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Behind the jokes about no more Twinkies is a story about 18,000 lost jobs, a Bain Capital-like buy out and union busting.

November 16, 2012

From Main Street blog:

Hostess Brands is one of the most recognizable food companies in America, having manufactured Wonder Bread and Twinkies for decades. But now the company has announced they are liquidating, and company is unfairly blaming their workers, many of them members of BCTGM and the Teamsters.

The fact is that the responsibility lies with Hostess’ management and the vulture Wall Street private equity firm behind them, and yet the workers are the ones who will suffer the consequences of this shutdown.

Here are some facts about the Hostess situation:

 

    • For the past 8 years, Hostess has been owned by Wall Street investors: so-called “restructuring experts,” managers from other non-baking food companies, and now a “liquidation specialist.”

 

 

    • Hostess has had six CEO’s in 8 years, none of whom had any experience in the bread or cake baking industry. This, not any action by the unionized workers, led to their failure.

 

    • Hostess workers made numerous concessions, including this year when the company stopped making contributions to their pensions. They went on strike because management offered a contract cutting wages and benefits by 27-32 percent.

 

 

  • Earlier this week when workers at 20 plants went on strike, Hostess management claimed they would close plants in response. In fact, they already had plans to close at least nine plants as part of a company-wide reorganization. The Mayor of St. Louis said of the closings “I was told months ago…”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka made this statement in response to the latest news from Hostess:

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. 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. 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.

A total of 18,500 jobs could be lost in the process of this liquidation. The CEO and executives who gave themselves raises, not to mention the Wall Street investors, will emerge just fine. The workers, many of them members of BCTGM and the Teamsters, will suffer the most financially.

Even though we defeated Mitt Romney in his bid for the presidency, his style of economics that he pioneered with Bain Capital still exists, and is playing out in front of our eyes with Hostess.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 16, 2012 7:41 pm

    Again…wish this information was told on WTTW

    • Fred Klonsky permalink*
      November 16, 2012 8:25 pm

      Well…you got me to tell it.

  2. November 17, 2012 2:02 pm

    And the mainslime media is only too happy to pass along the management meme that this was all caused by greedy unions. The rest of the story is buried along with paul harvey.

  3. ReTiredbutMisstheKids permalink
    November 17, 2012 11:13 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with this post. I am so sick of this. Did you & your readers see “740 Park” on last week’s “Independent Lens?” (&, yes, j, this was aired on WTTW.) It’s on Local TV on Xfinity On Demand until Monday, 11/19. In addition to all this garbage, now Walmart workers–& other big box employees–are being made to work on Thanksgiving EVENING because “that’s what people want.” Oh, now the Waltons speak for me? Yes, my family waits months for our kids to come in from out of town for Thanksgiving dinner–only so we can gulp down our food, pile into our cars, and make a run to Walmart! Yes, guys, now corporate America is telling all of us how we want to spend Thanksgiving, and using US as an excuse to pile onto their employees!

  4. November 18, 2012 10:51 am

    What makes more sense: 18,000 Hostess workers getting public assistance, or 18,000 working as owners and managers?

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  1. WE DID NOT ELECT ROMNEY BUT HIS HENCHMEN-THE RICH-ARE BUSY SCREWING THEIR EMPLOYEES « THE WORD WARRIOR Bonju Blog

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