Twinkies are dead, and I'm out of work

  • Article by: JOEY FERNANDES
  • Updated: November 21, 2012 - 8:30 AM

The Twinkies jokes aren't so funny right now.

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traderbillNov. 21, 12 8:46 AM

I am sincerely sorry you are out of a job, especially during the holidays. In what may be the best advertising campaign ever by a totally mismanaged company,Hostess, they have the unmitigated gall to blame a two week union strike for their demise…a demise that will only be for the shareholders…they actually filed for bankruptcy protection early this year. Then what did they do? What managements such as United Airlines and others have done: increase executive pay – to retain management – while compelling the unions (or if not unionized, the employees), to agree to huge concessions while those who did not have the vision to lead,continue to do better. In the specific case of Hostess, management grossly increased management salaries (and has even applied to pay bonuses in reorganization), while slashing union benefits by 75%, then had the audacity to blame the subsequent demise on a labor strike of just two weeks…why didn’t they see this coming? Do you seriously believe we won’t see Twinkies again…or the rest of the Hostess line? They’ll be baaaaack! Pity the workers. Guess what happens if the company folds…or even possibly it does better as United did? They dump the employees (but generally not management pensions off on the taxpayers while preserving their own. That is what all you believers in free enterprise allowed. Since Reagan – but not due to him but his supply-side advisors, companies have flourished and capital gains have been valued over wages. This has to end.

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moandaaNov. 21, 12 8:58 AM

From business writer Holman W. Jenkins Jr. regarding Hostess' path to bankruptcy: Union-imposed work rules stopped drivers from helping to load their trucks. A separate worker, arriving at the store in a separate vehicle, had to be employed to shift goods from a storage area to a retailer's shelf. Wonder Bread and Twinkies couldn't ride on the same truck. Hostess has spent eight of the past 11 years in bankruptcy. As the company explained to its latest judge, the Hostess brands "have not been able to profit from many of their existing delivery stops and have been unable to enter potentially profitable markets, such as dollar stores, vending services and movie theaters." If Hostess were able to rationalize or outsource delivery to serve these customers, ready to go are "new products based on its best-selling cake items that have a longer shelf-life and can withstand freezing en route to customers over longer transportation hauls." Under pressure on Monday from Judge Robert Drain to back down from their strike aimed at forcing the company to liquidate, the bakers themselves pointed to "what everyone in the baking industry knew: Hostess's production costs were neither excessive nor out of line with the market but its distribution costs were—to the tune of between $80 million and $130 million annually."

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timandtiaNov. 21, 12 9:01 AM

You can say thank-you/Happy Thanksgiving/Merry Christmas to the union at Hostess!! I hope that you can find a new job quickly, how do I hate seeing people un-employed or under-employed. Good luck.

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acctsah2Nov. 21, 12 9:06 AM

"...while slashing union benefits by 75%" --- So now it's 75%? Before it was 40%, then 50%, and now it's up to 75%? Well, guess what, now it's 100%.

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swmnguyNov. 21, 12 9:11 AM

When are we going to stop the cynical abuse of our bankruptcy system? Then-Senator Joe Biden co-wrote the Bankruptcy Reform bill of 2005 at the behest of the banking interests headquartered in his home state of Delaware. Of course, the bill was aimed at American consumers, not American corporate interests. Airlines all view bankruptcy as a competitive advantage. It seems all corporations that have managed themselves into the ground like to use bankruptcy to break contracts and stiff vendors, employees, creditors, shareholders, and everyone else they can. As a result of this abuse of the system, a contract isn't worth the paper it's written on. You can't do business in a country that doesn't honor its own laws and contracts. This kind of dishonesty is turning America into a banana republic.

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vegasgalNov. 21, 12 9:14 AM

About 20 years ago, I lost a job in the first week of December. Fortunately, through a business acquaintance, I was able to find one shortly thereafter. But that was another time, another city and another economy. You have my deep sympathy and best wishes for the future.

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eddie55431Nov. 21, 1210:02 AM

Bankruptcy IS part of contract law. Any time you enter a contract you take risks with the hope of rewards. In the case of vendors, unions, and other creditors they could have had insisted on contracts backed by gold reserves or piles of cash in a vault.....but they wouldn't have gotten the deals. They took a risk, took the profits, and now are subject to the downside. Bankruptcy is a measured way of reorganizing or winding down a business that is in trouble. This was a game of chicken between the unions and Hostess and it appears that both the union members and the shareholders of the company lost. The brand will live on and probably be more successful because it will shake off the burdens built up over the years.

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sundialNov. 21, 1210:05 AM

George Will and Newt Gingrich say not to worry because Hostess will be bought out by a venture capital firm who will relocate in a Southern right to work state. They and their ilk think that its all the fault of unions. Really? Over the last 40 years the rich have gotten richer, the poor poorer, and the middle class has shrunk and benefits cut. Over the last 40 years union membership has dwindled. Coincidence?

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ranger1873Nov. 21, 1210:50 AM

Very sorry that your baker's union wouldn't see reason. They were warned that a failure to see reason would lead to the shuttering of the company. They did not listen. Best wishes to you though we know wishes are of small comfort.

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ranger78Nov. 21, 1211:40 AM

In truth, several thousand union whiners took over 18,000 jobs down with them. So much for the unions caring for their fellow man. A declining business and the unions hold firm and tank them all. Sad day for the author. I'm sure the union leadership is very pleased with their membership holding firm--firm enough to kill the deal. Well done.

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