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jerosen said:   Al3xK said:   jumi said:   Al3xK said:   Here is my stash.

EDIT to agree: Twinkie isn't going to die. This is what happens when Unions get too powerful. Hostess can't operate profitably with wages/pensions demanded by the Unions, so they're forced into bankruptcy where the Union will be dissolved and a new company will re-structure and take over operations.

This is the way it should work. Companies should die...it doesn't matter how iconic. We shouldn't bail out twinkie makers.


Workers were being asked to accept cuts, but top executives had gotten massive raises as Hostess was about to enter bankruptcy. Private equity investors came in, saddled the struggling company with massive debt while pulling out large sums for themselves in fees. This is NOT how it should work.


This comment sounds cliche of the 99%'ers. The top executives are managing 18,500 employees and they're necessary for the company to operate. The unskilled laboror making $20/hour boxing twinkies can take a paycut...it happens.

I don't get why people at the bottom think they should be on par with people at the top and be treated fairly.

Now if the company got screwed over by large fees...that's poor management. And it's a private company, they can do what they want.



One report says the CEO at one point got a 300% pay raise while the company was failing and bleeding money. So its not that they just begrudge the executive having a high salary but that he got a big fat pay raise while the rank and file took pay cuts and the company lost money.

They also apparently had 6 different CEO's in an 8 year period. Can't imagine there was good management going on with that much job turnover at the top.

But yes if you make $15-20/hr to work in a bakery PLUS a pension and healthcare benefits then you're a fool to think you can play hardball when negotiating a labor contract with a bankrupt company thats been bleeding cash for a decade.

I think its notable that it was apparently only the bakers union that went on strike and didn't negotiate. The teamsters had already negotiated a contract and accepted pay cuts.

Its screwed up all around.


Agreed. Here's Fortune's article on the mess.

I'm surprised the unions, other than the baker's union, went along with it. They'd already taken a haircut three years earlier and management was giving themself raises from a very ill company.

The union model is dead in this country and has been since Scott Walker defeated big labor in Wisconsin. Labor unions are clinging to anything they can to make a comeback but it's over. Even he who shall not be named knows this. Shareholders and their respective board appointees are always in control as they should be. If the workers don't like it they can move on to a better job.

jamesboy said:   The union model is dead in this country and has been since Scott Walker defeated big labor in Wisconsin. Labor unions are clinging to anything they can to make a comeback but it's over. Even he who shall not be named knows this. Shareholders and their respective board appointees are always in control as they should be. If the workers don't like it they can move on to a better job.

Sometimes unions can and do go too far, but many of the things most of us take for granted and expect are thanks in large part to organized labor. Without any power differential equalizers like unions you'd not have paid vacation days, sick leave, safe and decent working conditions, the 40 hour week for hourly employees, among other things.

Think about it.

jumi said:   jamesboy said:   The union model is dead in this country and has been since Scott Walker defeated big labor in Wisconsin. Labor unions are clinging to anything they can to make a comeback but it's over. Even he who shall not be named knows this. Shareholders and their respective board appointees are always in control as they should be. If the workers don't like it they can move on to a better job.

Sometimes unions can and do go too far, but many of the things most of us take for granted and expect are thanks in large part to organized labor. Without any power differential equalizers like unions you'd not have paid vacation days, sick leave, safe and decent working conditions, the 40 hour week for hourly employees, among other things.

Think about it.


Jumi you were absolutely correct....100 years ago. Today's unions are a waste due to the wealth of both federal and state regulations that govern the workplace. Today they act as the last bastion of protection for a limited workforce that must run for cover whenever it can. Most pro-union states, primarily in the northeast, are dying a slow and painful death as they try to remake their economies in the face of a changing world. The money train has ended and accountability is now required. States throughout the southeast are benefiting from this collapse as employers move to hire sensible, hard working employees who are eager to pick up a paycheck. And these states will not allow union participation.

jumi said:   
Workers were being asked to accept cuts, but top executives had gotten massive raises as Hostess was about to enter bankruptcy. Private equity investors came in, saddled the struggling company with massive debt while pulling out large sums for themselves in fees. This is NOT how it should work.


