Twinkies – and 18000 jobs – fall victim to union-management dispute; Update: Teamsters throw bakers union under the bus?

posted at 10:31 am on November 16, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Hooked on Ho-Hos?  Find Ding-Dongs delectable?  Were Twinkies an indelible (if particularly edible) part of your childhood?  Be prepared to consign them all and many other junk-food delicacies to nostalgia.  Hostess, which has made these sugary staples for years, announced this morning that they will liquidate their business and end production after failing to negotiate new labor contracts with several unions.  Along with these confections, 18,000 jobs will also disappear:

“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” said Gregory F. Rayburn, chief executive officer. “Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.”

About one-third of the company’s workers are union members who are unhappy about the company’s cutbacks during its bankruptcy reorganization.

But problems with several unions — including the Bakery, Confectionery, and Tobacco workers and the Grain Millers International Union — have prevented the company from moving forward. Hostess said it will seek bankruptcy court permission to sell all of its assets. The company said bakery production has already shut down.

Without much more data than this, it’s impossible to say whether the unions or the company has been unreasonable in this dispute, or whether it might be a blend of both, as is usually the case. Sugary snacks like the kind Hostess produces have fallen out of political favor, certainly, but I doubt that sales have dropped dramatically. They have been a ubiquitous presence in supermarkets, convenience stores, and kid’s lunch bags since before I was a child, and in moderation don’t do any harm to anyone who is otherwise healthy.

Those aren’t the only places where Hostess-brand snacks have impacted the culture, either. Twinkies have especially captured the cultural imagination, and in one notable case, the legal imagination.  When Dan White stood trial for the 1978 murders of Harvey Milk and George Moscone in San Francisco, his attorneys tried to argue that White had a diminished capacity to form an intent to murder, thanks to depression that became intensified by consumption of large amounts of sugary snacks.  The media dubbed this the “Twinkie Defense,” and it proved successful, as White only got a seven-year sentence.  California eliminated its diminished-capacity defense shortly afterward.

On a more fun note, we’ll always have this scene from Ghostbusters:

That used to be a big Twinkie.  Perhaps all sides can take one last deep breath and try working together to save 18,000 jobs rather than see an American institution disappear, along with a lot of livelihoods.

Update: I updated the headline to highlight the jobs as well as the Twinkies.  Also, the jobs lost were nationwide, not in Texas, so I deleted that reference.

Update II: Like I said, I haven’t paid much attention to this fight, so I don’t have a lot of insight into whether labor or management has been more unreasonable.  However, the Teamsters’ web site seems to lay the blame on the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) for refusing to go along with the Teamsters to accept the last offer from Hostess:

In fact, when Hostess attempted to throw out its collective bargaining agreement with the Teamsters in court, the Teamsters fought back and won, ensuring that Hostess could not unilaterally make changes to working conditions during the several months’ long legal process that recently ended. Teamster Hostess members were allowed to decide their fate by voting on the final offer conducted by a secret mail ballot.  More than two-thirds of Hostess Teamsters members voted with 53 percent voting to approve the final offer.

The BCTGM chose a different path, as is their prerogative, to not substantively look for a solution or engage in the process. BCTGM members were told there were better solutions than the final offer, although Judge Drain stated in his decision in bankruptcy court that no such solutions exist. Without complete information, BCTGM members voted by voice votes in union halls. The BCTGM reported that over 90 percent rejected the final offer and three of its units ratified the final offer.

On Friday, Nov. 9, the BCTGM began to strike at some Hostess production facilities without notice to the Teamsters despite assurances they would not proceed with job actions without contacting the Teamsters Union. This unannounced action put Teamster members in the difficult position of facing picket lines without knowing their right to honor such a line without being disciplined.

As is our longstanding tradition, Teamster members by and large are honoring Bakery Worker picket lines when encountered and complying with their contractual obligations when not encountering picket lines. The BCTGM leaders are putting Teamster members in a horrible position – asking them to support a strike that will put them out of a job when they haven’t even asked all their members to go on strike.

That strike is now on the verge of forcing the company to liquidate – it is difficult for Teamster members to believe that is what the BCTGM Hostess members ultimately wanted to accomplish when they went out on strike. We may never know unless the BCTGM members, based on the facts they know today, get to determine their fate in a secret ballot vote. Teamster members would understand that the will of the BCTGM Hostess membership was truly heard if that was the case.

That’s a pretty remarkable statement from the Teamsters.

Update (MKH): Just a little background. There’s a lot going on, here, though the bakers union strike was certainly the last straw for Hostess. The company has been in bankruptcy twice in the last decade, and as Allahpundit notes, the culture of organics and calorie-counting was working against them.

But the bakers union deserved to get thrown under the bus by the Teamsters because it looks like they threw the Teamsters under the bus, first. The Teamsters and the bakers worked together to come to a deal with Hostess in September. The bakers were quiet during negotiations, and apparently pulled a surprise move when they rejected the deal.

Hostess, which also owns Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, Wonder Bread and other celebrated baked goods, has been in Chapter 11 since January, its second such filing in a decade. The key parties have been two major hedge funds and two big unions, and they’ve been fighting over wages and pensions. Hostess contends givebacks are needed for the company to emerge from bankruptcy. The unions respond they’ve given up enough. Last month, Hostess made what it said was its “last, best offer.” CEO Greg Rayburn told Fortune that union rejection would result in the company immediately filing to liquidate—and putting thousands of employees out of work. Union members were faced with a Hobson’s choice: accept drastic concession or lose their jobs.

Late last Friday the largest unions—the Teamsters—announced that by a narrow vote, 53.6% to 46.4%, its Hostess rank-and-file had approved the new collective bargaining agreement. (Out of 7,900 Teamsters voting at the company, slightly more than half cast votes). Rayburn and Teamsters leadership both offered up measured words about the “difficult” decision.

