Hostess and Corporate America GREED

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  1. profile image0
    Sarra Garrettposted 10 years ago

    To all those who think Corporate America is just the most wonderful thing......Hostess is paying $1.8 million in bonuses to their corporate Aholes just to keep them there until the company closes.  In the meantime, 18,000 people have lost their jobs and are NOT getting their retirement money as there isn't any money left in the company.

    NOW, what are 18,000 new jobless people going to do for work?  There are no jobs, they are going to loose their homes and are going to become homeless AND they lost their retirement after working for the same company for years and years. 

    The right thing that Hostess Corporate should have done is to take the $1.8 million and spread the wealth around to the 18,000 who are now jobless and without their retirement. 

    What is your take on this?

    1. Uninvited Writer profile image79
      Uninvited Writerposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      What else... blame the union.

      It really is disgusting that they get away with stuff like this. It's as if they deliberately wanted to get out of business but made sure they were taken care of while they screwed the workers.

      1. profile image0
        Sarra Garrettposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        years of dedication and sweat and the workers get nothing.  This is just not right!  I worked for a company that was 100 years old. One day the doors were closed to the business and cops in the parking lot. found out the owners pilfered the money and nothing was left, not even retirement for people who were there for 25+ years. What a mess that was and that was a family own business.  This is just going to get worse and not better any time soon

      2. wilderness profile image94
        wildernessposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I own a few shares of mutual funds, and probably have a few shares of Hostess in there somewhere.  While I would not care one bit if that $10 or whatever was given to the workers, others will have a much more substantial stake.  Retired people, perhaps, that bought shares to provide for their retirement or employees that bought into the company (common).

        There are creditors to consider as well; flour suppliers, perhaps, or trucking firms that are owed for their past products and services.  Should they lose it all in favor of the employees that are laid off?  Would you bankrupt more companies, laying off more workers, to continue to support those of Hostess?

        Whether the root cause was an unreasonable union OR unreasonable management, it is not so simple as to simply divide all company assets and give it to laid off employees to support them while looking for new work.

    2. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I thought that pension funding was changed decades ago, to require that a business failure would not cause total loss of contractually obligated pension payments.  A third party administration and collection of funding or something?  Could well be wrong here, but it seems like that was the reason my old company stopped pensions and went to a 401 plan - they didn't want the hassle the new laws required of a pension plan.

      I can also see at least some justification to the VIP's of the business being paid.  There is much work to do, selling off the company and maintaining physical assets until it is.  A janitor or machine operator can't contribute anything here, but corporate paper shufflers can.  They DO have a duty, legal and ethical, to provide what they can for the owners - the ten's of thousands of shareholders out there that actually own the assets of the company.

      Having said that, though, 2 million seems just a trifle high (as in hundreds of thousands high).  It is probably far less than those VIPs were collecting before bankruptcy, but still seems high.  It would be nice to distribute that money to either shareholders or to help the unemployed find new training and/or work.  It would seem that a bankruptcy court could hire someone else to maintain the closure and sale process, not highly paid CEO's and such.

      1. profile image0
        Sarra Garrettposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        It was all on the news this morning.  Pension funds don't exhist anymore due to 'pick pockets'.  401k are soon to be a thing of the past as well....beware all.

        1. wilderness profile image94
          wildernessposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          While it is true that my 401 could disappear, it wouldn't be from the company that I worked for taking it.  That company doesn't have it and can't (legally) get to it.  Eventually I transferred the little that I have into an IRA, but even so another company has it and could steal it.  It would have to outright theft, selling mutual funds and pocketing the monies rather than distributing it to the owners, but it could be done.

          Unless you stuff the money in your mattress someone else will always have it and could steal it.  That's a fact of life that we all live with.

  2. profile image0
    DigbyAdamsposted 10 years ago

    If the workers had not been there to produce the product, there would have been no products or shareholder value. It's time this country stop thinking of its workers who want benefits and fair salaries as evil. There is lots of skilled labor in producing baked goods. I'd like to see the president of the company bake one single product.

    If the current Hostess execs won't do their job for the money they were hired, then treat them like the workers and fire them. There are plenty of unemployed execs out there who might like their salaries for a few months.

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      If there had been no investors to provide capital for the business, there would be no business, and if there was no management the business wouldn't last a month.

      It's time to stop thinking of profit as evil; to recognize that investors either get a fair return for their money or move to something else.  It's time to realize the same for management; that they deserve a fair return for their labor.

      The problem, of course, is in the term "fair".  Our system is set up to recognize what is fair by what is acceptable to both parties.  If enough people will sell their labor for a particular job for $7 per hour, then that is a fair wage.  Should you demand more, but can't find a buyer, then the figure you demand is not "fair" to the employer.

      We have somewhere along the line decided that we will recognize what is "fair" based solely on what we want it to be, and not on what the two parties in question find acceptable.  Is that a reasonable definition?  Will it work in real life?  If so, why are companies outsourcing their labor requirements overseas?

