Twinkies RIP

Killed By Union Stupidity

As union chief Richard Trumpka is shooting his mouth off about the the fiscal cliff being a "manufactured crisis," a major manufacturer of the Hostess brand of bakery products is having to shut its doors. Seems a select group of its union workers have gone on strike about having to take an 8% pay cut in order to keep their jobs. I'm for letting the unions destroy themselves but also feel for the economy as a whole because of their continued greed. So it seems it is better not to have a job than take a pay cut in order to insure the survival of you company? Is that your position union workers?

Many of us grew up on Wonder Bread. I later switched to Nature's Pride because of the nutritional value of whole grained bread. Now neither will be found on store shelves. Nor will Twinkies, Ho Ho's (I have a friend who is having severe withdrawal symptoms over this one), Hostess cupcakes, Zingers, Ding Dongs and the list goes on. Now not only will we be missing some true American junk foods but our unemployment lines are increasing by 18,500 workers who cut their own throats.

Hostess this past Friday marched into federal bankruptcy court and requested permission to cease operations and sell its assets. All of its 33 bakeries and 656 distribution centers nationwide. All in the name of union greed let me add again. The union identified in the sign above represented 5,000 of those Hostess workers and is the culprit in calling for the strike that is causing the backlash we will experience. The company CEO made the following statement: "We deeply regret the necessity of today's decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike."

That is not to say that particular brand names will not be sold and re-marketed under a different corporate umbrella. If that is so then it will take a while for particular products to reappear. But one thing is for certain. Even if any of the products are sold and given a new startup, Hostess workers aren't going to get their jobs back. They in essence have screwed the pooch.

The bakers for the company had a 5 PM deadline this past Thursday to return to work or the company would be forced to shut down. The deadline came and went and now the company will shut down. This was the second time Hostess had filed for bankruptcy. That was this past January. It emerged from restructuring in 2009 and continued operations. This time there will be no restructuring and no jobs for the workers. Thanks again bakers union.

The Teamsters Union had accepted a new contract with reduced wages and benefits this past September. Well the Baker's union rejected the contract and the company went to the court to force a new concession contract on workers to survive. You now see the outcome of the Bakers Union's intransigence. It's called no jobs. The Teamsters Union represented about 7,500 Hostess workers and has been critical of the 5,000 member Baker's Union for calling the strike that ultimately forced the company into liquidation.

Union Ding Dongs?

The terms of what the Teamsters accepted seemed reasonable in order to allow for the survival of the enterprise. Here's what the new contract stipulated:

"The new contract cut salaries across the company by 8% in the first year of the five-year agreement. Salaries were then scheduled to bump up 3% in the next three years and 1% in the final year.

Hostess also reduced its pension obligations and its contribution to the employees' health care plan. In exchange, the company offered concessions, including a 25% equity stake for workers and the inclusion of two union representatives on an eight-member board of directors. "

"Like" It, "Tweet" It, "Pin " It, "Share It" With Your Followers. Time to let em read it.

Now you need to understand that was the bottom line to continue operations. For a nine-to-fiver that might be hard to understand. But it is what it is. But it wasn't enough for the bakers of the world. So now there are 18,500 of our fellow American workers out of a job. If you expect things to get better under Obama - DON'T.

As Always,

The Frog Prince

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Comments 36 comments

TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 4 years ago from Tucson, Az.

Not only did I grow up on this stuff, I've used the names to describe those among us who don't understand math. You know, "Ding Dongs"? Then there are the supposed leaders who have no spine ..."Twinky's". Let's not forget the devalued dollar ... "Wonder Bread". WE NEEEED HOSTESS! Unions have out grown their usefulness, but that's another story ...

~ jim


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 4 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

What a terrible thing to happen on the heals of Marijuana legalization in Colorado ! Grounds for a federal bailout if I ever saw one ! Could have made a great campaign slogan for 2016 too - Pot laws are dead and twinkies still live! (wink, wink)


femmeflashpoint 4 years ago

Pinned, facebooked, Google +'d and tweeted!