But shortly thereafter, word came that the 7,000 employees of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union had rejected Hostess’ proposal. (No details of the vote were announced, though some press reports suggested there were only voice votes at locals rather than a written mail tally.) Though the leader of the bakers’ union in recent weeks had excoriated the proposal, the rejection was nonetheless curious. That’s because the bakers’ union had been quiescent for months in bankruptcy court, letting the Teamsters engage Hostess management and the hedge funds over the company’s demands to restructure by scuttling existing labor agreements.

This is what the deal looked like. It sounds like the Teamsters really did make sacrifices, and many of them were crossing the bakers’ picket line to keep the company functioning:

The proposed new labor deal consists of an immediate 8% wage cut and work rules more favorable to the company. Employer contributions for health insurance would decrease 17%. Hostess contributions to multi-employer pension plans would cease until 2015, at which point the current required level of funding would plummet from $100 million to $25 million. According to Rayburn, the proposal has been endorsed by Hostess’s key secured lenders, which are led by hedge funds Silver Point Capital and Monarch Alternative Capital. One estimate put cost savings for Hostess in the neighborhood of $200 million.

For their part, the unions would receive two seats on a restructured nine-member board of directors and 25% of equity. That would make the unions part of Hostess’ capital structure for the first time.

Maybe they can still come to some deal. I’m guessing after the company’s previous threats to shut down, the bakers might have thought they were bluffing. The deal the Teamsters took was painful, but it’s because the company was truly in dire straits. The roughly 6,000 bakers are really handing a raw deal to 12,000 of their colleagues. And, barring that, the brand is still worth money. It won’t immediately help those who will lose their jobs in this dispute, but Twinkies may be back owned by someone new, their labor obligations vacated, and likely in a right-to-work state.


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As our man Quinn in Pittsburgh says, ” They have GONE GALT!!!!”

Go Hostess!!

congma on November 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM

They all feel entitled to the same perks that higher-level workers have enjoyed for years, (e.g. fully-paid pension packages, fully-paid health insurance, extended vacation packages, etc.) without having a higher education degree. Ask any union worker and they’ll deny that is the case. Yet, they’ll fight tooth and nail for those same advantages and wages that degreed individuals enjoy and deserve for their ambitions to attend college.

metroryder on November 16, 2012 at 11:51 AM

You and I will have to agree to disagree. Saying that a degree entitles you to more than those w/o degrees is the height of Hubris.

My mother who didn’t graduate from High School had to take a job to keep food on the table for her family. She worked her way up the latter (including taking night school courses, not college) in bookkeeping/accounting. When she retired the international firm she worked for begged her not too and offered her a Job as the Executive Vice President for Accounting. No degree’s were involved.

An entitled mentality whether from moochers, union workers or degreed individuals is what has screwed this economy. You’re part of the problem metroryder.

chemman on November 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Oh wah, wah, wah. These people have been making their profit lines by exploiting workers. Its time to quit robbing peter to pay paul (themselves) and start showing responsibility for their employees.

libfreeordie on November 15, 2012 at 6:21 PM

rogerb on November 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM

TEATERMERICA (without Twinkies, but with freebies)!!

Forward!

PappyD61 on November 16, 2012 at 12:59 PM

but Twinkies may be back owned by someone new, their labor obligations vacated, and likely in a right-to-work state.

Hostess’ HQ is in Texas, a right-to-work state. Hostess had local bakeries all over the country in both RTW states and those that aren’t. Their long loved products will likely be back, but what’s your point about RTW that would be different than Hostess is now?

Right-To-Work doesn’t stop labor from being organized or unions formed, it just means one doesn’t need to join the union in order to work there.

Dusty on November 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Obama will buy the plant and retool it to produce Hostess Broccoli twigs.

Only union personnel will be rehired, and paid twice FIVE TIMES their old rate.

The plant will run a $50 million BILLION loss each year, and stay “in business” for 20 yearsEVER.

Hannibal on November 16, 2012 at 10:33 AM

fify.

PappyD61 on November 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM

In the WSJ this morning they said that the bankruptcy was a done deal because the retailers had stopped ordering the products and that they were only selling the remaining products. The company is no more. This is unionism at its worst. A few top officials whose salaries will not be affected have opted to allow the company to go broke and for all of it’s employees to be fired. That my friends is true representation!

inspectorudy on November 16, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Resist We Much on November 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Notice that all the people running are productive Whites?

Bulletchaser on November 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM

.
( G A S P ) . . . . . you noticed . . . . .

That makes you a racist.

listens2glenn on November 16, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Hostess has a lot similarities with America. They’ve got a great brand but horrible management that ran up debts so high that it was going to be next to impossible to pay them off and the people dependent on the company would not give up anything to save it.

ReaganWasRight on November 16, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Been watching unions kill companies for more yrs than I care to remember. The days of the “NEED” for unions, is long gone. Public sector unions are a Betrayal of the people by workers and politicians. Private sector unions are simply adding to the problems the economy has right now. As they help to kill more jobs, hopefully, they’ll diminish their own power.

http://www.paratisiusa.blogspot.com

God Bless America!

paratisi on November 16, 2012 at 1:07 PM

F the unions.

I hope Trumka is proud because many Teamsters will lose their jobs.

Maybe the non-union employees can sue the union. That would be rich. Love to see it!

txdoc on November 16, 2012 at 11:01 AM

The unions are NOT WORRIED. They are about to have MILLIONS MORE MEMBERS because of Obamacare. WAIT until we get union workers running all the “health centers” across America.

