Green Room

Re: Twinkies — It’s all “Bain-style Wall Street vultures'” fault, or something

posted at 2:15 pm on November 16, 2012 by

Ed and MKH have the full rundown of today’s Twinkies news covered, but of course, everybody’s favorite union leader has to put in his two nonsensical cents. Because what ran afoul at Hostess’s headquarters was obviously… er… Mitt Romney!

“What’s happening with Hostess Brands is a microcosm of what’s wrong with America, as Bain-style Wall Street vultures make themselves rich by making America poor,” Trumka said in a public statement. “Crony capitalism and consistently poor management drove Hostess into the ground, but its workers are paying the price.” …

“These workers, who consistently make great products Americans love and have offered multiple concessions, want their company to succeed,” Trumka said in the statement. “They have bravely taken a stand against the corporate race-to-the-bottom. And now they and their communities are suffering the tragedy of a needless layoff. This is wrong. It has to stop. It’s wrecking America.”

No. What’s “wrong with America” is ludicrously over-the-top populist agitating that bears resemblance to neither logic nor reality.

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Richard Trumka obviously knows a thing or two about love of Twinkies. Business, on the other hand, not so much.

change is for suckers on November 16, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Unions are corrupt as hell, but there is still something to what he’s saying. One of the rare times he’s ever right.

Hostess has been in bankruptcy for 5 out of the last 8 years
Hostess has had 6 different CEOs in 8 years.

No doubt that unions put the death blow to Hostess. But those are also signs of a poorly run company.

AngusMc on November 16, 2012 at 2:23 PM

The demonization of private equity, and private enterprise in general, has been absolutely shameful. Especially coming from people like Trumka who’ve gotten rich by exploiting workers who believe he’s interested in something other than helping to elect Dems and lining his own pockets.

changer1701 on November 16, 2012 at 2:28 PM

I don’t know whether to laugh or be creeped the hell out. Was Trumpka reading from a back issue of Pravda?

MelonCollie on November 16, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Yeah, because you make so much money by going bankrupt, instead of staying in business and actually selling stuff.

rbj on November 16, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Yeah, because you make so much money by going bankrupt, instead of staying in business and actually selling stuff.

rbj on November 16, 2012 at 2:30 PM

That will be true in this case. In business, Hostess was losing money. Going out of business they can auction off naming rights to Twinkie, Wonder Bread, and others and clear hundreds of millions. In short, they’ll make more by shutting down. Unions and bad management drove them to that point.

AngusMc on November 16, 2012 at 2:36 PM

So Trumka is throwing the Teamsters under the bus?

Deanna on November 16, 2012 at 2:36 PM

“What’s happening with Hostess Brands is a microcosm of what’s wrong with America, as Bain-style Wall Street vultures make themselves rich by making America poor,” Trumka said in a public statement.

This is an interesting statement given the main reason the union didn’t take the deal is because they were sure some White Knight, that is some Bain-style Wall Street vulture, was going to come in and save the company.

Rocks on November 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Yeah, because you make so much money by going bankrupt, instead of staying in business and actually selling stuff.

rbj on November 16, 2012 at 2:30 PM
That will be true in this case. In business, Hostess was losing money. Going out of business they can auction off naming rights to Twinkie, Wonder Bread, and others and clear hundreds of millions. In short, they’ll make more by shutting down. Unions and bad management drove them to that point.

AngusMc on November 16, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Not likely. Hostess is something like $850 Million in debt. I doubt very seriously they will even be able to break even by liquidating, ESPECIALLY after announcing that it is too late for them to even consider trying to make it work. And their products are clearly not good enough to make much of a profit. As much as Twinkies and Wonder Bread are famous brands, their value is probably not all that high.

deadrody on November 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Crony capitalism brought down Hostess? Was Hostess being federally funded or have some sort of regulatory, legal, taxation carve out?

If crony capitalism is so troubling to Trumka maybe he should get his goons to picket all of the energy companies (the ones still operating) Obama propped up.

gwelf on November 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Let her bake Trumpkaka.

[email protected] on November 16, 2012 at 2:42 PM

There is also a post at zerohedge that talks about how the last PE firm that tried to resurrect Hostess is a democrat with ties to Mr. Union, Dick Gephardt.

deadrody on November 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Hey, Trumka, do you remember who hasn’t been able to eat a Twinkie, Ding Dong or Wonder Bread since 22 July 1993?

Eddie York, the worker you guys killed and whose widow your union hurriedly settled $27 million upon after the Federal prosecutor said that he would release the evidence from the criminal trial.

