After a day of silence, finally word from the union whose strikes last week prompted Hostess to announce it would liquidate the company. The union wasn´t just giving the media the cold shoulder. Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn told CNBC this morning that the union had stopped returning his calls a month ago. But this afternoon, the union had a lot to say. This from Frank Hurt, president of the 80,000-worker Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union:
Comments: The union boss, after a long litany of the sins of the company´s executives, reveals that the 5000 member union knew what the consequences of its action might be, that it would bring down the company. The larger Teamsters Union (7500 members) had already accepted the company´s offer.
The union boss blames management for not investing in modernizing the bakeries, but management doesn´t invest in anything, investors do, but there have to be profits. The union boss elected unemployment for its members, so now he has it.
What a great argument:"I´m not a thief because that other guy is a thief, too." Poor management is highly likely in this situation, but it hardly excuses the union´s obduracy. The union could be heard in bankruptcy court. Their approach should have been to insist on relief during that process.
How much money has the union invested in the company. They take in enourmous amounts in union dues each month. I know a lot went into Obama´s campaign but how much do they invest in the companies? How much did the unions invest in GM? Taxpayers are only out over 50 billion dollars on that one. What are the salaries of the big union bosses? Why did 39 unions agree to the terms and only one refused? Why were trucks not allowed to carry bread and twinkies both on their routes?
Well, St. Peter, the real reason I did early is that my doctor outrageously insisted that I scale back on my high-calorie, low exercise, consumptive lifestyle. I blame him and the medical profession for not saving me from myself.
Now the Bakers union can buy the company in whole or part, invest in it, modernize it, promote it, make it profitable and put all its´ members back to work, working directly for the union.
The appropriately named union president, Frank Hurt, sounds like a brilliant man with all the answers. He should roll up his sleeves and make it happen. His workers deserve it and most of all, the Twinkies deserve it.
This article reminds me of those non-union Southern Electrical linemen who went north to help in the aftermath of Sandy and were told they didn´t need their services and when they did do some help were called Scabs while having eggs throw at them. Death to the union movement.
Our members were aware that while the company was descending into bankruptcy and demanding deep concessions, the top 10 executives of the company were rewarding themselves with lavish compensation increases, with the then CEO receiving a 300 percent increase.
I´ve been hearing/reading variations of this for the last 3 days. Is he referring to the current management or the pre-first BK management? Or is it the same management? AND, is it even true???
Even the Teamsters financial experts--who had examined Hostess´ books as part of the bankruptcy proceedings--said that the company would go under if workers stuck, and thats why the Teamsters didn´t strike, but still these idiots from the Bakers Union struck.
Now the union president, who makes something like $250K a year and still has his job, blames the company for going under and praises his members stand for "dignity, justice, and respect," except those things don´t put food on the table, tools!
Reading the article and the posts, this Hostess demise looks to me to be a complicated story with a considerable business history. So this subject is not done justice by any brief articles and the 30 second catchy news spots on TV of late. While I suspect union boss Frank Hurt and his union did not help the situation, I don´t have the broad understanding about all this to pass judgement.
FTA: “Our members were aware that while the company was descending into bankruptcy and demanding deep concessions, the top 10 executives of the company were rewarding themselves with lavish compensation increases, with the then CEO receiving a 300 percent increase."
Sounds eerily similar to the Chicago thugocracy that the union idiots supported on November 6.
There´s a very good reason why Hostess didn´t invest on modernizing their bakeries. Ironically (not really), it´s the same reason the steel companies didn´t modernize their mills back in the 60s and 70s. Know what it is? Profits were redirected from plant modernization over to ever increasing wages and expanded benefits for union workers. That concludes today´s lesson in Econ 101.
I have seen too many union workers standing around doing nothing and gawd forbid if you are in a hospital with union nurses. I am totally opposed to being forced to join anything just because some fools want to take the salary and not do the work. Right to Work law would be the thing to insist on.
Any business for profit is there for one purpose, to make money. Material + labor = cost of a "widget". If that cost is lower than what a consumer will pay for, business will go under - unless the left side of the equation changes lower. My Iranian born professor used to say, "close shop"! I digress.