Oh, it’s going to be glorious waiting 6 hours to see a nurse practioner only to be told your kid better take his meds/vaccines or they will file with DHS for custody for child abuse.

DEEEEEELISH.

OH, one other thing……CONGRESS and our Ruling Class in D.C. will be exempt from what we have to endure.

PappyD61 on November 16, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Halp us Obamma! Only you can save the twinkies! Americans are too big to fail! /snark

tdarrington on November 16, 2012 at 1:08 PM

I love twinkies

mrscullen on November 16, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Seriously poor timing here in Washington state. The idiots here just legalized pot here.

Ufdaubet on November 16, 2012 at 1:08 PM

That strike is now on the verge of forcing the company to liquidate – it is difficult for Teamster members to believe that is what the BCTGM Hostess members ultimately wanted to accomplish when they went out on strike. We may never know unless the BCTGM members, based on the facts they know today, get to determine their fate in a secret ballot vote. Teamster members would understand that the will of the BCTGM Hostess membership was truly heard if that was the case.

Never thought I would hear Teamsters defending secret ballot.

Maybe the Obama crowd egged the strikers on.

It fits the Saul Alinsky formula. Destroy jobs. Put thousands on the dole. Get them miserable by the next election. The WH planners are ruthless enough to sucker the union members. Which side were the union leaders on, the WH or the workers? That truth will never be known

Twinkes killed. Bloomberg should be pleased

entagor on November 16, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Just deserts….
Hostess bought by Bain Capital, and production moved to …….

I hear Canada has a business-friendly environment these days.

Another Drew on November 16, 2012 at 1:15 PM

THE EASY ANSWER TO THIS PROBLEM IS TO GO NON-UNION.

VERY SIMPLE DUMP THE UNION. HIRE 18,000 NEW PEOPLE
i AM SURE FOLKS ARE AVAILABLE WITH SUCH HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT
I WOULD GO TO WORK TOMORROW. I AM A GOOD COOK lol

Korean Veteran

carlr144 on November 16, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Obama has only been re-elected for a little over a week and the disasters are already piling up all over the place.

Moesart on November 16, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Dude… please tell me you know about the twinkie wiener sandwich!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-_FO9p8Xdg

American Patriot1980 on November 16, 2012 at 1:18 PM

THE EASY ANSWER TO THIS PROBLEM IS TO GO NON-UNION.

VERY SIMPLE DUMP THE UNION. HIRE 18,000 NEW PEOPLE
i AM SURE FOLKS ARE AVAILABLE WITH SUCH HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT
I WOULD GO TO WORK TOMORROW. I AM A GOOD COOK lol

Korean Veteran

carlr144 on November 16, 2012 at 1:17 PM

The NLRB would never allow it. They would rather see a company go out of business than allow a usurpation of union power like that.

tdarrington on November 16, 2012 at 1:22 PM

To the Hostess bakers/teamsters union: GFY. G.F.Y.

Elections have consequences. You voted for Obama twice, now you live with the result.

Sacramento on November 16, 2012 at 1:25 PM

I personally know of an individual living in a posh suburb in Indiana who is union to the death. This person lives in a $500,000 home (paid for I might add) and has nothing more than a GED. I know this person worked many hours in inclement weather and endured some challenging work conditions. However, this person is not entitled to the standard of living that an individual with a college degree enjoys. Ask members of SEIU and they will tell you they all deserve the upper-class standard of living. They will continue to fight to get it and they too will eventually lose their jobs. Unfortunately, as they move forward with their fantasies, many companies and brands will cease to exist. It continues to get very ugly out there.

[metroryder on November 16, 2012 at 11:51 AM]

This is absurd. They, like anyone else, is entitled to what the market will bear, the same as for those with college degrees. If compensation packages for bakers is higher than for those with doctorates in Ethnic or Gender Studies, Library Book Stacking, or whatever, so be it.

You miss both of the critical issues: supply and demand, and economies of scale. Unions ride both to their apex and then fall off the cliff they built when markets alter their makeup as opportunities arise to compete in the arena where the higher prices were created.

Dusty on November 16, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Dude… please tell me you know about the twinkie wiener sandwich!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-_FO9p8Xdg

American Patriot1980 on November 16, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Awesome movie.

Hat Trick on November 16, 2012 at 1:31 PM

I am probably more cynical than most, but I am having some serious conspiracy theory thoughts running through my mind revolving around the possibility of facism. Let’s see what happens if more businesses decide to cut and run during this lame duck session. The unemployment numbers exploding would be unacceptable to Obama, or at least, so he would say.

lea on November 16, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Nice job unions! Good lord………..

BrandNewRepublican on November 16, 2012 at 1:37 PM

RWM, you must write books.

Schadenfreude on November 16, 2012 at 12:49 PM

I’ve tried. I think that I am more of a long essay person. I get distracted by something else so I don’t think I could commit to a single subject for months or years.

Notice that all the people running are productive Whites?

Bulletchaser on November 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Actually, I hadn’t.

Resist We Much on November 16, 2012 at 1:37 PM

ABC news thinks it’s hilarious!

Twinkie Party: The Loss of 18,000 Hostess Jobs Is All a Big Joke to ABC News

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2012/11/16/twinkie-party-loss-18000-hostess-jobs-all-big-joke-abc-news#ixzz2CPBc18MK

Pork-Chop on November 16, 2012 at 11:51 AM

I was in the auto repair shop this morning, and they had the Today show on the TV in the waiting room. Kathie Lee and Huda were drinking wine on air (this was at 10:00 AM Eastern), and commenting how good the Chardonnay was.

The thing was, even while drinking, they were more serious and sober than George Stephanopolous and his crew of left wing @-holes on GMA.

