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View Full Version : Economics Strikes dont always work.


HonestChieffan
11-13-2012, 01:38 PM
On the first business day after bakers went on strike against Hostess Brands, the Irving-based company said Monday it will permanently close three striking bakeries, putting 627 employees out of work.

Late Friday, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union went on strike against Irving-based Hostess to protest cuts and give-backs in the company’s last, best, final contract offer. The contract, which was rejected by 92 percent of the union members who voted, called, in part, for 8 percent pay cuts, a company hiatus from contributions to a multi-employer pension plan and changes in work rules.

As of Monday, bakers had set up picket lines at about 23 of the 36 bakeries and production plants operated by the bankrupt snack maker. Hostess said the strike “has prevented the facilities from producing and delivering products.”

“Our customers will not be affected because we will continue to serve them from other Hostess Brands bakeries, but sadly this action will result in the permanent closure of three facilities and the loss of 627 jobs,” said Gregory Rayburn, Hostess Brands’ chief executive.

“We deeply regret this decision, but we have repeatedly explained that we will close facilities that are no longer able to produce and deliver products because of a work stoppage — and that we will close the entire company if widespread strikes cripple our business.”

The bakeries to be closed immediately are in Seattle, St. Louis and Cincinnati. The Seattle facility employs 110 people and produces Hostess cake products. The St. Louis facility employs 365 people and produces Hostess cakes and Nature’s Pride and Wonder breads.

http://www.dallasnews.com/business/headlines/20121112-hostess-to-close-striking-bakeries-in-seattle-st.-louis-cincinnati.ece

Garcia Bronco
11-13-2012, 01:40 PM
dumbasses

cosmo20002
11-13-2012, 01:50 PM
Excellent.

/Little Debbie

loochy
11-13-2012, 01:51 PM
dumbasses

.

Saul Good
11-13-2012, 02:22 PM
Do these idiots get unemployment?

blaise
11-13-2012, 02:26 PM
Who cares? People making over $250,000 can pay their way.

vailpass
11-13-2012, 03:03 PM
Excellent.

/Little Debbie

LMAO I laughed

vailpass
11-13-2012, 03:04 PM
dumbasses

X2 Your employer is bankrupt and you strike instead of partnering to keep them afloat and keep your job?


I'm curious to see how long the other striking bakeries continue to strike

kcpasco
11-13-2012, 03:47 PM
X2 Your employer is bankrupt and you strike instead of partnering to keep them afloat and keep your job?


I'm curious to see how long the other striking bakeries continue to strike

These aren't small concessions bieng talked about. Their are some people who have worked at the the company for 30 years and are bieng told they no longer have a pension they have paid into for 30 years.

Meanwhile the CEO is still banking 150k a month.

HonestChieffan
11-13-2012, 03:52 PM
These aren't small concessions bieng talked about. Their are some people who have worked at the the company for 30 years and are bieng told they no longer have a pension they have paid into for 30 years.

Meanwhile the CEO is still banking 150k a month.

Now the CEO is still CEO regardless of his pay and the poor old union guy who didnt vote against his union is now SOL. And the union bosses are still dragging big bucks. After 30 years you shold have learned a little something

patteeu
11-13-2012, 04:26 PM
These aren't small concessions bieng talked about. Their are some people who have worked at the the company for 30 years and are bieng told they no longer have a pension they have paid into for 30 years.

Meanwhile the CEO is still banking 150k a month.

Who paid into it?

A Salt Weapon
11-13-2012, 07:32 PM
This is awesome, I hope more plants go on strike now.

Amnorix
11-13-2012, 09:16 PM
Don't really see a problem. When 92% of the workforce says no, then clearly it was an unacceptable contract. Hopefully they thought long and hard about the alternatives if the plants were closed, but taking an 8% pay cut and cessation of payments into their pension plan is a fairly big hit they were being asked to take.

I love the attitude of so many on here who seem to basically support employers no matter what they do. I'm hardly a die-hard labor supporter, but some of you guys are over the top.

Dallas Chief
11-13-2012, 09:48 PM
These aren't small concessions bieng talked about. Their are some people who have worked at the the company for 30 years and are bieng told they no longer have a pension they have paid into for 30 years.

Meanwhile the CEO is still banking 150k a month.

Not defending the employer, but just to be clear, they are not losing their pensions, the employer is just not paying into them anymore. They get to keep what is already there. I lost my pension plan some 10 years ago, but still have the balance of what was already paid into it. I don't know many people that have pension plans any longer outside of my friends that are teachers or govt employees.

Chocolate Hog
11-13-2012, 09:50 PM
I went to the one off I-35 and 87th the other day. There were some people striking and by striking I mean sitting in lawn chairs holding signs.

Rain Man
11-13-2012, 09:56 PM
This is the end result of people buying cheap Chinese Zingers instead of the solid American-built ones.

KILLER_CLOWN
11-14-2012, 12:47 AM
This is the end result of people buying cheap Chinese Zingers instead of the solid American-built ones.

ZINGAH!!!!!!!

patteeu
11-14-2012, 04:47 AM
Don't really see a problem. When 92% of the workforce says no, then clearly it was an unacceptable contract. Hopefully they thought long and hard about the alternatives if the plants were closed, but taking an 8% pay cut and cessation of payments into their pension plan is a fairly big hit they were being asked to take.

I love the attitude of so many on here who seem to basically support employers no matter what they do. I'm hardly a die-hard labor supporter, but some of you guys are over the top.

It's not that big of a hit if it's necessary to keep the business going considering the alternative. I wonder what the job market looks like right now for Ding Dong chefs.

HonestChieffan
11-14-2012, 06:16 AM
It's not that big of a hit if it's necessary to keep the business going considering the alternative. I wonder what the job market looks like right now for Ding Dong chefs.

