Twinkie cliff avoided? Hostess and bakers agree to mediation

posted at 8:31 pm on November 19, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham

Yes, there’s been lots of focus on the fate of Twinkies lately, perhaps more than on the similar troubles of the country’s finances. Please consider this your delicious, non-nutritious proxy fight featuring a badly managed, inefficient leadership structure losing cash by the truck-full, held hostage by a thousand financial obligations it made to a thousand constituencies it can’t possibly bring in enough money to satisfy! Yum! As a nation, we’re simply chowing down on our empty-calories disaster dessert before we get to the fiscal cauliflower cliff. Or something.

Consider this symbolic distraction momentarily off the table. Hostess and the bakers union will go back into mediation:

Hostess Brands Inc. and its second largest union will go into mediation to try and resolve their differences, meaning the Irving, Texas-based company won’t go out of business just yet. The news came Monday after Hostess moved to liquidate and sell off its assets in bankruptcy court citing a crippling strike last week.

The bankruptcy judge hearing the case says that the parties haven’t gone through the critical step of mediation and asked the lawyer for the bakery’s union to ask his client, who wasn’t present, if he would agree to participate.

The judge noted the bakers union’s behavior in calling for mediation. Many have wondered why the union was mostly quiet while the Teamsters accepted Hostess’ last deal, later leaving Teamsters in the lurch when bakers rejected it:

The judge noted that the bakery union went on strike after rejecting the company’s latest contract offer, even though it never filed an objection to it.

“Many people, myself included, have serious questions as to the logic behind this strike,” said Judge Robert Drain, who heard the case in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York in White Plains, N.Y. “Not to have gone through that step leaves a huge question mark in this case.”

Many on Twitter are alleging this was some kind of marketing ploy in which greedy Hostess feigned failure, drove up demand, and then revealed its true solvency. But it sounds like the judge is taking issue with the unions’ actions, not Hostess’, and this company has been in dire straits for quite some time. The Teamsters presumably aren’t in the habit of agreeing to eight-percent pay cuts unless they recognize asking for more would truly be a kamikaze mission.

But if Allahpundit’s nostalgia cravings are any indication— and the entirety of my Twitter stream seems to say they are— Hostess will be doing pretty swift business for the next little bit if they can get back to producing. Many stores reported selling out of various varieties of the sweet treats this weekend, and eBay was doing brisk Twinkie business.

The saddest person here may be Paul Krugman, who will be crushed to know we don’t get to raise the top marginal tax rate to 91 percent to save these iconic confections.

As for me, I had it on good authority the only thing that could save an iconic American brand from extinction was $60 billion in taxpayer money. This process, though painful at times, seems way cheaper.


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MKH, tell BOR he lost some more viewers tonight…

d1carter on November 19, 2012 at 8:32 PM

Stop it!

I ain’t Pavlov’s dog!

Haven’t had, or wanted, a Twinkie in decades…until the other day.

Maybe I am Pavlov’s dog…

cozmo on November 19, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Kicking the can down the road in the private sector. Great.

talkingpoints on November 19, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Do not like the way you were treated on O’Reilly this evening, Ms.Ham. Please tell that pompous azz, he has lost a viewer.

#Disgusting

JPeterman on November 19, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Do not like the way you were treated on O’Reilly this evening, Ms.Ham. Please tell that pompous azz, he has lost a viewer.

#Disgusting

JPeterman on November 19, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Didn’t see it, wouldn’t surprise me.

Ugly on November 19, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Many on Twitter are alleging this was some kind of marketing ploy in which greedy Hostess feigned failure, drove up demand, and then revealed its true solvency.

Mindless crap spreading through Twitter?

I’ll not believe it.

. . . Yay! Kim finished her Christmas shopping already!

Axe on November 19, 2012 at 8:41 PM

No, this was IMPOSED by the same judge that IMPOSED the cuts on the union.

He’s gone wobbly, in my opion, on behalf of The Regime, who wants to avoid the inevitable (and necessary) sale of Hostess to a non union operation that will be able to compete and succeed in the marketplace.

wildcat72 on November 19, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Don’t you weenies who paid big bucks for a twinkie on ebay feel stupid now?

