Hostess Union vote cost their members...

Hostess Union vote cost their members plenty

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

Scooby Slew

Saint Paul, MN

#1 Jul 26, 2013
Former Hostess Employees Bitter About Wage Cuts

By JULIE JARGON
Bloomberg News

A Hostess driver pushed an empty rack beside his truck last November before the company was liquidated.

Craig Davis, a former forklift operator at a Hostess cake plant in Emporia, Kan., has been unemployed since November, when the Twinkies maker shut its factories and began liquidation proceedings.

He could have applied to get his old job back now that the plant is churning out Twinkies, Zingers and Ding Dongs in preparation for a July 15 return to store shelves. But he said the current starting salary of about $11 an hour, with the chance to bump it to $14, is "a slap in the face."

"When I left, I was making $16.53 an hour, so I just didn't see the point," said Mr. Davis, who worked at the plant for almost 22 years.

Eight months after Hostess closed amid labor strife, its former workers have had divergent paths, but many of them have failed to regain their previous income levels. Hostess moved to liquidate in November shortly after the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union went on strike in response to a new contract imposed on them at a bankruptcy court's direction. The bakers balked at the company's cessation of pension contributions. Hostess later admitted to using wages that were supposed to help fund pensions for the company's operations.

C. Dean Metropoulos, chief executive and co-owner of the new Hostess, where the workforce currently isn't unionized, said the company has "put together an excellent and competitive wage and benefits program for our employees."

Some former Hostess workers who belonged to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters still blame the baker's union for the company's demise.

"We might still have our jobs if they didn't go on strike in November," says Scott Quenneville, a former Hostess delivery driver and Teamster in Detroit.

The 42-year-old father of three said he's gotten just one job offer as a driver for a food company 72 miles away, offering only $527 a week. It would have cost him $300 to $400 a month in gas to commute, so he passed. He expects he'll have to move out of state to find work. He and his wife are falling behind on house and utility payments.

Luigi Peruzzi, another former Hostess driver in Detroit, is now delivering Frito-Lay chips as a salaried employee filling in when other drivers are on vacation. The 49-year-old expects he might get his own route in a year, enabling him to earn commissions.

For now, he's making $700 a week, about half the nearly $1,400 he was making at Hostess.

Mr. Peruzzi said he feels fortunate to have a job, but "Trying to stretch that money across all my bills is pretty tough." The Hostess episode, he said, "is like a distant bad memory now."

Some former Hostess employees are better off. James Jones, who had worked at a Lenexa, Kan., bakery for almost 26 years, found a new job as a machine operator at a nearby Unilever ULVR.LN -2.09%PLC plant. Mr. Jones, 52, said he earns almost $2 an hour more than his $16.32 hourly wage at Hostess, and has better benefits.

As a bakers union member who had voted to strike, he said, "I have no regrets."

Mr. Davis, the former forklift operator, said he's hoping for a job at a power plant after he finishes his associate's degree in power-plant technology next year from a vocational school he's attending through a government retraining program.

His house is paid for and his two kids are grown, so he and his wife can get by on her salary as a registered nurse for a while. Mr. Davis, 45, considers himself lucky, but worries about retirement. Had Hostess continued contributing to its employee pension plan, Mr. Davis says he would have been eligible to collect about $1,800 a month starting at age 55. Now expects to draw only $500 a month.

Write to Julie Jargon at [email protected]
Scooby Slew

Saint Paul, MN

#3 Jul 27, 2013
Some former Hostess workers who belonged to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters still blame the baker's union for the company's demise.

"We might still have our jobs if they didn't go on strike in November," says Scott Quenneville, a former Hostess delivery driver and Teamster in Detroit.

The 42-year-old father of three said he's gotten just one job offer as a driver for a food company 72 miles away, offering only $527 a week. It would have cost him $300 to $400 a month in gas to commute, so he passed. He expects he'll have to move out of state to find work. He and his wife are falling behind on house and utility payments.

Luigi Peruzzi, another former Hostess driver in Detroit, is now delivering Frito-Lay chips as a salaried employee filling in when other drivers are on vacation. The 49-year-old expects he might get his own route in a year, enabling him to earn commissions.

For now, he's making $700 a week, about half the nearly $1,400 he was making at Hostess.

Since: Sep 11

Rogers, MN

#8 Jul 29, 2013
"Some former Hostess workers who belonged to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters still blame the baker's union for the company's demise.

"We might still have our jobs if they didn't go on strike in November," says Scott Quenneville, a former Hostess delivery driver and Teamster in Detroit."

So many affected by the poor decisions of so few. Ahh, union life. Sad.
Scooby Slew

Saint Paul, MN

#10 Aug 10, 2013
Many former Hostess workers who belonged to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters still blame the baker's union for the company's demise.

"We might still have our jobs if they didn't go on strike in November," says Scott Quenneville, a former Hostess delivery driver and Teamster in Detroit.

The 42-year-old father of three said he's gotten just one job offer as a driver for a food company 72 miles away, offering only $527 a week. It would have cost him $300 to $400 a month in gas to commute, so he passed. He expects he'll have to move out of state to find work. He and his wife are falling behind on house and utility payments.

Luigi Peruzzi, another former Hostess driver in Detroit, is now delivering Frito-Lay chips as a salaried employee filling in when other drivers are on vacation. The 49-year-old expects he might get his own route in a year, enabling him to earn commissions.

For now, he's making $700 a week, about half the nearly $1,400 he was making at Hostess.
Dems Love WM

Minneapolis, MN

#11 Aug 10, 2013
Scooby Slew wrote:
Many former Hostess workers who belonged to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters still blame the baker's union for the company's demise.
"We might still have our jobs if they didn't go on strike in November," says Scott Quenneville, a former Hostess delivery driver and Teamster in Detroit.
The 42-year-old father of three said he's gotten just one job offer as a driver for a food company 72 miles away, offering only $527 a week. It would have cost him $300 to $400 a month in gas to commute, so he passed. He expects he'll have to move out of state to find work. He and his wife are falling behind on house and utility payments.
Luigi Peruzzi, another former Hostess driver in Detroit, is now delivering Frito-Lay chips as a salaried employee filling in when other drivers are on vacation. The 49-year-old expects he might get his own route in a year, enabling him to earn commissions.
For now, he's making $700 a week, about half the nearly $1,400 he was making at Hostess.
Isn't the union that screwed over the 15,000 Hostess employees the same union that screwed over all the American Crystal Sugar workers?
LIbEralS

Saint Paul, MN

#13 Aug 11, 2013
Bushwhacker wrote:
Naw, the managers stole $3 per hour, per worker...Are you simple, stupid, or stoned ???
Interesting. Were the "managers" in charge of the money? Did they take it home in cash?
redeemer

Minneapolis, MN

#16 Aug 11, 2013
Bushwhacker wrote:
And when the people who have had their retirements stolen end up needing food stamps or some other assistance, the right wing will to shame them as lazy.
Republicans worship wealth. It doesn't bother them in the least if bazillionaire CEO's/Mittiots are ripping off workers retirements. They will always blame the victim.
Tell the nice folks your daddy's on the DOLE !!!!
Liars like the Slew will say anything to divert from the stupidity of the union workers who voted themselves out of a job.
redeemer

Minneapolis, MN

#19 Aug 11, 2013
Liars like the Slew will say anything to divert from the stupidity of the union workers who voted themselves out of a job.
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#22 Aug 11, 2013
redeemer wrote:
Liars like the Slew will say anything to divert from the stupidity of the union workers who voted themselves out of a job.
Job pay according to agreements. They voted to stop their bleeding. You like blood, as long as it's someone elses'.

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