Cupcakes are huge right now but first they have to get past the eleventybillion regs and the face off with Wookies food mandates. Its all about jobs!!!

Amnorix
11-14-2012, 07:17 AM
Not defending the employer, but just to be clear, they are not losing their pensions, the employer is just not paying into them anymore. They get to keep what is already there. I lost my pension plan some 10 years ago, but still have the balance of what was already paid into it. I don't know many people that have pension plans any longer outside of my friends that are teachers or govt employees.


Defined benefit pensions are definitely dying out outside government jobs. Defined contribution plans, however, still exist outside of government employees. I didn't see anything that makes clear which one this was.

Amnorix
11-14-2012, 07:19 AM
It's not that big of a hit if it's necessary to keep the business going considering the alternative. I wonder what the job market looks like right now for Ding Dong chefs.


Well, at some point that's what capitalism is all about. Redistributing resources (including workforce) to go into more competitive/viable lines of business.

I get the sense that some here are basically saying, and genuinely have a feeling of: HAHA, YOU STUPID FUCKS ARE OUT OF WORK NOW, HOW D'YA LIKE DEM APPLES?!?!

Why in the world anyone would feel that way is beyond me.

Rain Man
11-14-2012, 08:26 AM
The good news is that in America these workers can band together, start a new HoHo plant of their own, co-own it together, and share all of the profit that the current owners are now enjoying. In fact, there are even shuttered HoHo plants in their hometown that they can buy.

patteeu
11-14-2012, 08:45 AM
The more musically inclined guys can start a band and call it the HoHo Hobos if they can't get back into the cake baking business.

Saul Good
11-14-2012, 08:56 AM
Who paid into it?

"they"

patteeu
11-14-2012, 08:57 AM
"they"

Thanks for the clarification! :)

bevischief
11-14-2012, 10:47 AM
Do these idiots get unemployment?

Depends on the state.

bevischief
11-14-2012, 10:49 AM
There is a strike up here been going on for over a year. They brought in replacement working. American Crystal Sugar Beet Company.

vailpass
11-14-2012, 11:11 AM
These aren't small concessions bieng talked about. Their are some people who have worked at the the company for 30 years and are bieng told they no longer have a pension they have paid into for 30 years.

Meanwhile the CEO is still banking 150k a month.

This is the kind of backward thinking that lost these people their jobs and is making unions a thing of the past.

vailpass
11-14-2012, 11:12 AM
Don't really see a problem. When 92% of the workforce says no, then clearly it was an unacceptable contract. Hopefully they thought long and hard about the alternatives if the plants were closed, but taking an 8% pay cut and cessation of payments into their pension plan is a fairly big hit they were being asked to take.

I love the attitude of so many on here who seem to basically support employers no matter what they do. I'm hardly a die-hard labor supporter, but some of you guys are over the top.

Does it make any difference to you that the employer is bankrupt, and notified the employees that this would be the result if they chose to strike?

Sometimes there is simply no more money to give, no matter the demands or consequences.
Our country as a whole needs to realize that before they all learn the hard way like these people did.

InChiefsHell
11-14-2012, 11:17 AM
Does it make any difference to you that the employer is bankrupt, and notified the employees that this would be the result if they chose to strike?

Sometimes there is simply no more money to give, no matter the demands or consequences.
Our country as a whole needs to realize that before they all learn the hard way like these people did.

Hostess just needs to go from making cupcakes to printing money...then 'sall good.

Saul Good
11-14-2012, 12:46 PM
Hostess just needs to go from making cupcakes to printing money...then 'sall good.

You rang?

vailpass
11-14-2012, 12:48 PM
You rang?

LMAO

Amnorix
11-14-2012, 02:30 PM
Depends on the state.


Really? I would think that if laid off they would automatically get unemployment. I wouldn't think they would be denied unemployment under these circumstances, but I'm no expert.

Saul Good
11-14-2012, 02:33 PM
Really? I would think that if laid off they would automatically get unemployment. I wouldn't think they would be denied unemployment under these circumstances, but I'm no expert.

I would think that refusing to work and choosing instead to picket against your employer would be grounds to have your ui denied.

Amnorix
11-14-2012, 02:34 PM
Does it make any difference to you that the employer is bankrupt, and notified the employees that this would be the result if they chose to strike?

Have you ever been involved in high stakes negotiations? False threats are made all the time. So are real ones. The people on the other side make the best decision they can based on the facts that they have, and sometimes the result is worse than what they had hoped, or what they think is a bluff gets called.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not crying for these workers. They took the risk and it looks like they lost. I'm just saying I don't understand why anyone would actually be happy about it.

Sometimes there is simply no more money to give, no matter the demands or consequences.
Our country as a whole needs to realize that before they all learn the hard way like these people did.


I represent companies (though not in labor situations), and I have made those same arguments. Believe me, I know. I absolutely know.

Our country needs to realize what? This isn't some super-secret. Meanwhile, some companies take advantage of their workers all the time. And some workers take advantage of their companies. It's the push-pull of the world. People get hurt all the time by it. People who own companies get hurt sometimes too. That's capitalism.

Amnorix
11-14-2012, 02:37 PM
I would think that refusing to work and choosing instead to picket against your employer would be grounds to have your ui denied.


I tend to doubt it. Ultimately they were likely "laid off" and not "terminated for cause", which usually is the key differentiator.

Saul Good
11-14-2012, 02:38 PM
Have you ever been involved in high stakes negotiations? False threats are made all the time. So are real ones. The people on the other side make the best decision they can based on the facts that they have, and sometimes the result is worse than what they had hoped, or what they think is a bluff gets called.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not crying for these workers. They took the risk and it looks like they lost. I'm just saying I don't understand why anyone would actually be happy about it.




I represent companies (though not in labor situations), and I have made those same arguments. Believe me, I know. I absolutely know.