Philly on November 19, 2012 at 8:42 PM

Do not like the way you were treated on O’Reilly this evening, Ms.Ham. Please tell that pompous azz, he has lost a viewer.

#Disgusting

JPeterman on November 19, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Didn’t watch tonight. I’ve been tuning him out more and more as time goes on. It was that bad, huh?

predator on November 19, 2012 at 8:43 PM

What do singed Twinkies taste like? The Bakers’ Union?

*ahem*

L.I.B.

Fallon on November 19, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Don’t you weenies who paid big bucks for a twinkie on ebay feel stupid now?

Philly on November 19, 2012 at 8:42 PM

I bought mine in the store before they sold out.

I am greedily holding on to what may be the last box of Ding Dongs (my favorite Hostess product) in my region. And no, I am NOT going to share :)

wildcat72 on November 19, 2012 at 8:45 PM

MKH, I was very unimpressed by how BOR treated you tonight. He Susan Riced you…../

ted c on November 19, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Mindless crap spreading through Twitter?

I’ll not believe it.

. . . Yay! Kim finished her Christmas shopping already!

Axe on November 19, 2012 at 8:41 PM

She is the perfect Obamacitizen. Vapid. Without substance. Completely lacking anything resembling cognitive judgement.

wildcat72 on November 19, 2012 at 8:46 PM

MKH, I was very unimpressed by how BOR treated you tonight. He Susan Riced you…../

ted c on November 19, 2012 at 8:45 PM

I quit watching BOR years ago when it became apparent he is a liberal pretending to be a squish RINO for ratings only.

wildcat72 on November 19, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Do not like the way you were treated on O’Reilly this evening, Ms.Ham. Please tell that pompous azz, he has lost a viewer.

#Disgusting

JPeterman on November 19, 2012 at 8:39 PM

…I refer to him as BOR…my bride refers to him as SOB…I think I’ll refer to him from now on…on my wifes terms!

KOOLAID2 on November 19, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Didn’t watch tonight. I’ve been tuning him out more and more as time goes on. It was that bad, huh?

predator on November 19, 2012 at 8:43 PM

It was that bad. But he also went after Juan Williams the same way. Perhaps a pithy e-mail is required from me.

JPeterman on November 19, 2012 at 8:54 PM

It was that bad. But he also went after Juan Williams the same way. Perhaps a pithy e-mail is required from me.

JPeterman on November 19, 2012 at 8:54 PM

I lost all respect for Juan Williams (and damn near Fox News for inserting him in every show) for his incessantly shrill filibustering love for Obama every “discussion” panel he was on.

I can see why he deserved to be fired by NPR (though this wasn’t the reason) he’s a hack shill who is neither very intelligent nor very competent.

wildcat72 on November 19, 2012 at 8:56 PM

It was that bad. But he also went after Juan Williams the same way. Perhaps a pithy e-mail is required from me.

JPeterman on November 19, 2012 at 8:54 PM

I just sent him one congratulating him on his jerkiness…I’m sure he is devastated…heh.

d1carter on November 19, 2012 at 9:00 PM

I can see why he deserved to be fired by NPR (though this wasn’t the reason) he’s a hack shill who is neither very intelligent nor very competent.

wildcat72 on November 19, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Williams is always claiming that the left gives him grief over his books, views, etc. Yet he keeps singing the progressive song.

I think he’s either lying about the grief from the left, or he’s too stupid to wake up and smell the coffee.

predator on November 19, 2012 at 9:00 PM

She is the perfect Obamacitizen. Vapid. Without substance. Completely lacking anything resembling cognitive judgement.

wildcat72 on November 19, 2012 at 8:46 PM

I dunno. She finished her Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving. :)

Axe on November 19, 2012 at 9:01 PM

I quit watching BOR years ago when it became apparent he is a liberal pretending to be a squish RINO for ratings only.

wildcat72 on November 19, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Same here. Funny how he never follows up after ambushing judges and others for poor decisions. He says we’ll keep you posted and the story just fades away. His crap just got old in so many ways and I quit watching a year ago and my IQ went back up.

arnold ziffel on November 19, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Could be that the judge is wanting one last push before he signs off on the boarding up of Hostess.

