Comments
101 - 120 of 215 Comments Last updated May 6, 2013
non-starter

Saint Paul, MN

#112 Mar 27, 2013
Did union workers simply get their 'Just Desserts' for backing Hostess into a corner with too many unreasonable demands? Consider the evidence.

Union workers have now completed their mission. 18,500 jobs are gone forever.

The national labor bosses stood firm. Labor leaders are proud they stood up to those nasty ‘suits’[see Entourage for definition] who refused to run a money-losing business simply to continue paying salaries and benefits.

Hostess posted a $341 million loss in 2011 on revenues of about $2.5 billion. Contributing to those 2011 losses:
$52 million in Workers’ Comp Claims
Dealing with 372 Distinct Collective-Bargaining Contracts
Administration of 80 Separate Health and Benefits Plans
Funding and Tending to 40 Discrete Pension Plans
$31 million in year-over-year increases in wages and health care benefits for 2012 v. 2011

Uncounted in the above numbers were the outrageous union-imposed rules that made for a too-high-to-bear cost of sales:
No truck could carry both bread and snacks even when going to the same location
Drivers were not permitted to load their own trucks
Workers who loaded bread were not allowed to also load snacks
Bringing products from back rooms to shelves required another set of union employees
Multi-Employer pension obligations made Hostess liable for other, previously bankrupted, retirement plan contributions from employees that never worked for Hostess at all

America has come to this. The only defense against insane union demands is the willingness to walk away and close shop.
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#113 Mar 27, 2013
Let's get a few things clear. Hostess didn't fail for any of the reasons you've been fed. It didn't fail because Americans demanded more healthful food than its Twinkies and Ho-Hos snack cakes. It didn't fail because its unions wanted it to die.

It failed because the people that ran it had no idea what they were doing. Every other excuse is just an attempt by the guilty to blame someone else.

Take the notion that Hostess was out of step with America's healthful-food craze. You'd almost think that Hostess failed because it didn't convert its product line into one based on green vegetables. Yet you only have to amble down the cookie aisle at your supermarket or stroll past the Cinnabon kiosk at the airport to know that there are still handsome profits to be made from the sale of highly refined sugary garbage.

It's true that the company had done almost nothing in the last 10 years to modernize or expand its offerings. But as any of the millions of Americans who have succumbed to Twinkie cravings can attest, there has always been something about their greasy denseness and peculiar aftertaste that place them high among the ranks of foodstuffs that can be perfectly satisfying without actually being any good.

Hostess management's efforts to blame union intransigence for the company's collapse persisted right through to the Thanksgiving eve press release announcing Hostess' liquidation, when it cited a nationwide strike by bakery workers that "crippled its operations."

That overlooks the years of union givebacks and management bad faith. Example: Just before declaring bankruptcy for the second time in eight years Jan. 11, Hostess trebled the compensation of then-Chief Executive Brian Driscoll and raised other executives' pay up to twofold. At the same time, the company was demanding lower wages from workers and stiffing employee pension funds of $8 million a month in payment obligations.

Hostess management hasn't been able entirely to erase the paper trail pointing to its own derelictions. Consider a 163-page affidavit filed as part of the second bankruptcy petition.

There Driscoll outlined a "Turnaround Plan" to get the firm back on its feet. The steps included closing outmoded plants and improving the efficiency of those that remain; upgrading the company's "aging vehicle fleet" and merging its distribution warehouses for efficiency; installing software at the warehouses to allow it to track inventory; and closing unprofitable retail stores. It also proposed to restore its advertising budget and establish an R&D program to develop new products to "maintain existing customers and attract new ones."

None of these steps, Driscoll attested, required consultation with the unions. That raises the following question: You mean to tell me that as of January 2012, Hostess still hadn't gotten around to any of this?

The company had known for a decade or more that its market was changing, but had done nothing to modernize its product line or distribution system. Its trucks were breaking down. It was keeping unprofitable stores open and having trouble figuring out how to move inventory to customers and when. It had cut back advertising and marketing to the point where it was barely communicating with customers. It had gotten hundreds of millions of dollars in concessions from its unions, and spent none of it on these essential improvements.
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#114 Mar 27, 2013
non-starter wrote:

Uncounted in the above numbers were the outrageous union-imposed rules that made for a too-high-to-bear cost of sales:
No truck could carry both bread and snacks even when going to the same location
Drivers were not permitted to load their own trucks
Workers who loaded bread were not allowed to also load snacks
Bringing products from back rooms to shelves required another set of union employees
Multi-Employer pension obligations made Hostess liable for other, previously bankrupted, retirement plan contributions from employees that never worked for Hostess at all
America has come to this. The only defense against insane union demands is the willingness to walk away and close shop.
Sure "believe" unions make rules in a vacuum, which is SO STUPID/CLUELESS YOU MUST REALLY SUCK !!! LMAOROTFu !
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#115 Mar 27, 2013
non-starter wrote:
Did union workers simply get their 'Just Desserts' for backing Hostess into a corner with too many unreasonable demands?
Did they hire onto better run companies ? Probably, putz. Truck drivers are ALWAYS IN DEMAND....