Our country needs to realize what? This isn't some super-secret. Meanwhile, some companies take advantage of their workers all the time. And some workers take advantage of their companies. It's the push-pull of the world. People get hurt all the time by it. People who own companies get hurt sometimes too. That's capitalism.

How do companies take advantage of employees. There is no such thing as indentured servitude in this country. Employees can leave at any time for any reason.

loochy
11-14-2012, 02:39 PM
A large part of the fault lies with the union bosses. The workers trust these guys, so if they recommend to strike, most of the workers will vote to strike and no personal research will be done.

Dayze
11-14-2012, 02:56 PM
There's a Wonder Bread facility down the street from me; I drove by the other day, and there were like 8 people picketing across the street. I saw one had a Tobacco Union sign, and wondered WTF they had been putting my my wonder bread.

loochy
11-14-2012, 02:59 PM
There's a Wonder Bread facility down the street from me; I drove by the other day, and there were like 8 people picketing across the street. I saw one had a Tobacco Union sign, and wondered WTF they had been putting my my wonder bread.

Yeah, the unions that some of these people belong to don't make sense.

Almost all of the hourlies where I work are a part of the International Association of Machinists (IAM). A very small number of them are actual machinists. Most of them are janitors, assemblers, and material handlers.

Calcountry
11-14-2012, 03:14 PM
Have you ever been involved in high stakes negotiations? False threats are made all the time. So are real ones. The people on the other side make the best decision they can based on the facts that they have, and sometimes the result is worse than what they had hoped, or what they think is a bluff gets called.

You mean, kind of like Bush's decision to invade Iraq?

vailpass
11-14-2012, 03:35 PM
Have you ever been involved in high stakes negotiations? False threats are made all the time. So are real ones. The people on the other side make the best decision they can based on the facts that they have, and sometimes the result is worse than what they had hoped, or what they think is a bluff gets called.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not crying for these workers. They took the risk and it looks like they lost. I'm just saying I don't understand why anyone would actually be happy about it.




I represent companies (though not in labor situations), and I have made those same arguments. Believe me, I know. I absolutely know.

Our country needs to realize what? This isn't some super-secret. Meanwhile, some companies take advantage of their workers all the time. And some workers take advantage of their companies. It's the push-pull of the world. People get hurt all the time by it. People who own companies get hurt sometimes too. That's capitalism.

In this case it wasn't a threat. It was a promise.

I don't know that anyone is happy these people are out of work; I'm certainly not. I feel no pity for them either. They attempted strong arm tactics and had their bluff called.

I was clumsily saying that our country needs to realize that sometimes there really is no more money no matter how much someone wants something i.e. to not take a pay cut, or to receive entitlements, etc.

Yep, capitalism is blind as to who comes out ahead or behind, which makes it as close to a level playing field as will ever exist and the best system going by a mile.

Amnorix
11-14-2012, 03:49 PM
How do companies take advantage of employees. There is no such thing as indentured servitude in this country. Employees can leave at any time for any reason.



Sure, that's absolutely true. What is also true is that during the last few years, with relatively high unemployment, many companies have been increasing workloads on their workforce with little/no raises and basically saying "you think you can do better in this economy, feel free to leave."

Not that the employers are under any kind of real obligation, of course, to give raises or hire additional employees, but there's really no question that they have been increasing corporate margins and hoarding cash to the disadvantage of their workforce.

Which is legal and all, don't get me wrong, but in times of high(er) unemployment, the "vote with your feet" option isn't as readily available.

Amnorix
11-14-2012, 04:00 PM
So, further to my last, here's a telling chart -- comparing corporate profits to employee wages over time.

http://dailybail.com/storage/chart-corporate-profits-employee-wages.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1318432887443



This, meanwhile, all has a pretty negative effect on helping the economy recover. Employers aren't hiring, and they're not giving raises, which resulted in NEGATIVE real wage growth in 2011. So across the entire American workforce, purchasing power was less in 2011 than 2010. So we have not only high unemployment, but even among the gainfully employed less real wages.

All against a backdrop of record corporate profits.

HonestChieffan
11-14-2012, 04:01 PM
Do more with less. Business has been highly successful acomplishing just that. Government is the exact opposite. They deliver inferior results with greater spending. And the next few years will be the ultimate.

vailpass
11-14-2012, 04:05 PM
So, further to my last, here's a telling chart -- comparing corporate profits to employee wages over time.

http://dailybail.com/storage/chart-corporate-profits-employee-wages.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1318432887443



This, meanwhile, all has a pretty negative effect on helping the economy recover. Employers aren't hiring, and they're not giving raises, which resulted in NEGATIVE real wage growth in 2011. So across the entire American workforce, purchasing power was less in 2011 than 2010. So we have not only high unemployment, but even among the gainfully employed less real wages.

All against a backdrop of record corporate profits.

Is it not to the employee's benefit to have an employer that is financially viable? Do they not benefit by added training, equipment, facilities, advancement opportunities?

Dallas Chief
11-14-2012, 09:08 PM
Defined benefit pensions are definitely dying out outside government jobs. Defined contribution plans, however, still exist outside of government employees. I didn't see anything that makes clear which one this was.

Not sure what a defined contribution plan is, like a 401k? It said pensions, so I assumed that is exactly what it was, a pension solely funded by the employer. Something I lost many years ago, as did many of my peers, post 9/11. Like you though I am unclear as to what they are cutting out from these baker fellows. I was just speculating that it was a traditional pension. I could be wrong though, of course.

Stinger
11-15-2012, 12:22 PM
kwch.com/business/kwch-hostess-ceo-gives-striking-workers-thursday-deadline-20121114,0,2860295.story
kwch.com
Hostess CEO gives striking workers Thursday deadline

By Chris Durden

KWCH 12 Eyewitness News

8:30 PM CST, November 14, 2012

(EMPORIA, Kan.)
Advertisement

Hostess Brands CEO said Wednesday the company will liquidate unless striking workers return to the job by the end of the day on Thursday.