TQM38a on November 19, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Michelle Malkin used to appear with, and even sub host for, BOR. At some point, she had enough.

esr1951 on November 19, 2012 at 9:04 PM

arnold ziffel on November 19, 2012 at 9:01 PM

I tuned in Friday and Gutfeld was filling in. That should be a permanent change.

predator on November 19, 2012 at 9:04 PM

Williams is always claiming that the left gives him grief over his books, views, etc. Yet he keeps singing the progressive song.

I think he’s either lying about the grief from the left, or he’s too stupid to wake up and smell the coffee.

predator on November 19, 2012 at 9:00 PM

His NPR firing is an example of how extreme intolerance and bigotry is on the Left. Juan is an orthodox communist and Obama toe sucker. Yet being on Fox News and daring to once actually THINK different than the conformist leftist mass was enough to ostracize him.

wildcat72 on November 19, 2012 at 9:05 PM

wildcat72 on November 19, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Well done. I decided to skip the twinkie stampede. I love HoHos, Ding Dongs, and crumb cakes. Maybe they would be less expensive if made and distributed by a non-union shop.

Philly on November 19, 2012 at 9:06 PM

Same here. Funny how he never follows up after ambushing judges and others for poor decisions. He says we’ll keep you posted and the story just fades away. His crap just got old in so many ways and I quit watching a year ago and my IQ went back up.

arnold ziffel on November 19, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Yep, I noticed the same thing. BOR never kept his promise on anything. Then he tried to become a “moderate” killer of Rush Limbaugh on radio and failed miserably (just like all others). BOR absolutely SUCKED on radio. His schtick doesn’t work without video and the ability to cut people off and shout them down. Indeed, his M.O. is exactly the SAME as MSNBC’s!

wildcat72 on November 19, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Michelle Malkin used to appear with, and even sub host for, BOR. At some point, she had enough.

esr1951 on November 19, 2012 at 9:04 PM

She had a blowout with Rivera on the show sometime back. Rivera said something about “I spit on you.” (classy to the end)

I think that was the final straw and a real indictment of O’Reilly and FNC. Rivera has a show there, and Bull O’Really has him on regularly.

Rivera should have been canned, and nobody should have him on a Fox program, but they do.

A pox on Fox.

predator on November 19, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Michelle Malkin used to appear with, and even sub host for, BOR. At some point, she had enough.

esr1951 on November 19, 2012 at 9:04 PM

She had a blowout with Rivera on the show sometime back. Rivera said something about “I spit on you.” (classy to the end)

I think that was the final straw and a real indictment of O’Reilly and FNC. Rivera has a show there, and Bull O’Really has him on regularly.

Rivera should have been canned, and nobody should have him on a Fox program, but they do.

A pox on Fox.

predator on November 19, 2012 at 9:07 PM

MM was probably the first person amongst conservative figures to figure out that BOR is a complete fraud who is “only looking out” for himself.

wildcat72 on November 19, 2012 at 9:09 PM

Moochelle is pissed..
She ran out a drained the shelves over the weekend.

Electrongod on November 19, 2012 at 9:09 PM

Rivera should have been canned, and nobody should have him on a Fox program, but they do.

A pox on Fox.

predator on November 19, 2012 at 9:07 PM

That big 6’6 chickenshit waited over two weeks to address that issue and then blew it off when Rivera said “that’s not me.” Yeah puto, it is you. Talk about spitting on a woman, flat out nasty.

arnold ziffel on November 19, 2012 at 9:11 PM

wildcat72 on November 19, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Well done. I decided to skip the twinkie stampede. I love HoHos, Ding Dongs, and crumb cakes. Maybe they would be less expensive if made and distributed by a non-union shop.