      1. Uninvited Writer profile image79
        Uninvited Writerposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        How can anyone live on $7 in the United States? They can't obviously because many who earn that receive food stamps. It's the same with people who expect writers to write 1000 word articles for $1.

    2. profile image0
      Sarra Garrettposted 10 years agoin reply to this


  3. peeples profile image93
    peeplesposted 10 years ago

    What does $1.8 million equal out to if you spit it up and give it to 18,000 people? A slamp in the face that they would be angry to take.

    1. Uninvited Writer profile image79
      Uninvited Writerposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      But is an insult when they are all asked to cut back while the CEO makes that salary and then once more.

      1. peeples profile image93
        peeplesposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        I agree, I just don't see any point in harping over the 1.8 when it was everything before that mattered. That 1.8  million is nothing when divided out compared to the salaries the employees lost.

      2. wilderness profile image94
        wildernessposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        But they weren't asked to cut back - they were terminated.  Zero income. 

        They could each receive $100 to buy a week's groceries or the process of shutting down the company could continue in an orderly fashion, paying off creditors (so they could remain in business), selling assets (so owners could get something rather than losing it all) and satisfying the rquirements of the law.

        1. Uninvited Writer profile image79
          Uninvited Writerposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          The first time they filed for bankruptcy in 2009, the union gave in and the executives got huge raises.

          1. wilderness profile image94
            wildernessposted 10 years agoin reply to this

            Understood, and I agree that the company has almost certainly been mishandled in the past.

            Nevertheless, the now is what must be addressed, and that means keeping upper management in place.  Very distasteful if management actually is to blame for the failure, but necessary to prevent additional suffering.

            1. Uninvited Writer profile image79
              Uninvited Writerposted 10 years agoin reply to this

              It's still fishy, I hope the feds are following any paper trails.

              1. wilderness profile image94
                wildernessposted 10 years agoin reply to this

                It is my understand that the company is in bankruptcy, and if so the court will watch every dime that is spent. 
                What has been done in the past probably won't be looked at, unless the bankruptcy is to allow the company to continue operations with some changes.  That appears not to be the case; the company will be broken up with proceeds being used to pay creditors and if anything is left given to the owners. 

                Only if there is actual evidence of illegal activity in the past will that past be scrutinized, with an eye to criminal charges.  Immoral and unethical actions by management are not the focus of the courts, thank goodness.

  4. profile image0
    DigbyAdamsposted 10 years ago

    Wilderness who does judge and stop immoral and unethical behavior of failed management, who believe they are entitled to a bonus for managing a bankrupt company? Under your scenario, management has all the power and employees take the crumbs they are given. I don't understand why you are so anti-worker rights. You seem to believe that people with no power somehow have choices. They really don't.

    I really wish more Americans were self-employed and the power of the corporations would less. But that' doesn't seem to be happening.

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I will try to explain my opinion, although it is not simple as the world is always gray rather than black and white.

      To a very limited degree, govt legislates business morality. No bribes, safe workplaces, no discrimination, OT laws  and a few others, but in general legislating morality should be something govt stays as far away from as possible.  We have given unions certain rights (which I find acceptable) but when those "rights" infringe on the rights of a business owner to run their business the way they want to those union rights sometimes cross the line.  The union wants to strike?  Fine - the company should be able to fire and replace them on the spot.  The company wants to cut wages?  Fine - the workers can walk out on the spot.  We allow the latter, why not the former?

      People, individuals, are responsible for their own morality, given that they do no intentional harm to others.  I worked for a large corporation for over 22 years - eventually the morality and ethics of management degenerated to the point I couldn't stomach it and I left.  That's the right of an employee, just as it is an employer - to end the business of buying and selling labor.  If enough employees would exercise that power rather than cowering in the corner fearing negative results, and take the same risks that small business owners do every day, we wouldn't find employers paying half what they should be.  You have to understand that an employer can pay low wages, but if employees selling high quality labor walk away from those wages, that employer will have the crumbs, not the employee.  I've seen it happen as business owners tried for high profits and lost it all when they couldn't find any quality workers for what they were paying.

      It doesn't need laws forcing employers to pay artificially high wages, it needs employees willing to stand up to them.  It has nothing to do with what a CEO is paid; it has everything to do with individual employees. 

      People always have that ultimate power over their job and future both.  They can work for peanuts or they can leave and do something else.  Maybe the self-employment you mention, but you're right in that few will take that kind of risk.  That's their choice, however, and there is no need for govt. intervention because the people don't want to make that choice.

      Bottom line, and I repeat that it isn't really this simple, but I believe in freedom.  Freedom to pay peanuts if you can get what you need by doing so, freedom to earn peanuts if that's all a person is willing to do.  Freedom to walk away from a job as you will, freedom to start your own business.  We've thrown up some huge roadblocks in that aspect (including some "workers rights") and that needs corrected, but that's another story.  Big government has gradually eroded most of our freedoms over the years; I see no reason to take more of them because a worker won't exercise their innate right to find better employment.


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