UltimateBob on November 16, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Obama has only been re-elected for a little over a week and the disasters are already piling up all over the place.

Moesart on November 16, 2012 at 1:18 PM

When did you come around to our side? As I recall (correct me if I’m wrong) you used to be a lot more left-leaning.

UltimateBob on November 16, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Real shame about all those jobs. :P

WolvenOne on November 16, 2012 at 1:47 PM

My mother who didn’t graduate from High School had to take a job to keep food on the table for her family. She worked her way up the latter (including taking night school courses, not college) in bookkeeping/accounting. When she retired the international firm she worked for begged her not too and offered her a Job as the Executive Vice President for Accounting. No degree’s were involved.

An entitled mentality whether from moochers, union workers or degreed individuals is what has screwed this economy. You’re part of the problem metroryder.

chemman on November 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM

I am not a individual with a degree, and I accept what I have in life for my level of education. That’s not to say that I am necessarily satisfied. Some of my current efforts in establishing a business of my own may someday elevate me to a higher rung on the ladder and I, like your mother, would be an exception to the rule.

My friend, I’m sure your mother deserved her place in life due to her individual efforts. But again, her success is rare and should not be used an example for union workers negotiating with business owners or management. Most union workers probably couldn’t hold a candle to your mother’s success and would not put forth the extra effort to move ahead. It could be that they are comfortable with their lives (unions tend to make it cozy for most of their members) or there are few opportunities to move ahead in most companies without higher education. Fewer opportunities does not entitle one to a higher standard of living.

metroryder on November 16, 2012 at 1:48 PM

However, this person is not entitled to the standard of living that an individual with a college degree enjoys.
[metroryder on November 16, 2012 at 11:51 AM]

A college degree entitles a person to nothing. A good (no degree holding) tool and die maker or utility lineman is worth infinitely more than all the ethnic and gender studies majors in the world. Depending on experience and talent, he/she may be worth as much or more than a typical engineering degree holder.

krome on November 16, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Seriously poor timing here in Washington state. The idiots here just legalized pot here.

Ufdaubet on November 16, 2012 at 1:08 PM

That giant sucking sound you hear is Washington state and Colorado sucking up all of the Little Debbie and Tastykake snack cakes in the country as they try to fill the void left by Hostess.

UltimateBob on November 16, 2012 at 1:48 PM

I’ve tried. I think that I am more of a long essay person. I get distracted by something else so I don’t think I could commit to a single subject for months or years.

Resist We Much on November 16, 2012 at 1:37 PM

They could all be independent sub-chapters.

Alas, then you’d have to pay more in taxes.

Forget about it :)

Schadenfreude on November 16, 2012 at 1:49 PM

lol…the unions are a joke. Maybe they can strike the unemployment office now. I have no sympathy for the idiots…

RedInMD on November 16, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Real shame about all those jobs. :P

WolvenOne on November 16, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Only about 5,000 of the 18,500 jobs lost are union. It is a shame about the non-union jobs. I have no sympathy at all for the union thugs who are now out of work.

As another commenter stated earlier, the only real shame about the union workers is that they will be able to collect unemployment, even though the cause of their job loss is that they just refused to go to work.

UltimateBob on November 16, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Right-To-Work doesn’t stop labor from being organized or unions formed, it just means one doesn’t need to join the union in order to work there.

Dusty on November 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Umm yeah that’s he point. Right to work states will have far fewer union members and less powerful unions. Without the states blessing to for ever increasing membership unions cannot negatively impact a states economy. and this time around the employees will be smart enough to reject them, as they have been rejected by auto workers in the South.

Theworldisnotenough on November 16, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Isn’t it interesting that those that voted for Obama went blissfully to the polls thinking that their food stamps would keep them in Twinkies for as long as they wanted. Little do they realize that Obama has about as much power to stop the economic crap storm that is coming as he did to stop superstorm Sandy.

Say, hey bro – pass me another Twinkie.

rsherwd65 on November 16, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Let it fold…the brands will get bought up and someone will open a new facility or add the product line to what they have now…it’s the natural order of progressive behavior, stretch it til you break it, then whine about it…

dumazzes…..

Tim Zank on November 16, 2012 at 2:07 PM

There is another underlying factor here that makes doing this kind of business in the US more expensive. I have a relative who worked in the candy industry and their company moved jobs out of the US because of artifically high US sugar prices caused by the government trade/import restrictions on sugar. Another fine example of unintended consequences of manipulating markets.

long dogs on November 16, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Hostess probably has a suitor to buy them sans union. Shut down operations, get bought out, and come out with a “new and improved” Twinkie, without union workers.

Tater Salad on November 16, 2012 at 2:09 PM

I’m guessing after the company’s previous threats to shut down, the bakers might have thought they were bluffing. The deal the Teamsters took was painful, but it’s because the company was truly in dire straits.

I have no sympathy for the bakers that lost their jobs. I heard one of these “hard-working” folks on the radio this morning. Turns out that, in her mind, the company had an obligation to keep everybody employed at the current benefits. Truly one of the stupid greedy people who voted Obama into his second term. Now she gets to have more quality time enjoying all her free stuff.

Happy Nomad on November 16, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Shut down operations, get bought out, and come out with a “new and improved” Twinkie, without union workers.

Tater Salad on November 16, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Yesterday’s news inclduded a story about booze filled pastries called drunken donuts. Now with that in mind, if they are looking to build a Twinkie 2.0………..

Happy Nomad on November 16, 2012 at 2:12 PM

This is absurd. They, like anyone else, is entitled to what the market will bear, the same as for those with college degrees. If compensation packages for bakers is higher than for those with doctorates in Ethnic or Gender Studies, Library Book Stacking, or whatever, so be it.