"We simply do not have the financial resources to survive an ongoing national strike," Gregory Rayburn said in a statement.

Workers are protesting a contract imposed by a bankruptcy court. The bakers union has called the contract "outrageous."

A liquidation would result in more than 18,000 workers losing their jobs.

Over the weekend, workers in the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, or BCTGM, went on strike at Hostess-owned plants in several states. The strike includes workers at the Dolly Madison plant in Emporia.

Hostess filed for bankruptcy in January, the second time it has done so since 2004.

Union employees in Emporia say in August of last year the company stopped giving them their pension earning. They say it now wants to cut wages by eight percent.

"You put in the time, you put in the years, I mean, we all have dedicated our lives to the company and they just don't appreciate it," said one striking worker.

Steven Blakey says he he was looking forward to retiring from the company. He says what's going on now hurts not just him, but his family as well.

"I spent 30 years of my life, missed a lot of time with my family, now it's time for me to enjoy that time and I have to keep working, I'm missing out on a lot." said Blakey.

The Dolly Madison plant in Emporia is one of the city's largest employers.

Tuesday, Hostess said it will permanently close bakeries in Seattle, St. Louis and Cincinnati. Those three plants employ 627 people combined. The strike is impacting 24 of Hostess' 33 plants.

Copyright © 2012, KWCH-TV
Posted via Mobile Device

King_Chief_Fan
11-15-2012, 12:30 PM
Not sure what a defined contribution plan is, like a 401k? It said pensions, so I assumed that is exactly what it was, a pension solely funded by the employer. Something I lost many years ago, as did many of my peers, post 9/11. Like you though I am unclear as to what they are cutting out from these baker fellows. I was just speculating that it was a traditional pension. I could be wrong though, of course.

a typical pension plan is a defined benefit plan...you work x amount of time against some calculation that gives you a determined/defined pension amouint. Those are getting more rare.

401K is a defined contribution plan....you put in x dollars and we will match some defined amount to your dollars.

I am fortunate that my company still provides both

vailpass
11-15-2012, 12:36 PM
kwch.com/business/kwch-hostess-ceo-gives-striking-workers-thursday-deadline-20121114,0,2860295.story
kwch.com
Hostess CEO gives striking workers Thursday deadline

B

"You put in the time, you put in the years, I mean, we all have dedicated our lives to the company and they just don't appreciate it," said one striking worker.

Steven Blakey says he he was looking forward to retiring from the company. He says what's going on now hurts not just him, but his family as well.

"I spent 30 years of my life, missed a lot of time with my family, now it's time for me to enjoy that time and I have to keep working, I'm missing out on a lot." said Blakey.


Copyright © 2012, KWCH-TV
Posted via Mobile Device

Clueless bastard. Enjoy shifting from the bakery to the bread line.

HonestChieffan
11-15-2012, 01:31 PM
Piss on the fire and call in the dogs. Sounds like they will shut it down once and for all. Big ugly hit for Emporia.

Fish
11-15-2012, 02:16 PM
http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/8540/6716506dd51fe9e7a80a2e7.jpg

Amnorix
11-15-2012, 03:55 PM
Do more with less. Business has been highly successful acomplishing just that. Government is the exact opposite. They deliver inferior results with greater spending. And the next few years will be the ultimate.


I agree that that is what business does, and is good at. The issue, for a variety of reasons, is that businesses seem to be increasingly focused on only increasing the wealth of very senior management, while ignoring the rest of the employees. This is part of the growing income/wealth gap, which is bad for the overall economy.

See, for example:

http://go.bloomberg.com/multimedia/americas-growing-income-gap-shows-two-recoveries-in-action/


This thread has nothing whatsoever to do with government spending or efficiency, so I'll just ignore whatever you're talking about there (not that I disagree, it's just irrelevant).

vailpass
11-15-2012, 04:12 PM
I think it is very sad that there might not be any more Twinkies.
It hurts my fillings.

Amnorix
11-15-2012, 04:16 PM
Is it not to the employee's benefit to have an employer that is financially viable? Do they not benefit by added training, equipment, facilities, advancement opportunities?



Well, employees benefit mostly by getting a better paycheck. The fact is that whether they are getting added training or not, they aren't bringing home more bacon. Equipment may make them more efficient, which is fine, but it's also resulting in co-workers being laid off sometimes (if 4 can do the work formerly done by 5 because of increased efficiency in facilities/equipment -- see the steel industry for a fine example*). So the net result is fewer workers are doing more work for less pay (in real dollars) while the wealth increasingly aggregates above them. How that is better for workers is beyond me.


*The US produces more steel than it ever did, but does it with about 10% of the workforce that it had in the 50s and 60s due to automation etc.

Amnorix
11-15-2012, 04:21 PM
Not sure what a defined contribution plan is, like a 401k? It said pensions, so I assumed that is exactly what it was, a pension solely funded by the employer. Something I lost many years ago, as did many of my peers, post 9/11. Like you though I am unclear as to what they are cutting out from these baker fellows. I was just speculating that it was a traditional pension. I could be wrong though, of course.


Not a 401(k), which is a separate account under the tax code which may or may not involve employer contributions/matches.

I'm no expert, but as I understand it, fundamentally there are two types of pension plans -- defined benefit and defined contribution. Both are either wholly or mostly funded by the employer, most of the time.

A defined benefit plan is the old school manufacturing section pension, which now mostly only exist through government jobs. It basically says that upon reaching certain targets/thresholders (years worked, minimum age, etc.) that you will received X dollars for the rest of your life, no matter how long you live. The employer is obligated to fund the plan thick or thin to ensure that you continue getting paid long after you have retired. These plans are absolutely horrible to the economics of any business, and to the government. As the population ages, they will increasingly strangle those few entities, and the government, that still has them.