There were two units with two different representatives in this case, the Bakery International Union and Teamsters. Just one of the bargaining units decided to hold out (the Bakers Union), which was in contrast to Teamsters which was more than willing to negotiate. Teamsters negotiators are professionally trained to squeeze every ounce out of management possible (as they should, its their job), so anytime a unit covered by them consents to an agreement and another unit fails to do so - and the terms are the same - something bad has happened. The Bakers Union essentially used what we call the nuclear option by not even agreeing to sit at the table. As a tactic hats quite dramatic - and it can work - but not when the other unit has reached an agreement and has a reputation for aggressive bargaining. I cant go into specifics because I was involved in negotiations here (only indirectly, and not recently, but I think I'm still bound to not say anything).

There are real, outrageous cases of employees being destroyed in negotiations where they for some reason agree to collective bargaining agreements that are simply not in their favor...but that is NOT this case. That isn't usually due to evil capitalist plots by management, by the way, its usually because Unions don't invest in hiring a professional negotiator or fail to send their chief negotiator to the appropriate classes to learn how to do it right. I admit I only have experience with about 20 sets of Employers and Unions at this point, but I have met to meet one company whose actions seemed hell bent on screwing the Union so they could get rich. Which you know, is really kind of disappointing, because that's what everyone is supposed to be doing if you read FWF.

StevenColorado said:   jerosen said:   Al3xK said:   jumi said:   Al3xK said:   Here is my stash.

EDIT to agree: Twinkie isn't going to die. This is what happens when Unions get too powerful. Hostess can't operate profitably with wages/pensions demanded by the Unions, so they're forced into bankruptcy where the Union will be dissolved and a new company will re-structure and take over operations.

This is the way it should work. Companies should die...it doesn't matter how iconic. We shouldn't bail out twinkie makers.


Workers were being asked to accept cuts, but top executives had gotten massive raises as Hostess was about to enter bankruptcy. Private equity investors came in, saddled the struggling company with massive debt while pulling out large sums for themselves in fees. This is NOT how it should work.


This comment sounds cliche of the 99%'ers. The top executives are managing 18,500 employees and they're necessary for the company to operate. The unskilled laboror making $20/hour boxing twinkies can take a paycut...it happens.

I don't get why people at the bottom think they should be on par with people at the top and be treated fairly.

Now if the company got screwed over by large fees...that's poor management. And it's a private company, they can do what they want.



One report says the CEO at one point got a 300% pay raise while the company was failing and bleeding money. So its not that they just begrudge the executive having a high salary but that he got a big fat pay raise while the rank and file took pay cuts and the company lost money.

They also apparently had 6 different CEO's in an 8 year period. Can't imagine there was good management going on with that much job turnover at the top.

But yes if you make $15-20/hr to work in a bakery PLUS a pension and healthcare benefits then you're a fool to think you can play hardball when negotiating a labor contract with a bankrupt company thats been bleeding cash for a decade.

I think its notable that it was apparently only the bakers union that went on strike and didn't negotiate. The teamsters had already negotiated a contract and accepted pay cuts.

Its screwed up all around.


Agreed. Here's Fortune's article on the mess.

I'm surprised the unions, other than the baker's union, went along with it. They'd already taken a haircut three years earlier and management was giving themself raises from a very ill company.
yeah, I'm surprised to - that the other unions, by going along with the deal, actually prioritized keeping their member's employed ahead of killing the cow like the Bakers were hellbent on doing.

Glitch99 said:   StevenColorado said:   jerosen said:   Al3xK said:   jumi said:   Al3xK said:   Here is my stash.

EDIT to agree: Twinkie isn't going to die. This is what happens when Unions get too powerful. Hostess can't operate profitably with wages/pensions demanded by the Unions, so they're forced into bankruptcy where the Union will be dissolved and a new company will re-structure and take over operations.