You miss both of the critical issues: supply and demand, and economies of scale. Unions ride both to their apex and then fall off the cliff they built when markets alter their makeup as opportunities arise to compete in the arena where the higher prices were created.

Dusty on November 16, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Well, the market spoke and altered their make-up. Take that back to the union halls where they are teaching their members about economics in Market MakeUps 101. See if ya’ all can figure out what happened to Hostess and what else is going to happen in the future when the business owners, shareholders and management says enough is enough. I’m sure management saw this coming at Hostess and put a few bucks away in their personal accounts to weather the storm until they find employment elsewhere. In your world, it’s “dog eat dog” and it looks like the union dogs got eaten.

metroryder on November 16, 2012 at 2:18 PM

And here I thought that the zombie pocalypse would bring down Hostess. Nope…Unions.

NickelAndDime on November 16, 2012 at 2:32 PM

A college degree entitles a person to nothing. A good (no degree holding) tool and die maker or utility lineman is worth infinitely more than all the ethnic and gender studies majors in the world. Depending on experience and talent, he/she may be worth as much or more than a typical engineering degree holder.

krome on November 16, 2012 at 1:48 PM

You’re correct. A college degree does not entitle anyone to anything, other than an obligation to pay back the student loans if they were part of the equation. In many companies today, the degreed individuals are compensated according to results and not their college diploma. In fact, many degreed workers leave companies because they don’t have what it takes to compete. If I implied that all degreed individuals are entitled to anything else, I apologize. Also, the hard work and effort of a tool and die maker or a utility lineman cannot be minimized.

That said, union workers are a protected class of people and are rewarded for their union membership and not necessarily for their output. That is a failing concept and will put the unions uot of business once and for all someday.

metroryder on November 16, 2012 at 2:34 PM

“Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula? I mean, they’re charging a lot of money for this stuff.”

lol, this summer, I had the biggest garden I have ever had, and I am doubling the size next year. Somehow, though, I can’t get myself to buy arugula seeds. The stuff is tainted, as far as I am concerned.

cptacek on November 16, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Yep, like Government Motors and Chrysler are tainted.

slickwillie2001 on November 16, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Wow this really sucks. That union has screwed over a lot of people.

And no more Twinkies. GAH!

dogsoldier on November 16, 2012 at 2:37 PM

More pain please.

jukin3 on November 16, 2012 at 2:44 PM

THE EASY ANSWER TO THIS PROBLEM IS TO GO NON-UNION.

VERY SIMPLE DUMP THE UNION. HIRE 18,000 NEW PEOPLE
i AM SURE FOLKS ARE AVAILABLE WITH SUCH HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT
I WOULD GO TO WORK TOMORROW. I AM A GOOD COOK lol

Korean Veteran

carlr144 on November 16, 2012 at 1:17 PM

The NLRB would never allow it. They would rather see a company go out of business than allow a usurpation of union power like that.

tdarrington on November 16, 2012 at 1:22 PM

The NLRB has no say in the matter now, the company is going bankrupt again and is being sold. Whomever buys it up, and I hope someone does for the sake of the unemployed, should relocate all the baking facilities to non-union states and should avoid shipping products via the Teamsters Union if that is even possible at all.

Also, I’m ignorant on the laws and policies of unions and companies, so I don’t understand why companies don’t just fire everyone and hire new people when employees in unions go on strike? What laws/mechanisms prevent them from doing so? I ask because strikes seem to be the main way Unions hold companies hostage. . .

cmsciulli on November 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

#WaronTwinkies

faraway on November 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

but Twinkies may be back owned by someone new, their labor obligations vacated, and likely in a right-to-work state.

I’m guessing that this company will trade from Republican donor to Dem donor hands.

The plan continues.

faraway on November 16, 2012 at 2:48 PM

#WaronTwinkies

faraway on November 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Let me know when the left starts throwing around terms like hate-Twinkies or intolerant Ho-Hos.

Happy Nomad on November 16, 2012 at 2:53 PM

That giant sucking sound you hear is Washington state and Colorado sucking up all of the Little Debbie and Tastykake snack cakes in the country as they try to fill the void left by Hostess.

UltimateBob on November 16, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Another piece of Americana destroyed by Obama’s union thugs. As a kid, my late brother used to peel the skin off the Snowballs and eat the skin and cake separately. Makes me sad to see it go.

I went to Kroger and all the Twinkies were already sold out. I was gonna buy a couple of boxes and freeze them. Unlike my thousands of old fashioned bulbs that I’ve hoarded, it’s hard to hoard Ding Dongs, etc. And I don’t think you could barter too well with them when the civil unrest comes.

TxAnn56 on November 16, 2012 at 2:53 PM

According to Forbes (15-FEB-2012), this has been brewing for a long time.

Here are a few fun facts regarding union demands, and why it rendered Hostess unable to compete (even though: “Among convenience-store snacks, Driscoll said, Hostess Donettes are the no. 1 seller, with the company’s brands holding down four of the top five slots and nine of the top 20.”)

- Hostess provides pensions via 40 multiemployer pension plans….That has left the company on the hook for the obligations of other companies that have been driven out of business.

- Workers there refused to even consider ending the practice of getting a paid holiday on their birthdays each year.

- Hostess is saddled with 372 collective bargaining agreements, 80 different health and pension benefit plans and workers’ compensation costs that last year hit $52 million–which works out to over $2700 for each of its 19,000 employees.

- Union agreements mandate pay raises and other compensation costs that will total $31 million this year.

- If cakes and bread arrive together and are headed to the same place, they must nevertheless be split onto separate trucks; drivers are forbidden to load products onto their trucks.