A defined contribution plan is a plan that simply says that the employer will fund X dollars into the plan for each year you work, with X variable based on percentage of pay, years worked, or whatever. Then, when you hit the necessary milestones (age etc.) you may draw out of that plan certain amounts. This system actually makes sense, economically, for the employer. First, there is no oblgiation to fund for RETIRED workers (i.e. paying for those who give you nothing). Second, you can easily budget for it. You know that it's a perk for your employees, like any other, and you can calculate what it will cost. Defined benefit plans, however, are guesstimates at best, based on how long your employees may live, etc.

Amnorix
11-15-2012, 04:23 PM
a typical pension plan is a defined benefit plan...you work x amount of time against some calculation that gives you a determined/defined pension amouint. Those are getting more rare.

401K is a defined contribution plan....you put in x dollars and we will match some defined amount to your dollars.

I am fortunate that my company still provides both


There are defined contribution plans that are not 401(k) plans. They are true pensions, and most of the time employees need not put in a dime.

vailpass
11-15-2012, 04:26 PM
Well, employees benefit mostly by getting a better paycheck. The fact is that whether they are getting added training or not, they aren't bringing home more bacon. Equipment may make them more efficient, which is fine, but it's also resulting in co-workers being laid off sometimes (if 4 can do the work formerly done by 5 because of increased efficiency in facilities/equipment -- see the steel industry for a fine example*). So the net result is fewer workers are doing more work for less pay (in real dollars) while the wealth increasingly aggregates above them. How that is better for workers is beyond me.


*The US produces more steel than it ever did, but does it with about 10% of the workforce that it had in the 50s and 60s due to automation etc.

If that is the path a company needs to take in order to stay competitive and remain in business then it is best for the remaining employees, isn't it?

Like the employees at the Twinkie factory who couldn't figure out that 92% of something is better than 0%.
What a bunch of ding dongs.

Buehler445
11-15-2012, 04:43 PM
Piss on the fire and call in the dogs. Sounds like they will shut it down once and for all. Big ugly hit for Emporia.

Again. Modine a decade or so ago. IBP 3 or 4 years ago. Now Dolly Madison. They kept saying they were going to shut it down, but I guess now they will.

I think they built a second dogfood plant recently though.

patteeu
11-15-2012, 04:45 PM
Well, employees benefit mostly by getting a better paycheck. The fact is that whether they are getting added training or not, they aren't bringing home more bacon. Equipment may make them more efficient, which is fine, but it's also resulting in co-workers being laid off sometimes (if 4 can do the work formerly done by 5 because of increased efficiency in facilities/equipment -- see the steel industry for a fine example*). So the net result is fewer workers are doing more work for less pay (in real dollars) while the wealth increasingly aggregates above them. How that is better for workers is beyond me.


*The US produces more steel than it ever did, but does it with about 10% of the workforce that it had in the 50s and 60s due to automation etc.

It's better for the workers because if it still took 10x as many workers to produce that steel, there wouldn't be any steel produced in the US at all.

Fish
11-15-2012, 04:53 PM
Again. Modine a decade or so ago. IBP 3 or 4 years ago. Now Dolly Madison. They kept saying they were going to shut it down, but I guess now they will.

I think they built a second dogfood plant recently though.

Modine and IBP are both gone? Holy shit, guess I haven't been in Emporia for a while. Went to school at ESU for a few years....

Buehler445
11-15-2012, 04:58 PM
So, further to my last, here's a telling chart -- comparing corporate profits to employee wages over time.

http://dailybail.com/storage/chart-corporate-profits-employee-wages.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1318432887443



This, meanwhile, all has a pretty negative effect on helping the economy recover. Employers aren't hiring, and they're not giving raises, which resulted in NEGATIVE real wage growth in 2011. So across the entire American workforce, purchasing power was less in 2011 than 2010. So we have not only high unemployment, but even among the gainfully employed less real wages.

All against a backdrop of record corporate profits.

At my core, I'm a freemarket guy. If a guy can go out and get a better living for himself, he should be able to do just that.

If a company believes a guy can make them, or perhaps save them a bunch of money, they should be able to go get that guy.

At my core I don't want the government running business. What if a company puts more money into R&D, capital improvements, technology, or any number of non-employee expenses, I don't want some dude making a chart that shows a business is spending much more in other aspects, claiming that the company should be paying it's employees more.

Look, if a company thinks a guy is worth the money, let the company go get him and let the guy get paid. If he fucks it up, the company can fire him. The business made a bad decision and has to deal with dent that it put in profitability.

As long as there is competition, I don't have a problem with it. And therein lies the problem I have with government running shit. There is no competition to keep the government accountable for performance.

Buehler445
11-15-2012, 05:00 PM
Modine and IBP are both gone? Holy shit, guess I haven't been in Emporia for a while. Went to school at ESU for a few years....

I went to school there too. Modine was gone before I got there, and IBP left after I was gone. I think they are still using IBP for cold storage, but they laid most everybody off.

Amnorix
11-15-2012, 05:12 PM
If that is the path a company needs to take in order to stay competitive and remain in business then it is best for the remaining employees, isn't it?


Depends on the situation. The real question isn't, however, whether what companies are doing is "right". You can't legislate "right" or "fair". The issue is what can government do to set policies to encourage or enforce a system that will result in a proper balance between competitive and profitable, strong, companies and a strong and healthy middle class.

That kind of language drives some people, especially libertarians like Taco John, completely round the bend, but the fact is we already have a very large system designed around precisely that. There's a whole host of labor laws around minimum wage and overtime laws, etc. Tax laws also come into effect, encouraging some things while discouraging others.

It seems to me, based on trends over the last 25+ years, that clearly our systems are poorly designed, leading to increasing aggregation of wealth, a weakening middle class, and companies that are just hoarding cash for no real reason except to hoard cash.