Philly on November 19, 2012 at 9:06 PM

I fully expect that given my admission that I AM in possession of a sealed box of Ding-Dongs (an admission I made first on my crappy blog that has 10 hits) that Moochelle will send a hit squad to confiscate it from me. For her consumption, and for the furtherment of her personal rear-end enlargement initiative.

wildcat72 on November 19, 2012 at 9:12 PM

predator on November 19, 2012 at 9:07 PM

I think Rivera called MM a racist and BOR would not defend her.

esr1951 on November 19, 2012 at 9:12 PM

Moochelle is pissed..
She ran out a drained the shelves over the weekend.

Electrongod on November 19, 2012 at 9:09 PM

Looking at Mooch, I doubt she’s run anywhere since at least the 1980′s.

She’s had 300k no show jobs, and has a staff (Mooch’s Minions) that costs millions of dollars a year. He had “people” do that for her.

wildcat72 on November 19, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Bill O’Reilly’s a loud mouthed slapdick.
He always has been.
It’s just getting steadily worse and louder in his old age.
Haven’t watched him for years.

Funny y’all are just now figuring him out.

FlatFoot on November 19, 2012 at 9:14 PM

That big 6’6 chickenshit waited over two weeks to address that issue and then blew it off when Rivera said “that’s not me.” Yeah puto, it is you. Talk about spitting on a woman, flat out nasty.

arnold ziffel on November 19, 2012 at 9:11 PM

Yeah, it takes a brave man to intimidate a tiny woman like MM. Though I wouldn’t bet against her in the fight… She moves like a butterfly and stings like a bee :)

wildcat72 on November 19, 2012 at 9:17 PM

LET IT BURN!!!
Ummm… DO Twinkies burn, actually?

Glenn Jericho on November 19, 2012 at 9:17 PM

OT: The 49′rs are absolutely schooling the Bears right now.

Ugly on November 19, 2012 at 9:17 PM

MKH: Well, at least we still have Peeps!

And let me join the chorus in expressing my disgust with O’Reilly. He was worse than usual tonight. So frustrating…I don’t know how you do it every week. He is an ignorant, obnoxious blowhard.

IrishEi on November 19, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Bill O’Reilly’s a loud mouthed slapdick.

FlatFoot on November 19, 2012 at 9:14 PM

HA, it’s where I go to learn new terms. :)

arnold ziffel on November 19, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Looking at Mooch, I doubt she’s run anywhere since at least the 1980′s.

She’s had 300k no show jobs, and has a staff (Mooch’s Minions) that costs millions of dollars a year. He had “people” do that for her.

wildcat72 on November 19, 2012 at 9:14 PM

:)

She had a staff member do it..
Either way..

The Lincoln Bedroom is off limits for the next year..

Electrongod on November 19, 2012 at 9:19 PM

DO Twinkies burn, actually?

Glenn Jericho on November 19, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Let’s find out

Ugly on November 19, 2012 at 9:20 PM

It was that bad. But he also went after Juan Williams the same way. Perhaps a pithy e-mail is required from me.

JPeterman on November 19, 2012 at 8:54 PM

I am glad someone pointed this out – he was rude to both of them.

Bill lost his temper for the first time in a long time, as least that I’ve seen. I’m hoping he’ll apologize, and expect him to.

PS Katie Pavlich on Hannity! Yay! :)

Anti-Control on November 19, 2012 at 9:20 PM

LET IT BURN!!!
Ummm… DO Twinkies burn, actually?

Glenn Jericho on November 19, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Partially..
The cream center is a fire retardant..

Electrongod on November 19, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Partially..
The cream center is a fire retardant..

Electrongod on November 19, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Ok, but… WILL IT BLEND?

Glenn Jericho on November 19, 2012 at 9:23 PM

Partially..
The cream center is a fire retardant..

Electrongod on November 19, 2012 at 9:20 PM

So theoretically, the Twinkie Volt you suggested the other night would eventually put itself out if it caught fire?

Another hot feature of the Twinkie Volt!