- When the Hostess man delivers product to the store, he isn’t allowed to move items from storage to the shelves; instead, a different employee, called a “pull-up” worker, has to do that job.

- Oh, and if both cakes and bread are involved? You guessed it: there’s a cake pull-up and a bread pull-up.

- If Hostess wants to enter a new market, work rules still apply.

Cry.
Me.
A.
River.

pain train on November 16, 2012 at 2:58 PM

There seems to be a pattern here.

Obama Term 1 failed because Bush’s economic hole was too deep.
Obama Term 2 failure will be blamed on Republicans and Big Business GETTIING REVENGE on blacks, Hispanics and unions for voting Democratic.

MaiDee on November 16, 2012 at 3:02 PM

That’s OK, there is already an alternative to Ho-Hos. They are called
Cho-Chos, straight from Bejing.

Limerick on November 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM

I went to Kroger and all the Twinkies were already sold out. I was gonna buy a couple of boxes and freeze them.

TxAnn56 on November 16, 2012 at 2:53 PM

From Wikepedia:

A common urban legend claims that Twinkies have an infinite shelf life or can last unspoiled for a relatively long time of ten, fifty, or one hundred years due to chemicals used in production.[14] This urban legend is false, although Twinkies can last a relatively long time (25 days or more) because they are made without unstabilized dairy products and thus spoil more slowly than most bakery items. In reality, Twinkies are on the shelf for a short time; a company executive told the New York Times in 2000 that the “Twinkie is on the shelf no more than 7 to 10 days.

So much for nuclear-disaster-proof.

Tim_CA on November 16, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Another rumor going around is that Flowers Foods, based in Georgia, will buy Hostess’s recipes. That would cool.

Cindy Munford on November 16, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Racism is alive, and Twinkies are dead

faraway on November 16, 2012 at 3:19 PM

I was in the auto repair shop this morning, and they had the Today show on the TV in the waiting room. Kathie Lee and Huda were drinking wine on air (this was at 10:00 AM Eastern), and commenting how good the Chardonnay was.

The thing was, even while drinking, they were more serious and sober than George Stephanopolous and his crew of left wing @-holes on GMA.

UltimateBob on November 16, 2012 at 1:40 PM

I think KLG & Hoda drink wine every morning.

(hanging my head for knowing that)

22044 on November 16, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Went and bought myself one last Hostess Fruit Pie (Peach) at the UDF today. Still cheaply made – more air than filling, more sugar than crust – but awesomely so and quite satisfying.

Never cared for Twinkies – always tasted like the backside of a postage stamp recently licked by a kindergartner at lunch.

Daughter went to work at KMart and set aside some big boxes of HoHo’s – should last a few years anyway.

Bye Hostess, it was good knowin’ ya!

Cricket624 on November 16, 2012 at 4:00 PM

pain train on November 16, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Here in Albany Oregon, us taxpayers pay for somebody to drive a 5 gallons per mile (exagerated) mini dump truck behind the street sweeper about 20 feet as the sweeper creeps through the streets. The back of the dump truck has a sign that says “Sweeper Ahead”.

They created a union job to warn people that a slow vehicle is ahead by driving another slow, fuel inefficient vehicle with a sign on it, instead of just putting flashing lights on the same sign on the sweeper.

It’s insanity and it will bring down union shops, public or private, in the coming years.

PastorJon on November 16, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Umm.. Zippy. Don’t you have to give us odds like you did when you were working as a paid Obama shill during the election? Also, why haven’t the paid Axelrod trolls been banned already. Fellow Obama for America troll gumby seems to have been blocked, so shouldn’t his annoying colleagues be as well.

Illinidiva on November 16, 2012 at 12:06 PM

I know how much you miss my odds…

Why do companies make bad agreements with unions? The unions act in their own interest and the company’s management act in theirs. The incompetent Hostess management (research their stupidity for yourselves-stop getting all of your info from right-wing sources) made untenable agreements in the past while also rewarding themselves with mind-boggling bonuses thus guaranteeing bankruptcy. Also, demand for the Hostess poison is going down as well. Go bankrupt, sell off the assets, and someone else will make the Twinkies. Someone will continue to make them so red-staters can fry them up and have something to stuff in their Akin-holes while riding their obesity scooters at the state fair.

http://www.thelostogle.com/2010/09/13/2010-oklahoma-state-fair-photo-contest/
http://theiowarepublican.com/2012/farewell-to-the-2012-iowa-state-fair/

ZippyZ on November 16, 2012 at 4:11 PM

They created a union job to warn people that a slow vehicle is ahead by driving another slow, fuel inefficient vehicle with a sign on it, instead of just putting flashing lights on the same sign on the sweeper.

PastorJon on November 16, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Mrs. Federalist has relatives who were staunch union members. Shortly after getting married, we visited them. The two of them were talking about how at work, they now had automated tables in the lunchroom that would fold themselves up so that the cleaning crew could clean the floors without first having to move the tables out of the way. Me, being an engineer, thought, “What a cool idea, saves people from having to perform a mundane, backbreaking job”. Their comment to one another? “Yep, they’re always trying to figure out how to cut someone!”

