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Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 22
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Hostess brand closing..Page 2 of 2    (1, 2)
Not all the workers had "walked off." I don't know if anyone had walked off at all, but if they did it was just the Bakers union. All teh stories I've seen include that the rest of the employees, who see to packaging and delivery of product, were very much on the job, right to the end. No "incentive bonuses" for them, however. Just straight pay.

Besides, what I was talking about was a bigger picture. Since the early 80's, the way that most large companies have behaved is the same: rewards for top officers whether the company grows or not, and cuts for the workers whether the company shrinks or not. It's how the huge chasm of pay rates changed from the ten to one (or whatever it was) ration of the sixties and seventies, into the modern 1000 to one pay ratio between top management and peasant.

It's wrong, because it flies in the face of what the capitalists who promote it keep claiming, that rewards should go to those who work for them, and that when times are not good, that cuts have to be made.
Joined: 8/2/2009
Msg: 23
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Hostess brand closing..
Posted: 12/3/2012 9:48:32 AM

Not all the workers had "walked off." I don't know if anyone had walked off at all, but if they did it was just the Bakers union.

That's right -- the BAKER'S UNION walked off the job and went on strike, causing the factory to CLOSE the next day. Some packagers and deliverers MAY have stayed on the few days -- by their own choice. The BAKER'S UNION were NOT the ONLY cause for HOSTESS to go out of business -- but they were the ULTIMATE CAUSE. THE BAKER'S UNION helped to cost the rest of the employee's their jobs as well.

All teh stories I've seen include that the rest of the employees, who see to packaging and delivery of product, were very much on the job, right to the end. No "incentive bonuses" for them, however. Just straight pay.

My stories indicate that the factory CLOSED the day after the BAKERS UNION went on strike. HOSTESS went to bankruptcy court and had, therein to beg the GOVERNMENT for the money for upper management severance pay, per the contracts that were made with them (since thier hiring). So -- if it is any consolation to you -- the GOVERNMENT essentially gave the upper mangement their severance pay and NOT FREE ENTERPRISE. Both the HOSTESS owners and the government (FEDERAL BANKRUPTCY COURT) knew that HIGHLY SKILLED EDUCATED MANAGERS who are familiar with THAT company's assets, market values of the property, and had business skills were less expendable than truck drivers or machinists. Sorry, but that is just the way it is.

Now, let me ask you this -- if you decided to invest your OWN savingings in ownership of a place of business would you go into it for profit? Or would you be a chartibale institution who paid everyone the same thing -- regardless of what each person's job claissification would normally earn them in the market place? Would you not have to pay for their level of skill and investment into their education? Would you not realize that competitiors compete by making goods affordable, so they hire employees at market value?

And, please don't forget -- in socilistic and communistic countries, everybody doesn't make the same thing either. Higher level jobs get paid more in those countries, too. The businesses are owned (or de-facto owned) by the governments, so the governments decide what workers in different job levels make, there, too. People have tried to create Utopias, were everyone makes exactly the same thing -- but every single such attempt has failed.

The only differences in capitialism are that EVERYONE has the chance to be an entrapenuer. AND THIS: In a capitialistic venture, employess have to be paid FIRST. The employer's portion of payroll taxes and the employees portion of taxes that have been withheld have to be forked over to the government FIRST. (Or else, it can mean jail time for the employer) Then other bills have to be paid if the company gets to stay open. THEN the owner gets paid -- LAST. I have seen cases where proprietors and officers of closely held coprations made less than their employees, did not get a dime, or even had to invest more of their cash in the company to keep it open during hard times.

So education, preparation (as in working years at lower paying jobs to "pay dues") for upper management positions have value in both a capitalistic society as well as a socialistic one. In capitalism, risk taking by entrapeueurs is also valued.

It's wrong, because it flies in the face of what the capitalists who promote it keep claiming, that rewards should go to those who work for them, and that when times are not good, that cuts have to be made.

But that's NOT wat capitalists promote. Captialists promote that the BIG rewards go to the OWNERS of business because THEY OWN THE PLACE. Workers have jobs.

