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How Workers And Management Both Caused The Demise Of Hostess

rrc06 31,410 2,385 November 16, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Nice article on how unions and management can screw up company. Reading through this though, I think the bakers union bares more responsibility. Even the teamsters felt that way.

Hostess Brands closing for good
[cnn.com]

Quote :
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Hostess Brands -- the maker of such iconic baked goods as Twinkies, Drake's Devil Dogs and Wonder Bread -- announced Friday that it is asking a federal bankruptcy court for permission to close its operations, blaming a strike by bakers protesting a new contract imposed on them.

The closing will result in Hostess' nearly 18,500 workers losing their jobs as the company shuts 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers nationwide, as well as 570 outlet stores. The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union represents around 5,000 Hostess employees.
How Workers And Management Both Caused The Demise Of Hostess
[businessinsider.com]

Quote :
Here's how the pioneering company and its workers failed to keep up with the times:

Pension burdens: Mufson notes that the company had 372 collective bargaining agreements with a dozen unions and had roughly $2 billion in unfunded pension liabilities to its various unions' workers, but it brought in a disappointing $2.5 billion in revenue in 2011.

Labor rules: Kaplan noted how that Hostess had ludicrous work rules based on labor contracts—including the requirement of separate drivers for deliveries of such goodies as Yankee Doodles and Nature's Pride Nutty Oat—which exacerbated their huge problem of high labor costs.

Crippling debt: Kaplan detailed how over the years labor unions had successfully negotiated generous pensions and health care benefits that increasingly ignored shifts in the marketplace. So once sales began to decline in the 1980s and '90s as consumers found healthier alternatives to snack cakes and white bread, debt started piling up to the tune of about $450 million by the first bankruptcy in 2004.
In 2009, after five years of restructuring, the company's total debt load was nearly $670 million despite winning concessions from the unions and new capital from investors as it became a private entity.

And by the time the company filed bankruptcy in January, the company had lost $250 million—including being in the red in 30 of the previous 37 quarters in the less than three years.

Stale products: A source told Mufson that even the most popular food brands need reinvention every eight years or so, but the company has been riding on the success of the Twinkie since its inception in 1933. Attempts to re-energize—such as bringing back the original banana-cream Twinkies and publishing "The Twinkies Cookbook"—flopped.
The mess led to the implosion of the company, as CNN Money reports. In September the 7,500 member International Brotherhood of Teamsters accepted a new contract with reduced wages and benefits, but the 5,000 member Bakers' union rejected the deal and eventually went on strike over contract negotiations.

The Teamsters accused the Bakers of pushing Hostess to the brink of liquidation, while the Bakers blamed management and the "Wall Street vulture capitalists in control" for the company's dire condition.

In the end all sides are blaming one another while the iconic company shuts its doors.

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Quote from rrc06 View Post :
Ultimately though, if the union d***s the corporation over, as many have done, you end up with situations where they at least partially hold blame (Hostess, GM, etc)

Boeing is a perfect [bizjournals.com] example of where RTW states win in the end when unions don't play nice. They've found the secret that companies like Mercedes Benz [freep.com], BMW [toledoblade.com], Kia, Toyota etc. already know
of course, rtw states winning in the end means people losing. it always amazes me how many people are against people. i just don't get it. at all.
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Rumble, young man, rumble. These are interesting times we live in. Punctuation is key. Fruit is nature's candy.

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Quote from thikthird View Post :
of course, rtw states winning in the end means people losing. it always amazes me how many people are against people. i just don't get it. at all.
I am for employment over unemployment. It amazes me that people are willing to accept higher rates of unemployment, especially among the youth and minorities in order to pay fewer people more.

No better example than the youth in western europe:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/a...-work.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/201...44183.html

The head of the bank of spain recognizes that a flexible labor force is likely to be a more employed labor force:

http://elpais.com/elpais/2013/05/...05760.html
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Quote from rrc06 View Post :
Where's the "good guy with a gun" when you need him?

at this rate, Robocop will be easier to create than sensible gun legislation
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Not nearly enough good guys with guns
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Glad you admitted that right-wing talking point is a complete lie

There may be hope for you yet Comfort
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#228
Quote from rrc06 View Post :
I am for employment over unemployment. It amazes me that people are willing to accept higher rates of unemployment, especially among the youth and minorities in order to pay fewer people more.

No better example than the youth in western europe:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/a...-work.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/201...44183.html

The head of the bank of spain recognizes that a flexible labor force is likely to be a more employed labor force:

http://elpais.com/elpais/2013/05/...05760.html
i'm for employment too. my position is that employment shouldn't mean that people must be treated like chattel to obtain it.

nice euphemism. flexible labor force means a labor force willing to sacrifice dignity and quality of life.
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Quote from thikthird View Post :
i'm for employment too. my position is that employment shouldn't mean that people must be treated like chattel to obtain it.

nice euphemism. flexible labor force means a labor force willing to sacrifice dignity and quality of life.
An inflexible labor force means 25-50% youth unemployment. I guess that makes you happy. I find it sad, personally.
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Quote from think22 View Post :
I'd rather pay $20 a month and have (at least some) protections at work vs. being at the complete mercy of my company to play fair and do the right thing. I've worked several Union as well as non-Union jobs. At the Union jobs it is pretty cut and dry about what you can and can't do, what is a cause for disciplinary action/termination, how much you make, your raises, etc. At non-Union jobs people get fired all the time because someone in management is having a bad day, they don't kiss the right ass, people are discriminated against much more frequently, people earn different salaries based on what clique they are in, etc.
I don't give a shit about their political leanings, what God they give their money to, etc. I'm talking about $20 a month to have organized labor project my job vs. getting dicked over by a corporation and enjoying all the great "benefits" of a right-to-work state. Unions are far from perfect, have crooked leaders sometimes, etc. etc. etc. But if you think your company is looking out for your best interest vs. their own, you need to wake up.
Is it still worth it when you are unemployed because of the union?
Also, I don't like having to pay higher taxes because of unions pushing jobs overseas.
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Quote from thikthird View Post :
of course, rtw states winning in the end means people losing.....
That is YOUR "OPINION" .. one that is not shared by a hell of a lot of people, myself included.
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Thanks to WikiLeaks we now know the Clinton Cartel makes the Mafia look like a bunch of Girl Scouts.

Which came first, apathy or ignorance when it comes to politics? Are so many people apathetic when it comes to politics because of their ignorance or are they ignorant because of their apathy?.
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Quote from rrc06 View Post :
An inflexible labor force means 25-50% youth unemployment. I guess that makes you happy. I find it sad, personally.
no, people being held hostage to profit makes for a 25-50% youth unemployment rate. i guess you're willing to sacrifice people's well being and quality of life so someone can profit off if it.
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#233
Quote from thikthird View Post :
no, people being held hostage to profit makes for a 25-50% youth unemployment rate. i guess you're willing to sacrifice people's well being and quality of life so someone can profit off if it.
They could always work for Goodwill if they don't want to produce.
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#234
If they would've reinvented or brought something more healthy to the tables than it would've worked out in the companies favor. For them to keep riding on sweet snacks alone was there downfall. Even if they had there bread products its just bread, local groceries now provide there own bread with there logo on there so competition has risen.
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#235
All I know is I just had one of the "new" twinkies yesterday...

It made it taste all the sweeter knowing that it was made with the tears of union labor.
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