Resist We Much on November 16, 2012 at 2:44 PM

I better go get me some ding dongs this afternoon

mrscullen on November 16, 2012 at 2:50 PM

If crony capitalism is so troubling to Trumka maybe he should get his goons to picket all of the energy companies (the ones still operating) Obama propped up.

gwelf on November 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Or GM…….

GWB on November 16, 2012 at 2:54 PM

The Whitehouse has a petition up to try and save Twinkies…..

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/nationalize-twinkie-industry/cJz0ngJR

redguy on November 16, 2012 at 2:57 PM

The demonization of private equity, and private enterprise in general, has been absolutely shameful. Especially coming from people like Trumka who’ve gotten rich by exploiting workers who believe he’s interested in something other than helping to elect Dems and lining his own pockets.

changer1701 on November 16, 2012 at 2:28 PM

This.

visions on November 16, 2012 at 2:59 PM

There is a cool beans rumor going around that I hope is true. Flowers Foods, based in Georgia, non union, is considering buying Hostess’s recipes.

Cindy Munford on November 16, 2012 at 3:12 PM

The Whitehouse has a petition up to try and save Twinkies…..

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/nationalize-twinkie-industry/cJz0ngJR

redguy on November 16, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Why is a govt group promoting the nationalization of a company ?

Jabberwock on November 16, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Crony capitalism and consistently poor management drove Hostess into the ground — Richard Trumka

No. What’s “wrong with America” is ludicrously over-the-top populist agitating that bears resemblance to neither logic nor reality. — Erika Johnsen

Hostess has been in bankruptcy for 5 out of the last 8 years
Hostess has had 6 different CEOs in 8 years.

No doubt that unions put the death blow to Hostess. But those are also signs of a poorly run company.

— AngusMc

I do believe that’s game-set-match, Erika, unless you care to offer a rebuttal.

Stoic Patriot on November 16, 2012 at 3:33 PM

I do believe that’s game-set-match, Erika, unless you care to offer a rebuttal.

Stoic Patriot on November 16, 2012 at 3:33 PM

The poor mgmt decisions were when they genuflected to the unions.

CycloneCDB on November 16, 2012 at 3:57 PM

No doubt that unions put the death blow to Hostess. But those are also signs of a poorly run company.

AngusMc on November 16, 2012 at 2:23 PM

And the major investors and principles were Democrats, including one congressman (Petee Gephardt)a huge union supporter. But Trumka has to use the “Bain” name and that is what the liberals will be spouting for the next decade.

Ken James on November 16, 2012 at 4:01 PM

It is rather alarming when you wander out into the Idiot Land comments of major news sites.

A not insignificant portion of this country believes that business owners open a bakery and arduously grow it into a major concern for the purpose of creating jobs for others.

HitNRun on November 16, 2012 at 4:14 PM

That fat slobbering criminal bastard is sure going to miss his fried Twinkies and SnoBalls.

No wonder he’s cranky..

TexasJew on November 16, 2012 at 5:19 PM

The dirty rotten capitalists took my twinkies!

AshleyTKing on November 16, 2012 at 10:50 PM

I hate unions.

Yesterday, I was talking about how these idiots drove Hostess out of business. Then, a family member of mine, who hates unions I think more than I do, told me this might be one of the rare times that the unions had a legit grievance.

The takeover was going to result in reduction of these people’s pensions by 30%. Meanwhile, CEOs kept getting raises, even as the company was getting deeper in the hole.

I don’t know exactly what to make of this. I think it is pretty screwed up that a company/hedge fund/what-have-you can legally reduce or eliminate someone’s pension; that is a commitment made to those people. It looks even worse when large bonuses are paid out to idiots that run companies into the ground.

It looks the worst when we defend stuff like this. As I said when the ridiculously misguided ‘price gouging saves lives’ article ran here, even if you’re right, sometimes silence is golden.

It is stuff like this that plays right into the hands of the left…

avgjo on November 17, 2012 at 6:45 AM

Yes, this is a failure based on poor management and years of crippling union contracts. Both sides are at fault here,

The banter between Union Officials and conservatives over this Twinkie strike boils down to one side saying, “Look at all of the jobs unnessarily lost” and the other saying, “Those management bums aren’t going to force us to take cuts in salery or bennifits”.

This misunderstanding is based on two completely different world views: Tactical and Stratigic.

The conservatives are mystified when looking at the jobs of the 16,000 workers lost due to the ‘circular firing squad’ stance of the baker Union but the Union looks at the loss of these jobs as necessary casulities in a larger battle to preserve gains at all costs. They reason that any agreement to roll back existing contracts would open the floodgates to it happening in other troubled industries.

Uniblogger on November 17, 2012 at 7:45 AM


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