Workers who are constantly improving their skills, making innovations to help their company succeed, and going above and beyond their job levelf requirements get ahead on their own. They get retirement savings plans on their own. They lose their jobs when times are hard, but they can do something else. They can make fortunates and become highly valued CEO's and get good severanace deals by themselves. They can save money and earn more through investment. There's a BIG market value in a good education and making oneself indispensable to others. So, they can rely on themselves. They can screw up, too. And fail. It happens all the time. But that's NO ONE else's problem, beyond unemployemt.

Union guys can get jobs. They may never have to improve their skill level beyond on the job training provided at their bosses expense -- for technolocical advancements. They can rely on Union Stewards to get them pay levels well beyond their level of skill. They can count on Unions for strike and severance pay. They can count the Unions to bully their employers into givng them HUGE pensions -- that non-union workers with the same skills don't get. They can even count on the Unions to keep from getting fired when they might deserve it. They can count of the Unions to keep from getting laid off, when the company actually doesn't need them. They can rely on Their bosses not to go bankrupt trying to pay all the legacy costs they accrue. They can count on everybody else but themselves.

So, sometiemes entrapenuers win. The union guys usually do well. But nobody is guaranteed ANYTHING in Capitalism. But if you think everybody is guaranteed everything in socialism -- just look at what has been going on in Europe these days.

As Margaret Thatcher said " Socialism is a good thing -- until we run out of everybody else's money".
Joined: 12/8/2011
Msg: 24
Hostess brand closing..
Posted: 12/3/2012 10:31:55 AM
By the looks of things a couple people may not understand what happened so here is a brief summary:

Vulture capitalism — not unions — killed Twinkies
Hedge funds took profits and piled on millions in debt at Hostess. They created this bankruptcy, not unions
Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 12:45 PM UTC
By Jake Blumgart

...But the story is far more complicated than that — and in some ways, the exact opposite of the tale pushed by those on the right. It’s the story of two bankruptcies, hundreds of millions of givebacks from Hostess unions and hundreds of millions of debt piled onto the company by venture capitalists. It’s a story of management that boosted its own salaries, while failing to make agreed payments into workers’ pension funds. And it’s a story of changing tastes and diets...

....For all these reasons, Hostess (then known as Interstate) initially entered bankruptcy in 2004, with uncomfortably close to half a billion dollars in debt. Sixty percent of the debt was owned by hedge funds Silver Point Capital and Monarch Alternative Capital, the rest by an assortment of other lenders. No one who was paying attention to the company’s fortunes was surprised by the move. During the nearly five years of its initial bankruptcy, the company accrued even more debt.

As these conditions lingered the workforce agreed to massive pay and benefit cuts in an attempt to keep the company afloat. One 14-year veteran of the company describes the $150 million annual givebacks the union agreed to: “In 2005, before concessions I made $48,000, last year I made $34,000.” Pensions and healthcare were cut as well, with labor’s total loss equaling $110 million annually.

Following these massive givebacks, a private equity company called Ripplewood Holdings brought the company out of bankruptcy in 2009 for $130 million and rechristened it Hostess Brands. The hedge funds and other lenders forgave some old debt and extended some new debt. Ripplewood convinced the other stakeholders that it could turn the company around and, apparently, convinced them so completely that only Hostess Management and Ripplewood had seats on the board. Neither the unions nor the hedge funds acquired voting seats as part of the deals struck to keep the company afloat. They just trusted Ripplewood to turn things around, implement new technologies, introduce new products, and rebuild aging infrastructure.

That’s not how things worked out.

“Ripplewood just failed miserably on implementation,” says Eileen Appelbaum, a senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. “It’s been a disaster. Ripplewood did not know what it was doing. They did not introduce any successful new products. Sure, they had high sales revenue but it had been declining since 2004.”

As a result of management that still hadn’t really attempted to adapt itself to new market realities, the company earned profits in 2011 of $2.5 billion: That’s 11 percent less than in 2008, before Ripplewood took over. But thanks to debt approaching $1 billion, Hostess ended 2011 with a loss of $341 million. The CEO who led the company back into bankruptcy? He got a pay raise — while Hostess pushed a 30 percent salary and benefit cut onto its employees. (A previous failed chief executive, Brian J. Driscoll, was pushed out, but only after the board tripled his pay package to $2.55 million.)