This is the way it should work. Companies should die...it doesn't matter how iconic. We shouldn't bail out twinkie makers.


Workers were being asked to accept cuts, but top executives had gotten massive raises as Hostess was about to enter bankruptcy. Private equity investors came in, saddled the struggling company with massive debt while pulling out large sums for themselves in fees. This is NOT how it should work.


This comment sounds cliche of the 99%'ers. The top executives are managing 18,500 employees and they're necessary for the company to operate. The unskilled laboror making $20/hour boxing twinkies can take a paycut...it happens.

I don't get why people at the bottom think they should be on par with people at the top and be treated fairly.

Now if the company got screwed over by large fees...that's poor management. And it's a private company, they can do what they want.



One report says the CEO at one point got a 300% pay raise while the company was failing and bleeding money. So its not that they just begrudge the executive having a high salary but that he got a big fat pay raise while the rank and file took pay cuts and the company lost money.

They also apparently had 6 different CEO's in an 8 year period. Can't imagine there was good management going on with that much job turnover at the top.

But yes if you make $15-20/hr to work in a bakery PLUS a pension and healthcare benefits then you're a fool to think you can play hardball when negotiating a labor contract with a bankrupt company thats been bleeding cash for a decade.

I think its notable that it was apparently only the bakers union that went on strike and didn't negotiate. The teamsters had already negotiated a contract and accepted pay cuts.

Its screwed up all around.


Agreed. Here's Fortune's article on the mess.

I'm surprised the unions, other than the baker's union, went along with it. They'd already taken a haircut three years earlier and management was giving themself raises from a very ill company.
yeah, I'm surprised to - that the other unions, by going along with the deal, actually prioritized keeping their member's employed ahead of killing the cow like the Bakers were hellbent on doing.


These quotes from Forbes tell the story. Hostess basically has no control of their workforce, and hasn't for decades. They couldn't control their staffing levels (they were overstaffed), they couldn't control their labor costs, and it seems, most importantly, they couldn't control their pension costs -- which left them overpaying into underfunded multi-employer pensions. Basically, there was no way to right the company because of the uncompetitive labor agreements in the past because the unions refused to give up a good deal for them.
"The critical issue in the bankruptcy is legacy pensions. Hostess has roughly $2 billion in unfunded pension liabilities to its various unions' workers -- the Teamsters but also the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (which has largely chosen not to contest what Hostess wants to do -- that is, to get out of much of that obligation)."

"The Balkanized nature of its empire gave Hostess a piecemeal labor situation, including a matrix of 372 collective-bargaining agreements, a dozen separate unions, 5,500 delivery routes, and no fewer than 40 multi-employer pension plans that are despised by management."

"The Teamsters had separate drivers for deliveries of such goodies as Yankee Doodles and Nature's Pride Nutty Oat. (Of course this jobs-preserving work rule was agreed to by Hostess in the last labor negotiation.)"

"Trouble with MEPPs is, if some employers go out of business, the remaining companies have to pick up the shortfall in funding benefits. When there are too few employers left standing, the fund is in trouble. According to a March research report by Credit Suisse, MEPPs are now underfunded by $369 billion. A third of the 40 MEPPs to which Hostess contributes are among the most underfunded plans in the country."


magika said:   jumi said:   
Workers were being asked to accept cuts, but top executives had gotten massive raises as Hostess was about to enter bankruptcy. Private equity investors came in, saddled the struggling company with massive debt while pulling out large sums for themselves in fees. This is NOT how it should work.


There were two units with two different representatives in this case, the Bakery International Union and Teamsters. Just one of the bargaining units decided to hold out (the Bakers Union), which was in contrast to Teamsters which was more than willing to negotiate. Teamsters negotiators are professionally trained to squeeze every ounce out of management possible (as they should, its their job), so anytime a unit covered by them consents to an agreement and another unit fails to do so - and the terms are the same - something bad has happened. The Bakers Union essentially used what we call the nuclear option by not even agreeing to sit at the table. As a tactic hats quite dramatic - and it can work - but not when the other unit has reached an agreement and has a reputation for aggressive bargaining. I cant go into specifics because I was involved in negotiations here (only indirectly, and not recently, but I think I'm still bound to not say anything).