Like the employees at the Twinkie factory who couldn't figure out that 92% of something is better than 0%.
What a bunch of ding dongs.


Not necessarily. It's all about opportunity cost. Hopefully they've done the calculus correctly on that.

Amnorix
11-15-2012, 05:17 PM
It's better for the workers because if it still took 10x as many workers to produce that steel, there wouldn't be any steel produced in the US at all.


You've badly mixed my examples and discussion.

The efficiency of the steel mills is better for the American economy, overall, because for a long time it wasn't competitive. Obviously a non-existent industry doesn't do its former workforce any good. If, however, like textiles, then the US can't really be competitive in the worldwide industry, then it may well be best that it die.

My comment is that for the particular workers, a stronger and more efficient employer may or may not be better for them. The question is whether they could (if redeployed into a different industry or company if their employer collapsed) be better off elsewhere if forced to be.

Capitalism is a brutal system, but it's also the most efficient system. Government programs such as unemployment are specifically designed to lessen the brutality. Re-education / retraining programs also make sense. The goal is to constantly deploy and redeploy workers into those industries that need more employees.

What you (and Vailpass) are suggesting makes no sense at some piont, right, because taken to its logical extreme, EVERY employee would be "better off" if they made minimum wage, ensuring that the company was hyper-competitive and hyper-profitable.

Umm...no.

Amnorix
11-15-2012, 05:19 PM
At my core, I'm a freemarket guy. If a guy can go out and get a better living for himself, he should be able to do just that.

If a company believes a guy can make them, or perhaps save them a bunch of money, they should be able to go get that guy.

At my core I don't want the government running business. What if a company puts more money into R&D, capital improvements, technology, or any number of non-employee expenses, I don't want some dude making a chart that shows a business is spending much more in other aspects, claiming that the company should be paying it's employees more.

Look, if a company thinks a guy is worth the money, let the company go get him and let the guy get paid. If he fucks it up, the company can fire him. The business made a bad decision and has to deal with dent that it put in profitability.

As long as there is competition, I don't have a problem with it. And therein lies the problem I have with government running shit. There is no competition to keep the government accountable for performance.


I don't really disagree with any of that, but true, unrestrained capitalism has never existed anywhere, and when it comes closest to existing, you get a truly fucked up environment, workers who are completely abused, etc.

Laws can't mandate this stuff, but it constantly encourages/discourages behavior. Over the past 30 years, it hasn't been doing a very good job, IMHO, in keeping the middle class middle, so to speak, which is a systemic problem.

BucEyedPea
11-15-2012, 05:26 PM
I don't really disagree with any of that, but true, unrestrained capitalism has never existed anywhere, and when it comes closest to existing, you get a truly ****ed up environment, workers who are completely abused, etc.
There's been a lot of propaganda about that by progressive literature. Misnowners like "Robber Barons" etc.

Laws can't mandate this stuff, but it constantly encourages/discourages behavior. Over the past 30 years, it hasn't been doing a very good job, IMHO, in keeping the middle class middle, so to speak, which is a systemic problem.

That has nothing to do with keeping the middle class middle. That has more to do with govt and creeping socialism.

Fish
11-15-2012, 05:48 PM
I went to school there too. Modine was gone before I got there, and IBP left after I was gone. I think they are still using IBP for cold storage, but they laid most everybody off.

I was there 96-99. Worked at Bluestem while I went to school. Pyramid pizza for a while.

Go Hornets.

Amnorix
11-15-2012, 05:48 PM
There's been a lot of propaganda about that by progressive literature. Misnowners like "Robber Barons" etc.


Sure, "propaganda". Meanwhile, China is suddenly discovering that environmental laws might not be such a bad thing, etc.

That has nothing to do with keeping the middle class middle. That has more to do with govt and creeping socialism.


Don't mind me if I ignore your whackadoo-ness, so to speak.

Buehler445
11-15-2012, 06:01 PM
I don't really disagree with any of that, but true, unrestrained capitalism has never existed anywhere, and when it comes closest to existing, you get a truly fucked up environment, workers who are completely abused, etc.

Laws can't mandate this stuff, but it constantly encourages/discourages behavior. Over the past 30 years, it hasn't been doing a very good job, IMHO, in keeping the middle class middle, so to speak, which is a systemic problem.

I don't understand. Nobody is being abused. No need for the government to stick their nose in.

If paying these dudes high salaries were a colossally bad decision, these companies would pay for it in the competitive environment.

stonedstooge
11-16-2012, 06:33 AM
Hostess shutting down nationwide. JFC

Buehler445
11-16-2012, 06:38 AM
Reuters
7:16 a.m. CST, November 16, 2012

Hostess Brands Inc., the bankrupt maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, said it had sought court permission to go out of business after failing to get wage and benefit cuts from thousands of its striking bakery workers.

Hostess said a national strike by members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union that began last week had crippled its ability to produce and deliver products at several facilities.

The liquidation of the company will mean that most of its 18,500 employees will lose their jobs, Hostess said on Friday.

In the Chicago area, Hostess employs about 300 workers making CupCakes, HoHos and Honey Buns in Schiller Park. Hostess also has a bakery in Hodgkins, where 325 workers make Beefsteak, Butternut, Home Pride, Nature’s Pride and Wonder breads.

The 82-year-old company said it took the decision to shut down after determining that not enough employees had returned to work by a deadline on Thursday.

The company, which filed for bankruptcy in January for the second time since 2004, said it had filed a motion with U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain in White Plains, New York, for permission to shut down and sell assets.

Irving, Texas-based Hostess has 565 distribution centers and 570 bakery outlet stores, as well as the 33 bakeries. Its brands include Wonder, Nature's Pride, Dolly Madison, Drake's, Butternut, Home Pride and Merita, but it is probably best known for Twinkies -- basically a cream-filled sponge cake.