That leaves the unions in one corner and the hedge funds and Hostess management in the other. Management ordered the company to stop contributing to the union pension funds, ignoring their obligations under collective bargaining agreements. They have demanded a new round of concessions, which would have doubled insurance premiums, negated all pension obligations, and slashed pay by 27 to 32 percent. Again, the 14-year Hostess bakery veteran: “Remember how I said I made $48,000 in 2005 and $34,000 last year? I would make $25,000 in five years if I took their offer. It will be hard to replace the job I had, but it will be easy to replace the job they were trying to give me.”

Hostess CEO Greg Rayburn attempted to blame the company’s collapse on its workers and, in a move that seems calculated to add insult to injury, today asked a bankruptcy judge permission to pay executives $1.75 million in bonuses to oversee the dissolution of the company (and 18,000-plus union jobs). And that’s after a round of executive pay raises earlier this year.

The union, meanwhile, faced an increasingly untenable position. Pick your poison: another round of humiliating concessions resulting in poverty wages and almost no benefits, or go down swinging? The latter may not seem sensible to those judging from 30,000 feet, but clearly the bakery workers were sick and tired of giving in — 92 percent of them voted against accepting the cuts.

“This is the Twinkie cliff that the company drove over: They had fairly extensive (cuts) for a protracted period of time and a failure to adapt to the market,” says Harley Shaiken, labor professor at the University of California, Berkeley. “I think why the bakery union refused these steep concessions is because they didn’t see a credible plan to get the company out of this. They just saw that they were being asked to bear the brunt of the managerial mistakes. There were no good options, just disastrous and catastrophic options.”...

Read more about how this is all a PT spin to make unions look bad and how the stupids are buying it hook line and sinker at:
Joined: 9/4/2009
Msg: 25
Hostess brand closing..
Posted: 6/24/2013 8:57:03 AM

The union has nothing to do with this

Not any more. Hostess was purchased by Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo Global Management for $410 million. Twinkees are expected back on supermarket shelves in July 2013.

What happened to the 15,000 union workers laid off? Only those agreeing to leave the union will be hired back. This was a union busting move by the company - quite common in the food industry. The millions in bonuses were essentially severance packages. When a company is bought, upper management usually gets switched around.

By the way, Twinkees' shelf life is 45 days.
Joined: 2/7/2011
Msg: 26
Hostess brand closing..
Posted: 6/24/2013 11:15:45 AM
I've never had a twinkee. They look tasty, but i think I'll skip it. I'm sure a lot of people are rejoicing.
Joined: 10/30/2007
Msg: 27
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Hostess brand closing..
Posted: 6/24/2013 12:05:10 PM
"a union busting move by the company - quite common in the food industry"

Since St Ronnie sanctioned union busting by firing the air traffic controllers, all corporations have been busting unions. That's why the right-wing trashes teachers and public schools. The teachers union is a major source of Dem financing.

btw, right-to-work states have lower average wages than non-right-to-work states, just as union busters want.
Joined: 8/2/2009
Msg: 28
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Hostess brand closing..
Posted: 6/25/2013 11:41:24 PM
Went to a convenience store the other day -- and low and behold! The old Hostess Snowballs are back!

I bought one on the way to my court appearance. The *&#!! thing feel apart in my hand and got chocolate crumbs and goop all over my car and fancy business suit! Had rubbery pink marshmallow and coconut on my attaché.

So, maybe the Union bakers WERE better at their jobs.

I wonder how terrible the Twinkies and Ho-Ho's are going to be.
Joined: 9/17/2013
Msg: 29
Hostess brand closing..
Posted: 11/27/2013 2:22:40 PM

Hostess brand closing..

A little late, but......

They're baa-a-a-a-a--ck!

and contribute heavily to weight gain.

Not on me.
Joined: 3/30/2012
Msg: 30
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Hostess brand closing..
Posted: 11/28/2013 6:16:28 AM

Little Debbie makes something like it but if you have to have the original, then *amaz0n* should have them.
Joined: 3/30/2012
Msg: 31
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Hostess brand closing..
Posted: 5/26/2014 3:40:01 PM
Shut the front door!!!
Waiting on your hangover.
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