There are real, outrageous cases of employees being destroyed in negotiations where they for some reason agree to collective bargaining agreements that are simply not in their favor...but that is NOT this case. That isn't usually due to evil capitalist plots by management, by the way, its usually because Unions don't invest in hiring a professional negotiator or fail to send their chief negotiator to the appropriate classes to learn how to do it right. I admit I only have experience with about 20 sets of Employers and Unions at this point, but I have met to meet one company whose actions seemed hell bent on screwing the Union so they could get rich. Which you know, is really kind of disappointing, because that's what everyone is supposed to be doing if you read FWF.


Only thing the bakers union did was not have their employees work for less while the CEO and friends made another couple of million before it was eventually run into the ground again. Let's not pretend this wasn't planned:
http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2012/11/13/slay-i-was-told-months-ag...

harruin said:   magika said:   jumi said:   
Workers were being asked to accept cuts, but top executives had gotten massive raises as Hostess was about to enter bankruptcy. Private equity investors came in, saddled the struggling company with massive debt while pulling out large sums for themselves in fees. This is NOT how it should work.


There were two units with two different representatives in this case, the Bakery International Union and Teamsters. Just one of the bargaining units decided to hold out (the Bakers Union), which was in contrast to Teamsters which was more than willing to negotiate. Teamsters negotiators are professionally trained to squeeze every ounce out of management possible (as they should, its their job), so anytime a unit covered by them consents to an agreement and another unit fails to do so - and the terms are the same - something bad has happened. The Bakers Union essentially used what we call the nuclear option by not even agreeing to sit at the table. As a tactic hats quite dramatic - and it can work - but not when the other unit has reached an agreement and has a reputation for aggressive bargaining. I cant go into specifics because I was involved in negotiations here (only indirectly, and not recently, but I think I'm still bound to not say anything).

There are real, outrageous cases of employees being destroyed in negotiations where they for some reason agree to collective bargaining agreements that are simply not in their favor...but that is NOT this case. That isn't usually due to evil capitalist plots by management, by the way, its usually because Unions don't invest in hiring a professional negotiator or fail to send their chief negotiator to the appropriate classes to learn how to do it right. I admit I only have experience with about 20 sets of Employers and Unions at this point, but I have met to meet one company whose actions seemed hell bent on screwing the Union so they could get rich. Which you know, is really kind of disappointing, because that's what everyone is supposed to be doing if you read FWF.


Only thing the bakers union did was not have their employees work for less while the CEO and friends made another couple of million before it was eventually run into the ground again. Let's not pretend this wasn't planned:
http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2012/11/13/slay-i-was-told-months-ag...
wait, how much are their members working for now?

Average was like 36-40k, the new wave of negotiations wanted them in the 20's or something as well as closing 1/3rd of their plants.
http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/16/news/companies/hostess-workers/i...

mistadeal said:   How high can we go?

I frequently see these kinds of auction results on eBay... $7600 boxes of twinkies, $5000 iPhones, etc. I have to believe that these are one of a couple of occurrences:

People thinking they are cute/smart and placing an outrageous bid to ensure winning the auction thinking no one will employ the same strategy... but to their horror someone does.

Money laundering/monetizing some kind of credit card, etc.

I know it's off topic, but anyone have any insight? Am I tiptoeing around some double secret FWF heavy hitter's strategy? I am picturing SIS calling the other heavy hitters on burner phones to discuss how I am "getting too close".

Adam

its one thing to see the completed auction, but its whole other story about whether that guy will get paid or not.

judging from their feedback #'s 3 and 0, just a bunch of clowns fooling around.