When you add in the subsidy, it’s a steal of a deal!

predator on November 19, 2012 at 9:25 PM

PS Katie Pavlich on Hannity! Yay! :)

Anti-Control on November 19, 2012 at 9:20 PM

And she is handling the muslim dude quite nicely.

#Impressive

JPeterman on November 19, 2012 at 9:29 PM

LET IT BURN!!!
Ummm… DO Twinkies burn, actually?

Glenn Jericho on November 19, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Did you see the twinkie milkshake Gutfeld made on “The Five” Beckel had me laughing so hard I had to leave the room too. Priceless.

katy the mean old lady on November 19, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Did you see the twinkie milkshake Gutfeld made on “The Five” Beckel had me laughing so hard I had to leave the room too. Priceless.

katy the mean old lady on November 19, 2012 at 9:30 PM

I TOTALLY set you up for that further down thread.

You’re killin’ me, Smalls! :-P

Glenn Jericho on November 19, 2012 at 9:35 PM

I quit watching BOR years ago when it became apparent he is a liberal pretending to be a squish RINO for ratings only.

wildcat72 on November 19, 2012 at 8:47 PM

I don’t see Ted as either a liberal or a conservative or a Republican. To be labeled with a political philosophy, or label yourself, you have to demonstrate some principles consistently. BOR does not. You might call him a populist, which is another way of saying unprincipled, or ‘all over the map’, or ‘it depends how I feel today’.

He is also a very stupid man and he doesn’t know it. Stupid people that know their limitations are tolerable, but not someone like BOR.

slickwillie2001 on November 19, 2012 at 9:36 PM

BOR stood on the shoulders of conservatives to sell his books and earn his high show ratings. Now BOR spends most of his time buttering up liberals to expand his base. It’s all ratings and money-BOR has no philosophy or beliefs beyond that.

MaiDee on November 19, 2012 at 9:38 PM

I TOTALLY set you up for that further down thread.

You’re killin’ me, Smalls! :-P

Glenn Jericho on November 19, 2012 at 9:35 PM

PERFECT!

katy the mean old lady on November 19, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Twinkie cliff avoided?

Meagan McCain now off suicide watch.

VorDaj on November 19, 2012 at 9:56 PM

This is either a mere technicality on the way to liquidation — a dotting of the i’s and crossing of the t’s — or a way for the Baker’s union to save face and make necessary concessions.

Hostess’ ownership has begun to demonstrate it can sell its brand names, its recipes, and all of the equipment needed to produce product to others, and there will be plenty of prospective buyers. However, none of those buyers will also buy the union contracts.

farsighted on November 19, 2012 at 10:04 PM

This is either a mere technicality on the way to liquidation — a dotting of the i’s and crossing of the t’s — or a way for the Baker’s union to save face and make necessary concessions.

Hostess’ ownership has begun to demonstrate it can sell its brand names, its recipes, and all of the equipment needed to produce product to others, and there will be plenty of prospective buyers. However, none of those buyers will also buy the union contracts.

farsighted on November 19, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Which is why The Obama Regime is going to do whatever illegal thing they need to do to make sure that doesn’t happen (any outcome that ends in no union thugs baking Twinkies)

wildcat72 on November 19, 2012 at 10:07 PM

People are willing to pay lots of money on Paypal for twinkies, they should double the prices. They should use the money to fix whatever pension contributions have gone wrong, and get the unions to lower those expectations.

Might as well do it now, and get the bucks, someone will put a big tax on a twinkie for being really naughty food, like sodas, and they will take the money for doing NOTHING.

Fleuries on November 19, 2012 at 10:16 PM

It’s all ratings and money-BOR has no philosophy or beliefs beyond that.

MaiDee on November 19, 2012 at 9:38 PM

It bugs me when BOR always compliments absolute disgusting people with “Mr./Ms So & so is a good man..blah..blah.” He said that about Guiteairass the other day.
Mr. Guttyairass trys to talk all mister reasonable for the cameras, but when speaking to LA RAZA, he is almost a fist pumping advocate for taking back “stolen land”.