Awesome article on a sad situation, frogman.

femme


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

What a stupid waste and this is only the beginning. The unions have outlived their usefulness. I bet their members are thrilled to be unemployed! Up, interesting and awesome.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX Author

tsad - Now you got me howling with laughter. I hadn't thought about the angle with marijuana and the munchies. Old Justin on my secede article might get in a twist over that issue :)

The Frog


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

I couldn't agree more. I have thought the unions outlived their usefulness decades ago. I remember living in Cleveland when I was a young lady and most of the unions, like the plumbers, electricians, etc went on strike and suddenly the were making $7 per hour. This was a big jump at this time and companies started moving out of Cleveland over the next few years, which shrunk the population appreciably. Companies moved to non-union states. I have never had any use for unions since then. Good hub, up and shared!


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 4 years ago from Rural Arizona

To choose unemployment over a temporary cut in pay doesn't say much for those who made this brilliant decision. I guess there are still some who truly don't understand the true economic condition of this country. Or they thought that the economy would heal quickly under the careful guidance of the Obama administration.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX Author

Mike - Having observed the union mentality they are akin to the rest o the sheeple in their flock. They just greedily follow blindly along.

The Frog


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

Frog, this is just the beginning! I don't normally like to engage in the name calling business...but my honest feel it that the ignorant elected this administration and the likes....and the ignorant are now making decicions, thinking that this administration will save them.

There will be so much more to come...hang on.

and btw, very good hub!


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 4 years ago from Rural Arizona

Kind of reminds you of the people in the Watts riots who were so angry they burned down their own houses.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX Author

Chris - No matter how we slice it and dice it ignorance is what it is and the ignorant are who they are.

Mike - I think we're just seeing the tip of the iceberg myself. I'm wondering if Oscar and Big Bird got wind of this yet?


abbykorinnelee profile image

abbykorinnelee 4 years ago from Ripon Wisconsin

One thing I did learn last semester in macroeconomics is the problem with unions. I have to agree with you on this hub my friend. Too bad I have a new health issue that says I can't eat anything good anymore and none of them being off the shelf will hurt me, I won't have to look at them and wish:)


MaryInMinnesota 4 years ago

Just thinking of Twinkies gives me the Willie's, and not in a good way. I never had a craving for the fake chemical ingredients inside the Twinkie or the Devils Food Cupcakes. The sickening, sweet, un-natural smoothness of that white stuff never seems to have an expiration date, so it just boggles my mind why any person could crave those things.

Oh, but wait! Maybe I'd better run out and buy as many of those un-natural things as I can so that I can put them in my bomb shelter for emergency food supplies. If I'm in a bomb shelter, it means my life maybe at stake, and that's about the only time I'd eat a Twinkie.

As for the Union idiots... yup... greed is surely going to kick you in the arse. Welcome to Obama's world. Just remember that when you sign up for your Obama food stamps, you won't get a Twinkie with them. Serves you right.


KBEvolve profile image

KBEvolve 4 years ago from United States

I just saw a advertisement on Craiglist. Someone was trying to sell two boxes of Twinkies for $100.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Union workers cutting their own throats? Why am I not surprised? But I am going through Twinkie withdrawal as I write. :)


bobspunkin 4 years ago

For the life of me, I can't understand such ignorance! That is a good word for this too. Here in northern California, a grocery store was able to quickly sit down with the union bosses and avert a strike. The management AND the employees didn't want a strike so were able to be reasonable. I find it interesting that the Teamsters Union was able to see reason yet this smaller union couldn't? I just can't believe the union employees wanted this but I guess they did if they voted for it. Now, they can look forward to no jobs. My question is do the employees still get unemployment benefits? Here in California, striking union employees can not get them but this is different in that the company is going out of business. But the company is going out of business due to the employees - how does that work for unemployment compensation? Does anyone know? I think it would be WRONG if these employees who threatened to strike to get benefits. I know, I am mean; I am a typical white conservative who is for "big corporate greed". No, I am for common sense which is long gone, I guess.


shiningirisheyes profile image

shiningirisheyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

Obviously these morons "are what they eat" so to speak. These "twinkies" will get a firm "ding dong" to their reality when they join the ranks of the ever-increasing unemployed. How shameful of them to be so greedy. So many wish they had a job to go to and these numb nuts decide to take advantage of the situation and force the company's hand. So much for American Pride. I guess the days of my Dad are truly over huh? Taking into consideration the state of the economy, generations before me would have ensured this didn't happen.