The sad thing in all this is the PBGC... Talk about socialism at its worst. In the red for 31 of the last 38 yrs, and who do you think picks up the bill. Talk about picking up private sector debt and making it public. See that .gov at the end! SS redux or regurgitated may be more appropriate.. The world is what you make of it may be truly the most profound statement of all. It is all just an illusion after all... You hide behind your wall of illusion.

StevenColorado said:   jerosen said:   Al3xK said:   jumi said:   Al3xK said:   Here is my stash.

EDIT to agree: Twinkie isn't going to die. This is what happens when Unions get too powerful. Hostess can't operate profitably with wages/pensions demanded by the Unions, so they're forced into bankruptcy where the Union will be dissolved and a new company will re-structure and take over operations.

This is the way it should work. Companies should die...it doesn't matter how iconic. We shouldn't bail out twinkie makers.


Workers were being asked to accept cuts, but top executives had gotten massive raises as Hostess was about to enter bankruptcy. Private equity investors came in, saddled the struggling company with massive debt while pulling out large sums for themselves in fees. This is NOT how it should work.


This comment sounds cliche of the 99%'ers. The top executives are managing 18,500 employees and they're necessary for the company to operate. The unskilled laboror making $20/hour boxing twinkies can take a paycut...it happens.

I don't get why people at the bottom think they should be on par with people at the top and be treated fairly.

Now if the company got screwed over by large fees...that's poor management. And it's a private company, they can do what they want.



One report says the CEO at one point got a 300% pay raise while the company was failing and bleeding money. So its not that they just begrudge the executive having a high salary but that he got a big fat pay raise while the rank and file took pay cuts and the company lost money.

They also apparently had 6 different CEO's in an 8 year period. Can't imagine there was good management going on with that much job turnover at the top.

But yes if you make $15-20/hr to work in a bakery PLUS a pension and healthcare benefits then you're a fool to think you can play hardball when negotiating a labor contract with a bankrupt company thats been bleeding cash for a decade.

I think its notable that it was apparently only the bakers union that went on strike and didn't negotiate. The teamsters had already negotiated a contract and accepted pay cuts.

Its screwed up all around.


Agreed. Here's Fortune's article on the mess.

I'm surprised the unions, other than the baker's union, went along with it. They'd already taken a haircut three years earlier and management was giving themself raises from a very ill company.


They probably went along because after the cuts, it was still a good deal, and realized that not going along = bankruptcy, ruining their sweetheart deal.

jumi said:   jamesboy said:   The union model is dead in this country and has been since Scott Walker defeated big labor in Wisconsin. Labor unions are clinging to anything they can to make a comeback but it's over. Even he who shall not be named knows this. Shareholders and their respective board appointees are always in control as they should be. If the workers don't like it they can move on to a better job.

Sometimes unions can and do go too far, but many of the things most of us take for granted and expect are thanks in large part to organized labor. Without any power differential equalizers like unions you'd not have paid vacation days, sick leave, safe and decent working conditions, the 40 hour week for hourly employees, among other things.

Think about it.

Yes, unions advocated for these benefits in the past. However, if unions vanished overnight, all these benefits won't go away.

JaxFL said:   The sad thing in all this is the PBGC... Talk about socialism at its worst. In the red for 31 of the last 38 yrs, and who do you think picks up the bill. Talk about picking up private sector debt and making it public. See that .gov at the end! SS redux or regurgitated may be more appropriate.. The world is what you make of it may be truly the most profound statement of all. It is all just an illusion after all... You hide behind your wall of illusion.
Lots of companies have taken advantage of that over the years. Including Delta, and now AA.

harruin said:   Average was like 36-40k, the new wave of negotiations wanted them in the 20's or something as well as closing 1/3rd of their plants.
http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/16/news/companies/hostess-workers/i...

Again, and now they're making how much?

Glitch99 said:   harruin said:   Average was like 36-40k, the new wave of negotiations wanted them in the 20's or something as well as closing 1/3rd of their plants.
http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/16/news/companies/hostess-workers/i...