Mimzey on November 19, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Twinkie cliff avoided?

Meagan McCain now off suicide watch.

VorDaj on November 19, 2012 at 9:56 PM

…she can’t live without that cream in the middle?

KOOLAID2 on November 19, 2012 at 10:20 PM

I quit having anything to do with BOR when I heard say on his radio show that John Kerry is a basically a honest person.

BruceB on November 19, 2012 at 10:24 PM

As long as they fire all 18,500 of the union gangsters….it’s fine with me…and hey…move to SC…a right to work state.

Twana on November 19, 2012 at 10:51 PM

Twinkie cliff avoided?

Meagan McCain now off suicide watch.

VorDaj on November 19, 2012 at 9:56 PM

…she can’t live without that cream in the middle?

KOOLAID2 on November 19, 2012 at 10:20 PM

I’d imagine Meggie McBigMac is like Sandra Fluke in that to get anyone near her she has to pay for the rubbers.

wildcat72 on November 19, 2012 at 11:01 PM

BOR was extremely rude tonite. He constantly interrupts people in the middle of their thoughts, then, like tonite, berates Ms. Ham for not spitting it out fast enough or saying what he wants to hear.

Why anybody sits there and takes it from the self-centered old bloward is the question. If anybody did that to me, he’d be my enemy for life.

I’m done with his show. Whatta jerk.

Allahs vulva on November 20, 2012 at 12:30 AM

So, the Twinkies were only mostly dead?

trigon on November 20, 2012 at 12:43 AM

As for me, I had it on good authority the only thing that could save an iconic American brand from extinction was $60 billion in taxpayer money. This process, though painful at times, seems way cheaper.

Racist!!

Because … uh … give me a minute here….

There Goes The Neighborhood on November 20, 2012 at 1:21 AM

So, the Twinkies were only mostly dead?

trigon on November 20, 2012 at 12:43 AM

Well, no, just slightly alive.

itsspideyman on November 20, 2012 at 1:23 AM

Zombie Twinkies and Undead Ho Ho’s?

Wasn’t that a rap group?

profitsbeard on November 20, 2012 at 4:37 AM

The crazy ass Baker;s union gangsters don’t want to work, but they do want to destroy the company. How can anyone mediate THAT?

dogsoldier on November 20, 2012 at 5:56 AM

And yet I was looking forward to the demise of the Twinkie and its confectionary brethren from Hostess: it would open up vast markets for small manufacturers to get in and start reshaping the market away from the name brand monolith.

Capitalism and the free market would still provide such cakes with filling if Hostess went belly-up and Twinkies disappeared into the nuclear disaster/Armageddon/zombie apocalypse caches of survivalists the world over. They wouldn’t be called Twinkies, however… but that is just the brand: the product, itself, is probably set to survive the end of civilization as we know it. Because, really, what is heading into Iron Times if you can’t have one last Twinkie before you go through the Gates of Hell?

ajacksonian on November 20, 2012 at 7:15 AM

It’s the product names that will be for sale. When people talk about potential buyers, they won’t be coming for the equipment or the people. The union probably told the members to hold out, we can get you a better deal. Winter is coming on and St. Louis can be a cold place. There is a big hole left on shelves that will be filled by the most competitive company who gets there first with a deal. Stores have to have a product to sell.

Kissmygrits on November 20, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Sorry Katharine, but a judge forced them to mediation. It was not voluntary.

Dr. Dog on November 20, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Since Chapter 11 bankruptcy is reorganization in the belief that it is possible to make a company a viable entity again (doesn’t always work even if it emerges from bankruptcy), it stands to reason that the judge overseeing a reorg would feel that an effort at mediation to save the company is in order and going straight into Chapter 7 liquidation was premature.

So if the Baker union might now thinks that it can get what it wants, presumably no or significantly less pay cuts, and decides to stand its ground, it should be remember this is mediation (trying to find a compromise) not binding arbitration and it can fail. It is especially likely to fail if one party decides that it does not have to compromise at all or in part.

Russ808 on November 20, 2012 at 4:26 PM