Conservative Lady profile image

Conservative Lady 4 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

America as we know it will be forever changed - Unions are work destroyers - so many more people could be employed if the Unions didn't demand outrageous wages, benefits, and pensions for their members. If you gave 2 guys $14.00/Hr jobs with health insurance instead of one guy $24.00/Hr with a pensions and health insurance wouldn't that be a better proposition for all AND nobody would be wasting their hard earned money paying Union Dues.

Rest in Peace Hostess - I will miss the Raspberry Pies and Wonder Bread.......


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 4 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

Get this I read in an article:

[The Teamsters warned The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union that this would happen if it didn't agree to the labor concessions, but latter union chose to gamble by continuing its nationwide strike and lost big-time.

Doug Graves posts:

Hostess was going out of business anyway, even if the workers went back to work. It would not have mattered. All Hostess wanted to do was get every last thing they could from the workers before they shut down. Glad the union held strong.]

I don't know who Doug Graves is but what an idiot - along with anyone who would believe that comment!

If they were going to go out of business no matter what, what sense was there for the union to even entertain any discussions (unless of course all they wanted to do was get every last thing they could from the company before they shut down, the same thing he is accusing the company of doing to their workers).....this is the kind of babble babble you always hear from the left on any subject they have failed on, it is just never their fault.


Stu 4 years ago

This is the whole sick thing with unions. While union members sometimes get compensation 40-50% higher than their non-unionized counterparts, the cost is that job losses more than offset the extra pay and fringes. Jobs get offshored, or eliminated altogether. Unionization, which is really a form of labor monopolization, is not the solution to the disappearance of the middle class. Good jobs with good pay only materialize when demand picks up sufficiently that employers have to compete for labor. This pickup in consumer demand only occurs when quality goes up and price comes down. In other words, never-ending improvement in quality and productivity (output per unit of labor) is the solution. Sadly, by going from a "first-to-invent" to a "first-to-file" patent system, and perpetuating export protection (the absence of retaliatory import tariffs) in exchange for corporate American accesss to cheap labor in places like China, Obama has ensured that defensive patents on devices that don't even exist will prevent alot of real productivity-enhancing inventions from ever appearing, and the offshoring of jobs will continue unabated. For all of Obama's "pro-worker" speech, he's actually one of the most anti-worker Presidents we have ever had. Obama hands out welfare to corporations as much as he does to unions. It really isn't as "ideological" as some think - the only ones Obama will help are the ones who can and will pay kickbacks in the form of large campaign contributions or a massive number of votes at the polls.


34th Bomb Group profile image

34th Bomb Group 4 years ago from Western New York State

Fifty years ago my father said "unions will be the ruination of this country." Guess he was right.


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 4 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

Ain't that the truth! About fathers I mean. Looking back on my father's comments, I'd say my father was right about most everything...sad it takes me about 50 years to realize it though. :-)


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX Author

tsad - With age, hopefully, comes wisdom.

TFP


rfmoran profile image

rfmoran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

This union reminds me of the air traffic controllers union that just couldn't believe Reagan would enforce the law and fire all the union members who struck. Congrats gang - you don't have to giveback. Great hub shared with my 8300 twitter followers


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Unions had their purpose in previous years, but today - they seem to miss the mark on what it is to really pull for the employee. Sad to see this happen to the workers, but the lesson is -- think about your options first! Yes, I don't expect things to get better, we just have to get more frugal and wiser in making things work. I have not had a twinkie in ages, but now that they are gone -- I find I want one!


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 4 years ago from US

...and the Obama lovers can't see a thing while he tears our country down around us. It isn't Obama's fault. You wait, he is going to get by with killing those four Americans...they just keep wiggling around it and he answers to no one. If I heard right when he talked to the Israeli leader he said just wait and see what happens. If he does not help Israel we better all run for cover. It is over.


RipSnorter profile image

RipSnorter 4 years ago from Michigan

Great hub Frog! The unions had a purpose and a place for the laborer of the past, but now it is all greed. If you look around at all of the forclosed homes, bought by people (many of them union workers) who really couldn't afford what they were buying, it just shows you the ignorance of those union members who thought they couldn't lose their job! The unions have outlived their purpose and need to be thrown out like yesterday's trash. It is a sad day when workers follow some union boss like sheep into a slaughter and now all they have is a picket sign to take home!!!