Might even be companies, WHO HONOR THE CONTRACT & DON'T STEAL THEIR RETIREMENTS....
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#116 Mar 28, 2013
non-starter wrote:
Did union workers simply get their 'Just Desserts' for backing Hostess into a corner with too many unreasonable demands?
Troll, stealing another author's work ?? Isn't that against your rules ?? So sad, you're a hypocrite POS !!! Of course, I knew... LMAOROTFU~!
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#118 Apr 2, 2013
Troll, stealing another author's work ?? Isn't that against your rules ?? So sad, you're a hypocrite POS !!! Of course, I knew... LMAOROTFU~!

Since: Oct 08

Location hidden

#120 Apr 3, 2013
Bushwhacker wrote:
Let's get a few things clear. Hostess didn't fail for any of the reasons you've been fed. It didn't fail because Americans demanded more healthful food than its Twinkies and Ho-Hos snack cakes. It didn't fail because its unions wanted it to die.
It failed because the people that ran it had no idea what they were doing. Every other excuse is just an attempt by the guilty to blame someone else.
Take the notion that Hostess was out of step with America's healthful-food craze. You'd almost think that Hostess failed because it didn't convert its product line into one based on green vegetables. Yet you only have to amble down the cookie aisle at your supermarket or stroll past the Cinnabon kiosk at the airport to know that there are still handsome profits to be made from the sale of highly refined sugary garbage.
It's true that the company had done almost nothing in the last 10 years to modernize or expand its offerings. But as any of the millions of Americans who have succumbed to Twinkie cravings can attest, there has always been something about their greasy denseness and peculiar aftertaste that place them high among the ranks of foodstuffs that can be perfectly satisfying without actually being any good.
Hostess management's efforts to blame union intransigence for the company's collapse persisted right through to the Thanksgiving eve press release announcing Hostess' liquidation, when it cited a nationwide strike by bakery workers that "crippled its operations."
That overlooks the years of union givebacks and management bad faith. Example: Just before declaring bankruptcy for the second time in eight years Jan. 11, Hostess trebled the compensation of then-Chief Executive Brian Driscoll and raised other executives' pay up to twofold. At the same time, the company was demanding lower wages from workers and stiffing employee pension funds of $8 million a month in payment obligations.
Hostess management hasn't been able entirely to erase the paper trail pointing to its own derelictions. Consider a 163-page affidavit filed as part of the second bankruptcy petition.
There Driscoll outlined a "Turnaround Plan" to get the firm back on its feet. The steps included closing outmoded plants and improving the efficiency of those that remain; upgrading the company's "aging vehicle fleet" and merging its distribution warehouses for efficiency; installing software at the warehouses to allow it to track inventory; and closing unprofitable retail stores. It also proposed to restore its advertising budget and establish an R&D program to develop new products to "maintain existing customers and attract new ones."
None of these steps, Driscoll attested, required consultation with the unions. That raises the following question: You mean to tell me that as of January 2012, Hostess still hadn't gotten around to any of this?
The company had known for a decade or more that its market was changing, but had done nothing to modernize its product line or distribution system. Its trucks were breaking down. It was keeping unprofitable stores open and having trouble figuring out how to move inventory to customers and when. It had cut back advertising and marketing to the point where it was barely communicating with customers. It had gotten hundreds of millions of dollars in concessions from its unions, and spent none of it on these essential improvements.
Sorry pal, according to your "rules" no source, no validity... Again, don't shoot the messenger.... it's your RULES !!!
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#121 Apr 3, 2013
NOT MY RULES, little "man"....Troll, stealing another author's work ?? Isn't that against your rules ?? So sad, you're a hypocrite POS !!! Of course, I knew... LMAOROTFU~!
LIbEralS

Saint Paul, MN

#122 Apr 3, 2013
Bushwhacker wrote:
NOT MY RULES, little "man"....Troll, stealing another author's work ?? Isn't that against your rules ?? So sad, you're a hypocrite POS !!! Of course, I knew... LMAOROTFU~!
NOT MY RULES, little "man"....Slew, stealing another author's work ?? Isn't that against your rules ?? So sad, you're a hypocrite POS !!! Of course, I knew... LMAOROTFU~!
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#123 Apr 3, 2013
Troll, stealing another author's work ?? Isn't that against your rules ?? So sad, you're a hypocrite POS !!! Of course, I knew... LMAOROTFU~!
non-starter

Saint Paul, MN

#124 Apr 3, 2013
America has come to this. The only defense against insane union demands is the willingness to walk away and close shop.
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#125 Apr 3, 2013
America has voted and the losers are also liars....
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#126 Apr 3, 2013
non-starter wrote:
America has come to this. The only defense against insane union demands is the willingness to walk away and close shop.
Pretty amusing, you cannot address the stolen pension monies, because the reason the company failed is management incompetence and thievery......

Work for less than the agreed upon wages, find out AFTER you leave ...your retirement money is gone..