"We deeply regret the necessity of today's decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike," Chief Executive Gregory Rayburn said in a statement.

"Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders," Rayburn added.

Union President Frank Hurt said on Thursday that the crisis at the company was the "result of nearly a decade of financial and operational mismanagement" and that management was trying to make union workers the scapegoats for a plan by Wall Street investors to sell Hostess.

Hostess said its debtor-in-possession lenders had agreed to allow the it to continue to have access to $75 million to fund the wind-down process.

"There's no way to soften the fact that this will hurt every Hostess Brands employee. All Hostess Brands employees will eventually lose their jobs - some sooner than others," Rayburn said in a letter to employees.

The company has canceled all orders in process with its suppliers and said any product in transit would be returned to the shipper.

In its filing with the court, the company said it would have incurred a loss of between $7.5 million and $9.5 million from Nov. 9 to Nov. 19 in lost sales and increased costs.

"These losses and other factors, including increased vendor payment terms contraction, have resulted in a significant weakening of the debtors' cash position and, if continued, would soon result in the debtors completely running out of cash," it said.

Hostess had already reached agreement on pay and benefit cuts with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, its largest union.

The case is In re: Hostess Brands Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-22052.

Link (http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-hostess-brands-seeks-court-permission-to-liquidate-20121116,0,3175964.story)

Dave Lane
11-16-2012, 06:42 AM
Awesome. St. Loser-shithole should really just be abandoned, burned to the ground and the earth there salted so nothing will ever grow there again.

TEX
11-16-2012, 06:42 AM
It's Bush's fault...

Buehler445
11-16-2012, 06:44 AM
HOSTESS BRANDS TO WIND DOWN COMPANY AFTER BCTGM UNION STRIKE CRIPPLES OPERATIONS

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012 AT 7:00AM

Irving, TX – November 16, 2012 – Hostess Brands Inc. today announced that it is winding down operations and has filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking permission to close its business and sell its assets, including its iconic brands and facilities. Bakery operations have been suspended at all plants. Delivery of products will continue and Hostess Brands retail stores will remain open for several days in order to sell already-baked products.

The Board of Directors authorized the wind down of Hostess Brands to preserve and maximize the value of the estate after one of the Company’s largest unions, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), initiated a nationwide strike that crippled the Company’s ability to produce and deliver products at multiple facilities.

On Nov. 12, Hostess Brands permanently closed three plants as a result of the work stoppage. On Nov. 14, the Company announced it would be forced to liquidate if sufficient employees did not return to work to restore normal operations by 5 p.m., EST p.m., Nov. 15. The Company determined on the night of Nov. 15 that an insufficient number of employees had returned to work to enable the restoration of normal operations.

The BCTGM in September rejected a last, best and final offer from Hostess Brands designed to lower costs so that the Company could attract new financing and emerge from Chapter 11. Hostess Brands then received Court authority on Oct. 3 to unilaterally impose changes to the BCTGM’s collective bargaining agreements.

Hostess Brands is unprofitable under its current cost structure, much of which is determined by union wages and pension costs. The offer to the BCTGM included wage, benefit and work rule concessions but also gave Hostess Brands’ 12 unions a 25 percent ownership stake in the company, representation on its Board of Directors and $100 million in reorganized Hostess Brands’ debt.

“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” said Gregory F. Rayburn, chief executive officer. “Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.”

In addition to dozens of baking and distribution facilities around the country, Hostess Brands will sell its popular brands, including Hostess®, Drakes® and Dolly Madison®, which make iconic cake products such as Twinkies®, CupCakes, Ding Dongs®, Ho Ho’s®, Sno Balls® and Donettes®. Bread brands to be sold include Wonder®, Nature’s Pride ®, Merita®, Home Pride®, Butternut®, and Beefsteak®, among others.

The wind down means the closure of 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers, approximately 5,500 delivery routes and 570 bakery outlet stores throughout the United States.

The Company said its debtor-in-possession lenders have agreed to allow the Company to continue to have access to the $75 million financing facility put in place at the start of the bankruptcy cases to fund the sale and wind down process, subject to U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval.

The Company’s motion asks the Court for authority to continue to pay employees whose services are required during the wind-down period.

For employees whose jobs will be eliminated, additional information can be found at www.hostessbrands.info. The website also contains information for customers and vendors. Most employees who lose their jobs should be eligible for government-provided unemployment benefits.

Link (http://www.emporiagazette.com/news/2012/nov/16/hostess-shut-down-emporia-plant-and-company/)

Buehler445
11-16-2012, 06:48 AM
Brutal. Hopefully something can emerge from the wreckage and use the bakeries to produce products outside of union control.

King_Chief_Fan
11-16-2012, 06:55 AM
I don't understand. Nobody is being abused. No need for the government to stick their nose in.

If paying these dudes high salaries were a colossally bad decision, these companies would pay for it in the competitive environment.

it isn't just the pay...it is the attitude and the limitations the union puts on people doing what they think is additional things other than their job.

In a company I used to work for an idiot union worker came into to paint my walls in my office when he got to the wall where there is an electrical outlet and light switch, he said I am done here for now. I said what? We need to get an electrician up here. Why? To take the cover plates of the outlet and switch.
I said don't go away. I pulled a screw driver out of my desk drawer and took them off and told him to get back to work. Union filed a grieveance and expected the company to pay OT to one of the electricians. Let it go to arbitration and caused the union to spend money they didn't have only to get stiffed by the arbitrator as they ruled in favor of the company.
We later eliminated all maintenance and electrical union employees and contracted everything out to a 3rd party. 35% savings

Amnorix
11-16-2012, 06:57 AM
Brutal. Hopefully something can emerge from the wreckage and use the bakeries to produce products outside of union control.