Again, and now they're making how much?

So you think they should be willing to work for minimum wage because at one point they won't have a job after hostess closes?

Glitch99 said:   harruin said:   Average was like 36-40k, the new wave of negotiations wanted them in the 20's or something as well as closing 1/3rd of their plants.
http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/16/news/companies/hostess-workers/i...

Again, and now they're making how much?


They were given a choice: work for less or lose the job. They chose the latter. Case closed. If it was too much of a cut or they thought the ceo was screwing them then go work somewhere else, which they chose to do. Pretty sure the voice vote was over 90% to reject the offer knowing the consequences.

18,500 jobs gone, what were the union bosses thinking?? Unions are so outdated and unneeded nowadays, we have other watchdog associations in place. I once had a economics professor tell the class that if there were no unions, then wages can go down, allowing prices to go down and adjust for supply and demand. Well it was more complex the way he explained it, but that was the gist of it.

harruin said:   Glitch99 said:   harruin said:   Average was like 36-40k, the new wave of negotiations wanted them in the 20's or something as well as closing 1/3rd of their plants.
http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/16/news/companies/hostess-workers/i...

Again, and now they're making how much?

So you think they should be willing to work for minimum wage because at one point they won't have a job after hostess closes?

I'm just saying that if you're entire purpose is to protect 18,500 jobs, then causing the company providing those 18,500 jobs to close down isnt exactly fulfilling your purpose.

"Hostess Brands Inc. and its striking union agreed to mediation Monday to avoid the immediate liquidation of the baker of Ho Hos, Twinkies and Wonder Bread."

I hope those of you who cleaned out your stores have sold your stock of Twinkies already.

Anyone get the feeling this was just a PR stunt to clear out old inventory so they didn't have to pick it up?

Now, having to restock every shelf in America, Hostess will report record earnings this quarter - and the unions will cry about how they had to sacrifice while business is booming for the greedy executives....

Glitch99 said:   Anyone get the feeling this was just a PR stunt to clear out old inventory so they didn't have to pick it up?

Now, having to restock every shelf in America, Hostess will report record earnings this quarter - and the unions will cry about how they had to sacrifice while business is booming for the greedy executives....


Haha. I have a friend with 86 boxes of twinkies/ho ho's. I just told him about this though but he had a surprisingly mellow response. He said if he can't sell them, he'll just eat 'em.

One of the main Hostess factories is by my house with these union workers out striking on the road. My good friend worked there a few months ago until finding a better job and would often tell me horror stories.

They had ridiculous featherbedding rules in place such that it took 3 people to load up a truck. Only certain workers are allowed to load certain baked goods onto the truck. You aren't allowed to help other people with their jobs.

They also had people come into work whenever they felt like it, come in 4 hours late and stoned, etc. It was nearly impossible to fire someone for misconduct.

It looks like the union is trying to have a mediation meeting to try and get their jobs back. Who wants to continue to hire employees that ran a company into bankruptcy? They would be smart to liquidate the whole thing and hit the reset button with new employees.

brettdoyle said:   One of the main Hostess factories is by my house with these union workers out striking on the road. My good friend worked there a few months ago until finding a better job and would often tell me horror stories.

They had ridiculous featherbedding rules in place such that it took 3 people to load up a truck. Only certain workers are allowed to load certain baked goods onto the truck. You aren't allowed to help other people with their jobs.

They also had people come into work whenever they felt like it, come in 4 hours late and stoned, etc. It was nearly impossible to fire someone for misconduct.

It looks like the union is trying to have a mediation meeting to try and get their jobs back. Who wants to continue to hire employees that ran a company into bankruptcy? They would be smart to liquidate the whole thing and hit the reset button with new employees.


The problem for management and the stockholders is that if they liquidate they will no longer own the company.

...just thought I'd leave this here.

RT @CNBC: BREAKING: #Hostess and Bakers Union agree to mediation, preventing shut down. via @fredontv



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