AZfederalist on November 16, 2012 at 4:13 PM

King Arthur: Old woman.
Dennis: Man.
King Arthur: Man, sorry. What knight lives in that castle over there?
Dennis: I’m 37.
King Arthur: What?
Dennis: I’m 37. I’m not old.
King Arthur: Well I can’t just call you “man”.
Dennis: Well you could say “Dennis”.
King Arthur: I didn’t know you were called Dennis.
Dennis: Well you didn’t bother to find out did you?
King Arthur: I did say sorry about the “old woman”, but from behind you looked…
Dennis: What I object to is you automatically treat me like an inferior.
King Arthur: Well I am king.
Dennis: Oh, king eh? Very nice. And how’d you get that, eh? By exploiting the workers. By hanging on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society.
King Arthur: I am your king.
Woman: Well I didn’t vote for you.
King Arthur: You don’t vote for kings.
Woman: Well how’d you become king then?
[Angelic music plays... ]
King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king.
Dennis: [interrupting] Listen, strange women lyin’ in ponds distributin’ swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
Dennis: Oh, but you can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you.
Dennis: Oh but if I went ’round sayin’ I was Emperor, just because some moistened bint lobbed a scimitar at me, they’d put me away.
Dennis: Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! Help! I’m being repressed!
King Arthur: Bloody peasant!
Dennis: Oh, what a giveaway! Did you hear that? Did you hear that, eh? That’s what I’m on about! Did you see him repressing me? You saw him, Didn’t you?

mechkiller_k on November 16, 2012 at 4:27 PM

I think KLG & Hoda drink wine every morning.

(hanging my head for knowing that)

22044 on November 16, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Not only that, you knew the correct spelling of Hoda’s name. ;-)

UltimateBob on November 16, 2012 at 4:27 PM

“as the company was preparing to file for bankruptcy earlier this year, the then CEO of Hostess was awarded a 300 percent raise (from approximately $750,000 to $2,550,000) and at least nine other top executives of the company received massive pay raises. One such executive received a pay increase from $500,000 to $900,000 and another received one taking his salary from $375,000 to $656,256.”

Hotair says nothing.

Dave Rywall on November 16, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Labor is part of the cost of doing business (unless you’re self-employed). To me, it is no different than suppliers or contractors increasing charges for their goods and services…both of these threaten to cut into profit margins. But, who would supply a company with materials of some kind that is unfavorable to them just to keep the contract going at a loss? That makes no sense.

So, I don’t think it makes any sense for labor to sell their services at a loss, either. To me it’s simply economics and political ideology has nothing to do with it. If you get to the point where it is no longer profitable to work for someone, then you need to look elsewhere. Workers may have to make concessions from time to time, but I don’t get this idea that everyone else should work for peanuts, but not ‘me’?

Another thing is that this company’s been in dire straits before. I’m positive that they would be much more profitable if they didn’t have to pay anybody for anything, but that’s not how it works.

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 16, 2012 at 4:46 PM

We may never know unless the BCTGM members, based on the facts they know today, get to determine their fate in a secret ballot vote. Teamster members would understand that the will of the BCTGM Hostess membership was truly heard if that was the case.

HUH??????

I thought secret ballots were oppressive for unions…..

I’m confused.

Blaise on November 16, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Hostess? Closing?

No more — ChocoDiles?

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

:(

FlatFoot on November 16, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Little Debbie’s six pack of mini doughnuts 75 cents (2.81 oz.). Hostess six pack of mini doughnuts $1.69 (3 oz.). Look for the union label…..

SPIFF1669 on November 16, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony pre-election graft to voters, cronies, and thugs.

mechkiller_k on November 16, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Even Quests for the Holy Grail need a little update from time to time.

Tim_CA on November 16, 2012 at 5:21 PM

When I was a kid working for auto train, then a private company which was going broke, the union employees stationed in VA were constantly demanding more. The non union employees in FL constantly argued with them that we couldn’t squeeze any more out of them as the company is loosing money each quarter. The union employees were adamant the company was lying. I went to several of these meeting. The union folks were just idiots, and autotrain went bankrupt and is now owned by the feds. Coincidentally still loosing money each quarter.

That was an eye opening experience for me.

filetandrelease on November 16, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Hotair says nothing.

Dave Rywall on November 16, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Rywall posts, but as usual says nothing.

Aviator on November 16, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Let the party begin. Hope this happens to every union company out there.

johnny reb on November 16, 2012 at 5:31 PM

“as the company was preparing to file for bankruptcy earlier this year, the then CEO of Hostess was awarded a 300 percent raise (from approximately $750,000 to $2,550,000) and at least nine other top executives of the company received massive pay raises. One such executive received a pay increase from $500,000 to $900,000 and another received one taking his salary from $375,000 to $656,256.”

Hotair says nothing.

Dave Rywall on November 16, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Wouldn’t expect a liberal to understand anything about business or the need to retain key personnel in dire times, so your ignorance is not surprising. So, let’s try to see if you are educable or want to remain willfully ignorant.

When a company is going bankrupt and wishes to re-organize and rise from that bankruptcy, it requires key personnel such at the CEO (unless the CEO was the reason for mismanagement and the failure, doesn’t appear to be the case here) and other key management people to remain on board. Now, if you are a motivated person, such as these corporate officers would be, you look at the company around you going south and start looking for an alternative place of employment. Nothing evil or greedy about that, it’s simply self-preservation and smart business. Therefore, when a company such as Hostess is on the ropes, the odds are that employees are going to start looking for, and accepting better opportunities. Doesn’t just apply to corporate officers, this is true up and down the employment chain. So, Hostess, seeing that it is about to lose key personnel but wanting to maximize the chances of emerging successfully from reorganization, makes them offers to remain; since the risk is high, the payoff must be commensurate. Happens all the time, not just with officers, but with other key personnel who are critical even as a company is downsizing or being shut down. Those people who stay on are at risk of not getting a new job because their fellow employees who have headed to the exits are taking open positions that those remaining behind could have filled. That’s why those employees get large severance packages or increases in salary — they are being compensated for the risk being taken for their future employment. That’s the way business works. It’s also one of the reasons that some companies are able to successfully reorganize.

