Friday, November 16, 2012

So Did Unions Kill Hostess? No

So Did Unions Kill Hostess? No

Today the social media feeds have been coming full blast saying that Hostess has been killed off and Unions are to blame as to why you will no longer enjoy a yellow cake and cream dessert that has the half-life of many nuclear weapons. This is just some of the tweets and updates that I saw;
Love unions! They make the work force stronger! Well except for the Hostess deal...cost americans 18,500 jobs...lost tax revenue and the companies that have offered up bids for the liquidation of the brands are mostly foreign. Hmmmmm

I am not totally against unions but when they cause companies to close their doors because they think they don't have to make concessions is just greedy. The reason they could not come to an agreement was over wages. Hostess wanted the workers to take a 8% wage decrease the first year and then they would get a 3% increase the next year and then a 1% increase the year after so they were looking at a 4% decrease in total. I don't know what a Hostess baker made per hour but if it is like most union jobs it was a lot. Now because of the unions inability to come to a deal 18,000+ people are out of a job. Maybe it is better to take a small pay cut and keep your job? Just saying.
Looks like the union won... Showed us how powerful they are.

Too bad the real losers are the employees and us that love Twinkies.
And thus, it is shown that the bakery item -- a universal pleasure -- is not immune to the corrosive effects of class struggle...

Look people, way to eat up the narrative that Unions some how killed Hostess. The company declared bankruptcy a while ago, and stated it would close 9 factories. Then the strike happened, and suddenly it's the fault of the unions that it's closing? What a fucking anti-union bullshit move to offer absurd cuts to force a strike so they could blame the union for killing their failed business.

Then again, I'm surprised that making the exact same kind of shitty mini-cake but calling it different things lasted that long. You have;

Yellow cake version - Twinkie

 Brown cake version - YODEL

Brown-er cake version - Funny Bone

Fuckin' hell, that's marketing genius right there.

And yet we're blaming unions for a shitty business who produced shitty products suddenly going out of business? Wow, well, capital's newest strategy in the long and drawn out class warfare is to get the message across that "the greedy working class took away your twinkies!" This sadly isn't a joke or some onion article. This is something that just happened and everyone is cool with believing it.

  "Let them eat whatever the fuck this rubbery shit is"
-- Marie Antoinette

Let's just take a look at this little nugget about the real story behind all this UNIONS BAD FOR TAKING MY TWINKIE bullshit...
Over the past eight years since the first Hostess bankruptcy, the union members have watched as money from previous concessions that was suppose to go toward capital investment, product development, plant improvement and new equipment was squandered in executive bonuses, payouts to Wall Street investors and payments to high-priced attorneys and consultants.

The members are well aware that, as the company was preparing to file for bankruptcy earlier this year, the then CEO of Hostess was awarded a 300 percent raise. going from 750,000 to 2,550,000. And at least nine other top executives of the company received massive pay raises. One such executive received a pay increase from 500,000 to 900,000 and another went from $375,000 to $656,256.

All the while they have seen the company unilaterally end contractual obligated payments to their pension plan. Despite saving more than $160 million with this action, the company continues to fall deeper and deeper into debt. Debt and gross mismanagement by a string of failed CEOs with no true experience in the wholesale baking business have left this company unable to compete or survive.
 You see that? It's not the unions fault that the CEO's decided to, inspite of having major plans to prepare for bankruptcy, gave themselves raises and failed to have any sort of plan besides making the prettiest and comfortable parachute that they could use when they did decide that the end was indeed near.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay was quoted in a Nov. 13 KMOX-CBS St. Louis article stating, “I was told months ago they were planning on closing the site in St. Louis….And there was no indication at that time it had anything to do with the strike the workers were waging.”
In fact, here's a little more detail for you. While the Hostess company faced bankruptcy and forced to ask the union to take an 8% pay cut, the Board of Directors themselves managed to give themselves a slew of raises as mentioned in the quote above. But here's a far more in-depth look at their raises. 

Brian Driscoll, CEO (resigned), $750,000 to $2,550,000.
Gary Wandschneider, EVP, $500,000 to $900,000.
John Stewart, EVP, $400,000 to $700,000.
David Loeser, EVP, $375,000 to $656,256.
Kent Magill, EVP, $375,000 to $656,256.
Richard Seban, EVP, $375,000 to $656,256.
John Akeson, SVP, $300,000 to $480,000.
Steven Birgfeld, SVP, $240,000 to $360,000.
Martha Ross, SVP, $240,000 to $360,000.
Rob Kissick, SVP, $182,000 to $273,008.

If the revolution were to come because of twinkie shortages, those would be the first against the wall. 

As for all of you who are stock piling twinkies or just rushing out there to make sure you get one. Why? When was the last time you heard anyone honestly wanting to get a twinkie or even come close to eating one? I mean, let's be fucking serious here. They're pretty disgusting. Hell, the whole notion of it having a shelf life of a good 20 years and able to survive a nuclear bleak future was enough to make folks turn their heads and not want to get one.

So hey, if we're going to blame Unions for destroying a product because they wouldn't accept even more cuts to their pay while the CEO's got extreme bonuses in a failing company. How about we also put blame on ourselves for creating such a stigma to a product that no one in their right mind would want to touch a yellow cake filled with cream due to the amount of chemicals that kept it tasting fresh for decades to come? 

On a final note. For all of you people who were so adamant towards Californian's Proposition 37, just imagine how long of a laundry list your average hostess twinkies package would have to list the amount of trans fats, GMO corn and high fructose corn syrup that are in that god awful product. You're better off just eating directly from the garbage can as it would probably be cheaper than searching for the final boxes of Hostess anything on the shelf.

No comments: