Unions Take themselves out of thousands of jobs

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Scooby Slew

Saint Paul, MN

#1 Jul 22, 2013
Twinkies are back, but most jobs are not
By Chris Isidore and James O'Toole @CNNMoney July 15, 2013: 6:49 AM ET

Twinkies are now produced by a joint venture between Apollo Global and C. Dean Metropolous.

Twinkies are back in stores. But most of the jobs of the people that make them won't be returning any time soon.

There were 18,500 people working for Hostess Brands when the company went bankrupt in November, making Twinkies, Wonder Bread and a variety of other brands.

But only about 20% to 25% of those jobs will end up returning when all the brands are up and running again, according to estimates by Natalie Everett, a bread and snack industry analyst with IBISWorld.

Typically, companies that buy iconic brands like those produced by Hostess invest in equipment and machinery to replace laborers -- which is why the jobs aren't coming back, Everett said.

Hostess had two main unions when it went under: About 6,600 employees were members of a bakers' union and worked at 33 bakeries nationwide, and 7,500 were drivers who belonged to the Teamsters union.

Hostess announced plans to liquidate in November after offering workers a new contract with reduced wages and benefits. The Teamsters accepted the deal, but the bakers' union rejected it. Hostess management blamed the bakers for forcing the company to shut down.

Related: New Twinkies will double their shelf life

Twinkies and a number of other Hostess snack brands were purchased by a joint venture of Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co. The new company bought five bakeries but will only operate four.

Hannah Arnold, a spokeswoman for the Apollo-Metropoulos venture, said the company plans to use 1,800 workers to produce a full line of Hostess snacks, including Twinkies.

The old Hostess had roughly 2,500 workers producing snacks. Arnold cautioned that it's "nearly impossible" to compare the two, because the new company did not buy rights to all of the brands that the old Hostess produced.

Hostess CEO: Strike brought us down


Some of the reduction in jobs is also due to the new owners' different business model.

Instead of using truck drivers as salesmen to deliver the product and stock the shelves of about 50,000 stores, the new company will hire outside trucking firms to deliver trailers full of the product to retail distribution centers.

The company says it will be able to reach even more stores that way -- an estimated 110,000 nationwide by the end of the year.

Some jobs won't be coming back due to the permanent shutting of nearly 600 outlet stores the old Hostess Brands operated to sell products directly to consumers.

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Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#4 Jul 22, 2013
Better off without the twinkie.....

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 -0.73% 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.

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Scooby Slew

Saint Paul, MN

#5 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 julie.jargon@wsj.com

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LIbEralS

Saint Paul, MN

#9 Jul 30, 2013
Bushwhacker wrote:
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."


Cherry picking examples again I see.

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LIbEralS

Saint Paul, MN

#12 Jul 30, 2013
Bushwhacker wrote:
Seems like ALL employees are better off, NOT losing $3 per hour, to crooked management..,.
Oops !
Unemployment and welfare pay $17 an hour? Are you factoring in the food stamps?

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Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#13 Jul 30, 2013
You "assume" they're on welfare & unemployment ?

WOW ! So, none of them retired, none of them found other work, and none of your blather has a point ???

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Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#14 Jul 30, 2013
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."
Problem is, that meant Hostess paid 16.32 - 3 =$13.32.

So,$13.32 =$17 ???

WOW ! Love your reality. When you lead with lies, you're a moron, again 787 guy.

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LIbEralS

Saint Paul, MN

#15 Jul 30, 2013
Bushwhacker wrote:
You "assume" they're on welfare & unemployment ?
WOW ! So, none of them retired, none of them found other work, and none of your blather has a point ???
You "assume" they're retired or found other work?

WOW ! So, none of them are on welfare or unemployment, and none of your blather has a point ???

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Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#16 Jul 30, 2013
Guy above found other work... Try to keep up.

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LIbEralS

Saint Paul, MN

#18 Jul 30, 2013
Bushwhacker wrote:
Guy above found other work... Try to keep up.
REMEMBER posting this?

Seems like ALL employees are better off, NOT losing $3 per hour, to crooked management..,.

Oops !

Try to keep up.

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Since: Jul 10

Minneapolis, MN

#23 Jul 30, 2013
Scooby Slew wrote:
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.
Thing is, some of the drivers does not realize that many folks have had to take lower paying jobs just to keep food on the table. Especially if they become dislocated workers.
.
They should have known that many folks are having to take lower paying jobs these days. As well as they should have expected it to happen to them.

“We have 545 traitors.”

Since: May 11

Parts Unknown

#24 Jul 30, 2013
Scooby Slew wrote:
For now, he's making $700 a week, about half the nearly $1,400 he was making at Hostess.
$1,400 per week to drive a truck???!!! That's $72,800 not including benefits and PTO...for a delivery driver...no wonder this company imploded. Paying $35.00 per hour to drive a van. College graduates can't find work and this gomer makes more than some teachers and doctors.

Thank the unions for self destruction.

“We have 545 traitors.”

Since: May 11

Parts Unknown

#26 Jul 30, 2013
Now the company has the right amount of workers at the right wage, they can produce the same amount of product and deliver it to more outlets. They will turn a profit and not be ruined by unions, or dragged down by corrupt officials.

Great work, private sector. Now teach that to all the other business owners that need relief from union oppression.
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#27 Jul 30, 2013
16.32 hourly wage-$3 retirement NOT paid =$13.32

$13.32
x 2080
= <30k per year....
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#28 Jul 30, 2013
The $1,400 was including benefits, you clearly have no clue what truckers do or MAKE.

Truck Driver /$19.22 or @$800 per week before benefits.

Pretty funny, you keep including the $120 per week management KEPT !!!

Nice, you're willing to lie about them, tho....

Since: Jul 10

Minneapolis, MN

#29 Jul 30, 2013
Blern wrote:
<quoted text>
$1,400 per week to drive a truck???!!! That's $72,800 not including benefits and PTO...for a delivery driver...no wonder this company imploded. Paying $35.00 per hour to drive a van. College graduates can't find work and this gomer makes more than some teachers and doctors.
Thank the unions for self destruction.
Very true.
.
When I worked in the factory. Most I made in one year was about 15K. And that was back in 2000. That was also with all the OT my boss had us doing at that time. And the job was unionized at the time.
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#30 Jul 31, 2013
6.32 hourly wage-$3 retirement NOT paid =$13.32

$13.32
x 2080
= <30k per year....

The $1,400 was including benefits, you clearly have no clue what truckers do or MAKE.

Truck Driver /$19.22 or @$800 per week before benefits.

Pretty funny, you keep including the $120 per week management KEPT !!!

Nice, you're willing to lie about them, tho....

“We have 545 traitors.”

Since: May 11

Parts Unknown

#31 Aug 1, 2013
You like to make up numbers and clearly have no clue what businesses spend and what things cost. When someone says they 'make' an amount of money, that means pre tax wages. That does not include the cost of earned paid time off or benefit load, just the employee payment. The real cost of that employee, from the employers perspective, could be much higher.

The $700 a week he is getting now, or $17.50 per hour, is still high for a delivery driver but much more reasonable than what Hostess was dishing out. I'll bet he likes not having a union leach off a percentage of his pay for themselves, too.
Larry Craig

Seattle, WA

#48 Aug 1, 2013
The company’s CEO got a 300% salary increase from $750,000 to $2,250,000, and other top executives received raises worth hundreds-of-thousands of dollars.

MEANWHILE-

The worker's pay slid and management kept $3 per hour of their pensions funds...

Seems fair, IF you hate American workers.....

Since: Jul 10

Minneapolis, MN

#56 Aug 1, 2013
LIbEralS wrote:
<quoted text>
Wait a minute, you version of unions excludes women?
Must have.
.
The troll would have had trouble with our union steward when I joined the Teamsters. Since at the time our union steward for our factory was a woman.

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