AZfederalist on November 16, 2012 at 5:32 PM

“Without much more data than this, it’s impossible to say whether the unions or the company has been unreasonable in this dispute, or whether it might be a blend of both, as is usually the case.”

You’re kidding, right Ed? Right?

ncjetsfan on November 16, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Dave Rywall on November 16, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Dave, you better talk to your buddy Bob Beckel. He is also under the impression that it’s the union’s fault.

UltimateBob on November 16, 2012 at 5:50 PM

as the company was preparing to file for bankruptcy earlier this year, the then CEO of Hostess was awarded a 300 percent raise (from approximately $750,000 to $2,550,000) and at least nine other top executives of the company received massive pay raises. One such executive received a pay increase from $500,000 to $900,000 and another received one taking his salary from $375,000 to $656,256.”

Hotair says nothing.

Dave Rywall on November 16, 2012 at 4:44 PM

“The maker of Twinkies and Ding Dongs is slashing pay for its four highest-paid managers to $1 apiece until Hostess emerges from Chapter 11 or Dec. 31, whichever comes first.”

–April 2012

Dumber than Drywall continues to beclown himself.

HumpBot Salvation on November 16, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Dave, you better talk to your buddy Bob Beckel. He is also under the impression that it’s the union’s fault.

UltimateBob on November 16, 2012 at 5:50 PM

The loss of Twinkies has hit Beckel particularly hard.

slickwillie2001 on November 16, 2012 at 6:00 PM

The loss of Twinkies has hit Beckel particularly hard.

slickwillie2001 on November 16, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Ed Schultz may need medical help.

Do they make a twinkie patch?

Tim_CA on November 16, 2012 at 6:04 PM

lol…the unions are a joke. Maybe they can strike the unemployment office now. I have no sympathy for the idiots…

RedInMD on November 16, 2012 at 1:51 PM

And after that the now Unionized TSA strike? What a boon to the Economy that would be!

—Ft Payne Alabama, VERY similar situation. Union won, Company shut her down, Union office moved out in darkness the night of the annocement.I think the town has never recovered.

2008 or 2009 (a bit before I moved here – but everyone has a bitter Union story).

seesalrun2 on November 16, 2012 at 6:05 PM

As our man Quinn in Pittsburgh says, ” They have GONE GALT!!!!”

Go Hostess!!

congma on November 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Yes, the remedy for death-by-union is bankruptcy. Close shop and sell it, or sell off the assets.

Will Obama take over Hostess and give it to the union? I’d say the odds are about 50:50. If it weren’t a junk food company, I’d bet the odds would be more like 3:1.

If there are enough companies going Galt, Cloward-Piven will start working against these America-haters.

petefrt on November 16, 2012 at 6:26 PM

AZfederalist on November 16, 2012 at 5:32 PM

How long before the NLRB (or some such) steps up to close that little ‘union loophole’ in the bankruptcy law?

petefrt on November 16, 2012 at 6:30 PM

How long before the NLRB (or some such) steps up to close that little ‘union loophole’ in the bankruptcy law?

petefrt on November 16, 2012 at 6:30 PM

so the union shop follows the product name?

can’t even think of a path to make that one work…oh wait….rule by executive fiat….I always forget.

Tim_CA on November 16, 2012 at 6:35 PM

and likely in a right-to-work state.

We will gladly receive you here in Texas.

Theophile on November 16, 2012 at 6:51 PM

So.Much.Schadenfreude.

tom daschle concerned on November 16, 2012 at 6:52 PM

I was asking my democrat union supporting coworkers about this last night and not one would even make a comment about it.

And the moron leftist who thinks he is so smart because he keeps all his stock in APPLE(Which never goes down! LOL!) walked out after a week of me asking about how he was doing in the market.

Ridiculing the crap out of these people as their ideology explodes the country around them is about the only earthly joy we have left at this point.

tom daschle concerned on November 16, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Dumber than Drywall continues to beclown himself.

HumpBot Salvation

Cut the dimbulb some slack. He thought twinks were going away, not twinkies. He was quite upset about it.

xblade on November 16, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Obama’s America: totally gay.

His brownshirts wear purple.
His galt going industry isn’t oil, it’s TWINKIES.

tom daschle concerned on November 16, 2012 at 7:05 PM

No more Twinkies.
Michael Moore and Moochele Obama hardest hit.

chewmeister on November 16, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Dan White, another racist, hateful Democratic murderer. Whodathunk?

WeekendAtBernankes on November 16, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Dan White, another racist, hateful Democratic murderer. Whodathunk?

WeekendAtBernankes on November 16, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Our nation is so f*cked up that you aren’t even exaggerating with that statement, and quite possibly some liberal has outdone it.

MelonCollie on November 16, 2012 at 7:17 PM

It’s too bad a company is going under, but it’s good that it’s taking 18,500 UNION jobs with it. Maybe whomever purchases them in bankruptcy will be a non-union shop.

You reap what you sow.

Common Sense on November 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM

I’m pretty sure it wasn’t all union jobs..someone where i work at, her daughter’s husband worked for hostess and was a salesman..he wasn’t with a union

I do blame the unions for this, no doubt.. i hate, them, hate the passionately..they are helping to destroy this country one company at a time

sadsushi on November 16, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Also, demand for the Hostess poison is going down as well. Go bankrupt, sell off the assets, and someone else will make the Twinkies. Someone will continue to make them so red-staters can fry them up and have something to stuff in their Akin-holes while riding their obesity scooters at the state fair.

Yep, can’t get much redder than …Chicago: Chicago-area convenience stores are reporting that they’ve sold out of the blonde gooey pastries — some within an hour after opening.

Barnestormer on November 16, 2012 at 7:32 PM

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