Solution: Some new investors buy the Hostess name and patents and start anew with bakeries in Right-to-Work states. Non Right-to-Work states incur increase Twinkie transportation costs from the bakeries.
"They were well aware of the potential consequences of their actions but stood strong for dignity, justice and respect.”
Well...I´m hoping that Dignity, Justice and respect will put food on their tables and pay their Bills. Not sure if they still have their Health Benefits. Maybe the Union will carry them. It just goes to show you the Union Mentality. Just like the Union Thugs in Michigan. Now they´re sitting around wishing they had JOBS. They could work in other Car Plants, but refuse to leave Michigan because "by God I´ve lived here all my life and I ain´t movin for nobody"! Go figure! Is every Union Member a Moron or what?
Seriously #8? It´s many of the vulture capitalists that put the company $800M in debt in the first place. And that is the Union´s fault how? Even with an 8% pay reduction, the company was still doomed to fail.
Thank goodness it doesn´t happen very often here but sometimes I would love to have a down arrow button for a particular post.
By the way, Boeing has some of those absurd work rules forbidding a worker to do multiple jobs. As an outside contractor I once had a grievance filed against me for carrying a small computer up into a portable work stand at Boeing Vertol in Philadelphia. Everybody laughed and I didn´t do that again during working hours where the union people could see me.
So a relatively small company, as opposed to Boeing, just would not be able to absorb those extra costs and survive. I´m not surprised at all at this result. Wait for it, it will spread. No wonder Boeing is expanding in a right to work state. They cannot afford the extra costs either. Like a terminal cancer it is.
What a touching statement from the union bosses who are btw NOT losing their highly paid jobs. Other companies are going to take up the manufacturing and they won´t have so many ridiculous work rules. Hope those 18,000 folks have saved up, unemployment doesn´t buy many Christmas presents.
Hi Honey! I´m home. Great! Give me your paycheck the mortgage is due, we are out of food, and Jimmy has an orthodontist appointment. Well, I don´t exactly have a paycheck ... but I got this great letter from Hurt that says I preserved my Dignity today. #33, the company didn´t bust anything, the Baker´s union did. The company was able to work with 39 unions. It was the Baker´s union that busted the company. A union should get nothing more than wages and company stock; with a buy-out of the employee´s stock upon retirement or leaving the company.
I read some articles about the big picture and they stated that Hostess had a cash flow problem, $2 billion in pension fund shortfall and was being squeezed by rising commodity prices (which in the past have fallen during a recession).
The company was quite ill and the Baker´s Union finished them off by cutting off their cash flow.
They will probably get acquired by Bimbo SA, a large Mexican firm that owns most of the other bakeries in the USA. This will be great for Twinkie lovers, but not so good for Hostess employees, since Bimbo already has bakeries and distribution centers and probably won´t need most of the Hostess employees and real estate to take over making the Hostess products.
I can´t believe that any thinking person, and especially an LDotter who is expected to be a cut above the rest, would buy Hurt´s self-serving letter, which was undoubtedly written for him by the union´s lawyer.
We still remember the Southern California grocery workers´ strike which left a lot of workers unemployed for a long time. Meanwhile the head of the union, intent on keeping the strike going for as long as it took, continued to draw his $250K +++ salary and benefits.
The strike made Trader Joe´s, which went from an excellent local specialty grocer to a major player. TJ has been thriving ever since. And many shoppers found that they could get along without the supermarkets that were struck.
I was menaced by picketers in front of one Vons market about dusk. Scared the daylights out of me. That was the last time I was ever anywhere near that market.
#39 I too remember that strike. I remember picketers following customers out to their cars to try to intimate them.
I had one lady do that to me. I laughed as I knew what they were being paid at the time (good wage and striking over them having to pay a little into their healthcare and not cuts in wages) and knew they were going to lose. I later saw her at another store and she recognized me : )
The store workers now get 30/hrs a week and no healthcare thanks to the democrats and obamacare. The union boss´s moves on to other fools without missing a check.
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