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

Sounds kind of like justice to me -- walk strongly and carry a big stick with a sign on it and you'll be out of a job quicker than quick as this economy can no longer meet the demands of unions. If their answer is it's better to be out of work -- well, they're all Ding Dongs! I, too, wonder if they're all going to draw unemployment although they caused the problem? Probably -- that's the Democratic way! Good Hub -- Best/Sis


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA

It makes me wonder what is really going on behind closed doors. What is the real story why a company like this would hide behind a strike by union workers? Could it be that they want to bankrupt, restructure, and open their doors non-union? Look at the money that could be made by doing so. What kind of millions of cash bonus will the executives get out of that one every year? Who gets the money from the worker's retirement? It is a never ending slick pay off for the company owners. Could it be that they will use the same building, re-label their products, screw the fellow workers hours and wages? If the product wasn't making enough money, why would they re-sell it? This is a ploy to rid companies of the union. I could go on and on. I wonder how many other companies with adopt this bail-out.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 4 years ago from Rural Arizona

tlpoague - I would guess you have never run a business based on your comment.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX Author

tlpogue - All you need to do to answer your question is Google the Hostess company's history of bankruptcy. It emerged from bankruptcy in 2009 after restructuring once. You can't continually keep ducking into bankruptcy court. That is a legal reality and part of your story of "behind closed doors." Nothing closed about the facts of running a business. The Teamsters accepted the contract that had to be worked out. The Baler's union didn't and played chicken. They lost and put a total of 18,500 people out of work. And as Old Poolman said it seems obvious you have never run a business. Many of us have and still do.

The Frog


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 4 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

Is there a motive behind posing questions that do not have any merit even to be asked (when a little simple research could put it to rest)? I call it smearing with inuendo to advance a preconcieved conclusion.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX Author

tsad - Sadly many users here don't bother to either keep up with the "real" news in our country or are totally ignorant of the laws in this nation. In this case it would appear to be ignorance of the bankruptcy laws. I'm sure many think that a company can just jump into bankrutcy court any time that it would suit their fancy. They can't so a little research just there goes a long way.

It appears now that a Mexican conglomerate is going to buy the Hostess brand. That will mean more off shoring of American jobs. And who is supposedly responsible for causing off shoring? The unions in this country are responsible for a large share of the blame.

The Frog


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 4 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

Don't bother or could care less 'cause the the truth might dispel their preconcieved notions.

Mexico eh, I guess the drug cartells down there wil appreciate the value of twinkies !


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 4 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

Get this (lie) being circulated by the union execs. about the Hostess Company:

Among the raises was a 300 percent raise (from approximately $750,000 to $2,550,000) for the then-CEO of Hostess. At least nine other top executives of the company also received massive pay raises, including one who received a pay increase from $500,000 to $900,000 and another received one that brought his salary from $375,000 to $656,256.

It is all lies but before the Huffington post could correct the posting (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/16/gregory-r... ) it has been blogged all over the universe as the truth. I even found it selected as a best answer to a Yahoo Answers Question!

And on top of that you want to know what could be one reason why the Union rejected the offer? (which by the way wasn't the company's offer but an offer the Bankruptcy Court required them to make - it was ordered by the bankruptcy court) I hear it is because the secured creditors from the first bankruptcy were venture capital firms (like Bain) only owned by union buddies, big liberals like Dick Gephart (and others you know but I can't remember the names) who will walk away from Hostess without losing money now they are bankrupt. I haven't been able to source that info but I heard it on a conservative talk show in our area. Anybody hear anything about that?


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 4 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

So here you have a prime example of how the left works - they publish information given to them by leftwing liberals (in this case the Union Execs). They know it is a lie but print it anyway because they know as long as it validates their viewpoint or the propaganda the left wants circulated (even though they know it is false) it will be out there all over the internet in seconds and believed. Then as a token to save journalistic face they pretend they didn't vet it before it was published and print a correction after the damage has been done and even years later the lie is what people remember and on the left will still repeat. This happens all the time with left wing media, never with real journalists (if you can find one today) who vet their sources before publishing.

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