marginally skilled, collectivized factory drones aren’t sustainable anymore. That’s why all labor cartel growth is in the government sector where profits don’t apply and the “customers” are a captive and easily exploited group.

    I’m gonna miss those tasty fruit pies though.

    Reply this comment
  5. Ted
    Ted 19 November, 2012, 13:43

    Dysphoric– I hope you don’t eat alot of that junk food, but it could well explain your dysphoria. Perhaps you need some regression in service of the ego?

    Maybe the union did shoot themselves in the foot, or maybe another poor biz plan died a death. Seems to me like a simple pay hike ate any remainder of margin left in the overleveraged place and the greedy and or chaotic mgmt pulled the pin by choice. Way to go “job creators” !

    Have a super day!

    Reply this comment
  6. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 19 November, 2012, 14:41

    LOL— It’s the workers fault?

    The teamsters saw the writing and said yes, the bakers should have also.

    Reply this comment
  7. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 19 November, 2012, 15:30

    “I hope you don’t eat alot of that junk food”.

    I eat quite well Teddy, unlike those half educated, overpaid union slobs your heart bleeds for. I’m truly touched by your concern for my health though. You may rest assured that I am still fighting fit and full of whoop ass. Now why don’t you go have a Ding Dong. Just try not to be a Ding Dong.

    Reply this comment
  8. Ted Steele, Prosecutor
    Ted Steele, Prosecutor 19 November, 2012, 18:38

    Dysphoria can be induced by a poor diet rich in sugars and fat— I remain concerned about you dysphoric…..

    Reply this comment
  9. Ted Steele, Prosecutor
    Ted Steele, Prosecutor 20 November, 2012, 06:45

    Hostess mangmnt is doing the right thing.

    Costa Mesa city mangmnt is doing the right thing.

    LOL– Sky not falling so much. Doomers will be sad.

    Discuss now trolls…

    Reply this comment
  10. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 20 November, 2012, 07:54

    LOL– Sky not falling so much.
    =

    Tell that to San Bernrdino!!!!!!

    Reply this comment
  11. Ted
    Ted 20 November, 2012, 11:05

    LOL— All the hissy fit you all threw out here about Costa Mesa and Hostess and now you doomers PRETEND not to remember!

    LOL

    This is honestly getting way too easy!

    And, too boot….last night joint US intel orgs confirmed that THEY ordered the changes in the Bahangazi talking points that Rice read on TV. Standing by and watching the deevolution of repub’s isn’t pretty. And now here’s failed presidential candidate John McCain!

    Reply this comment
  12. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 20 November, 2012, 13:52

    Hahhaha….noiw the puppet master is a Bahangazi expert. I love it!!

    Reply this comment
  13. Ted
    Ted 20 November, 2012, 16:32

    please spell better little buddy!

    0 for 14 ™ !

    Reply this comment
  14. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 20 November, 2012, 17:24

    I will spell bettter the second you start capitalizing your sentences 😉

    Reply this comment
  15. Ted Steele, Prosecutor
    Ted Steele, Prosecutor 21 November, 2012, 06:42

    good job poodle—– much better speelllingg……

    oh……and……0 for 14 ™ !

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply



Related Articles

UC president appears to cave in fight with Gov. Brown

Three months ago, University of California President Janet Napolitano triggered a fight with Gov. Jerry Brown and leaders of the

Governor Supporting Pension Reform

APRIL 22, 2010 By KATY GRIMES Yesterday Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Senate Minority Leader Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Murietta, announced that they’re supporting pension reform

Will "Going Green" Backfire?

With nearly every politician — from city councils to state legislators, governors  and congress – embracing green technology as the