Get back to reality, troll.
non-starter

Saint Paul, MN

#127 Apr 3, 2013
Bushwhacker wrote:
<quoted text>Pretty amusing, you cannot address the stolen pension monies, because the reason the company failed is management incompetence and thievery......
Work for less than the agreed upon wages, find out AFTER you leave ...your retirement money is gone..
Get back to reality, troll.
The pension money wasn't stolen, they stopped contributing when profitablity went into the tank, the money is still there(whatever amount was contributed)

America has come to this. The only defense against insane union demands is the willingness to walk away and close shop.
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#128 Apr 3, 2013
Pretty amusing, you cannot address the stolen pension monies, because the reason the company failed is management incompetence and thievery......

They failed to pay the amount the contract required, THAT'S STEALING !!!

Work for less than the agreed upon wages, find out AFTER you leave ...your retirement money is gone..

Get back to reality, troll.
non-starter

Saint Paul, MN

#129 Apr 3, 2013
Bushwhacker wrote:
Pretty amusing, you cannot address the stolen pension monies, because the reason the company failed is management incompetence and thievery......
They failed to pay the amount the contract required, THAT'S STEALING !!!
Work for less than the agreed upon wages, find out AFTER you leave ...your retirement money is gone..
Get back to reality, troll.
If the Hostess officers stole pension money, as you state, charges will be filed and they will go to jail. This is highly unlikely, as no theft took place and no charges have been filed. Feel free to make your sophomoric arguments. The union took the old company down, the new company taking over the brands would be stupid to locate in a union state.
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#130 Apr 3, 2013
The pension money was part of the bankruptcy filings, so it's corporate theft... Funny, you like managers violating the contr4act at the worker's expense ??

Oh right, the lying POS troll...
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#131 Apr 3, 2013
Hostess Brands acknowledged for the first time in a news report Monday that the company diverted workers' pension money for other company uses.

The bankrupt baker told The Wall Street Journal that money taken out of workers' paychecks, intended for their retirement funds, was used for company operations instead. Hostess, which was under different management at the time the diversions began in August 2011, said it does not know how much money it took.
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#132 Apr 3, 2013
The maneuver probably doesn't violate federal law because the money Hostess failed to put into the pension didn't come directly from employees, experts said.

"It's what lawyers call betrayal without remedy," said James P. Baker, a partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP who specializes in employee benefits and isn't involved in the Hostess case. "It's sad, but that stuff does happen, unfortunately."

It's a little more than sad. It's infuriating, at a minimum. And the fact that "that stuff does happen" as often as it does is a sign of a diseased economy.

This was how these workers were saving for their retirement over decades at Hostess. They were being responsible, planning and saving like we're told we should all do, making that decision at a local level as they bargained their contracts:

For example, John Jordan, a union official and former Hostess employee, said workers at a Hostess factory in Biddeford, Maine, agreed to plow 28 cents of their 30-cents-an-hour wage increase in November 2010 into the pension plan.

Hostess was supposed to take the additional 28 cents an hour and contribute it to the workers' pension plan.

"This local was very aggressive about saving for the future," he said.

And in the end, Hostess was very aggressive about stealing those savings, hour by hour, from the workers. While there may not be a remedy because the 28 cents an hour didn't first go to the workers and then into the pension fund, morally, it's no less stealing, adding up to tens of millions of dollars. The current CEO of Hostess says it's "terrible," but don't blame him, he didn't know it was happening.

You do not want to be the next person to say in my hearing that Hostess went bankrupt because of those greedy union workers.
non-starter

Saint Paul, MN

#133 Apr 3, 2013
Bushwhacker wrote:
The maneuver probably doesn't violate federal law because the money Hostess failed to put into the pension didn't come directly from employees, experts said.
"It's what lawyers call betrayal without remedy," said James P. Baker, a partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP who specializes in employee benefits and isn't involved in the Hostess case. "It's sad, but that stuff does happen, unfortunately."
It's a little more than sad. It's infuriating, at a minimum. And the fact that "that stuff does happen" as often as it does is a sign of a diseased economy.
This was how these workers were saving for their retirement over decades at Hostess. They were being responsible, planning and saving like we're told we should all do, making that decision at a local level as they bargained their contracts:
For example, John Jordan, a union official and former Hostess employee, said workers at a Hostess factory in Biddeford, Maine, agreed to plow 28 cents of their 30-cents-an-hour wage increase in November 2010 into the pension plan.
Hostess was supposed to take the additional 28 cents an hour and contribute it to the workers' pension plan.
"This local was very aggressive about saving for the future," he said.
And in the end, Hostess was very aggressive about stealing those savings, hour by hour, from the workers. While there may not be a remedy because the 28 cents an hour didn't first go to the workers and then into the pension fund, morally, it's no less stealing, adding up to tens of millions of dollars. The current CEO of Hostess says it's "terrible," but don't blame him, he didn't know it was happening.
You do not want to be the next person to say in my hearing that Hostess went bankrupt because of those greedy union workers.
The pension money wasn't stolen, they stopped contributing when profitablity went into the tank, the money is still there(whatever amount was contributed)

America has come to this. The only defense against insane union demands is the willingness to walk away and close shop.

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