Hostess' recipes and trademarked names etc. will be bought out of bankruptcy by someone who can use and make money off them. By definition, whoever buys it will have been a stronger, more competitive company than Hostess was. Whether their workforce is unionized or not isn't the sole driving factor of that.

And capitalism rolls on.

Buehler445
11-16-2012, 07:04 AM
it isn't just the pay...it is the attitude and the limitations the union puts on people doing what they think is additional things other than their job.

In a company I used to work for an idiot union worker came into to paint my walls in my office when he got to the wall where there is an electrical outlet and light switch, he said I am done here for now. I said what? We need to get an electrician up here. Why? To take the cover plates of the outlet and switch.
I said don't go away. I pulled a screw driver out of my desk drawer and took them off and told him to get back to work. Union filed a grieveance and expected the company to pay OT to one of the electricians. Let it go to arbitration and caused the union to spend money they didn't have only to get stiffed by the arbitrator as they ruled in favor of the company.
We later eliminated all maintenance and electrical union employees and contracted everything out to a 3rd party. 35% savings

:eek: Jesus.

Dad took a tour of the Deere tractor factory in Waterloo in the early 80s. He said it was pretty interesting. Half the factory was a union shop and half of it was non-union. According to him it was a night and day difference walking through. The union half was doing NOTHING. Production was at a virtual standstill.

So dad, being from the midwest, and paying for a tractor, which in turn, PAID THESE COCKSUCKERS TO DO NOTHING, asked WTF. And apparently the dude taking him through there was an old factory worker that they made a tour guide. Old dude says Union has bean counters come in and if they gotta put 6 bolts into a plate, they take 1 bolt and the plate, hang it up there, walk down the ladder and get another bolt, and so on until the 6 bolts are done. Bean counter leaves, they take 6 bolts and a plate up the ladder, bolt it up and sit on their ass until the assembly line moves.

Disgusting.

Buehler445
11-16-2012, 07:06 AM
Hostess' recipes and trademarked names etc. will be bought out of bankruptcy by someone who can use and make money off them. By definition, whoever buys it will have been a stronger, more competitive company than Hostess was. Whether their workforce is unionized or not isn't the sole driving factor of that.

And capitalism rolls on.

I understand, but my hope is that these type of stories deal a blow to organized labor. Lets be real here, labor forces are not being abused and working conditions are far from brutal. Unions have outlived their good. Lets get them the fuck out of my country.

MIAdragon
11-16-2012, 07:06 AM
Hostess' recipes and trademarked names etc. will be bought out of bankruptcy by someone who can use and make money off them. By definition, whoever buys it will have been a stronger, more competitive company than Hostess was. Whether their workforce is unionized or not isn't the sole driving factor of that.

And capitalism rolls on.

And move operations to China.

Amnorix
11-16-2012, 07:08 AM
I understand, but my hope is that these type of stories deal a blow to organized labor. Lets be real here, labor forces are not being abused and working conditions are far from brutal. Unions have outlived their good. Lets get them the fuck out of my country.


I think in general that's true (that unions have outlived their usefulness).

Amnorix
11-16-2012, 07:09 AM
And move operations to China.


It's hard to compete with workers who will work for peanuts (relatively speaking) a day. For baked goods, shipping time may be an important negative factor, but I dunno.

Brainiac
11-16-2012, 07:12 AM
Hostess' recipes and trademarked names etc. will be bought out of bankruptcy by someone who can use and make money off them. By definition, whoever buys it will have been a stronger, more competitive company than Hostess was. Whether their workforce is unionized or not isn't the sole driving factor of that.

And capitalism rolls on.
Or, the Obama administration will decree that Twinkies, Cupcakes and Ho Ho's are unhealthy food items and an executive order will be issued that prevents those products from ever being manufactured again.

In ordinary times that would be tinfoil hat thinking. These days, not so much.

Buehler445
11-16-2012, 07:15 AM
It's hard to compete with workers who will work for peanuts (relatively speaking) a day. For baked goods, shipping time may be an important negative factor, but I dunno.

And unions killed this plant. If the unions had GTFO, the labor couldn't have been competitive with China, but it may have kept the company afloat and at least offset the difference enough to make it cheaper to operate here than build a new factory in china.

jiveturkey
11-16-2012, 07:19 AM
Or, the Obama administration will decree that Twinkies, Cupcakes and Ho Ho's are unhealthy food items and an executive order will be issued that prevents those products from ever being manufactured again.

In ordinary times that would be tinfoil hat thinking. These days, not so much.I think that their unhealthy reputation is what originally put them on the downward path. The union demands just pushed them over the cliff.

They went through a nasty bankruptcy in 2004. Their stock was at one time as high as $34/share and eventually wound up around $2/share.

jiveturkey
11-16-2012, 07:20 AM
It's hard to compete with workers who will work for peanuts (relatively speaking) a day. For baked goods, shipping time may be an important negative factor, but I dunno.Twinkies last forever.

mikey23545
11-16-2012, 07:21 AM
Hostess is too big to fail - we need another bailout to the unions!

HonestChieffan
11-16-2012, 08:16 AM
Union should be proud.


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Hostess Brands — the maker of such iconic baked goods as Twinkies, 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. The bakers’ union represents around 5,000.

Hostess will move to sell its assets to the highest bidder. That could mean new life for some of its most popular products, which could be scooped up at auction and attached to products from other companies.

“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” said CEO Gregory Rayburn in a statement.

The company had given a 5 p.m. ET deadline for the bakers to return to work or face a shutdown of the company. The unions at Hostess could not be reached immediately for comment on the decision.

OmahaChief
11-16-2012, 08:38 AM
Hostess is too big to fail - we need another bailout to the unions!

Yep...time to bail out the bakers union to secure votes in 2016.

Amnorix
11-16-2012, 08:56 AM
Or, the Obama administration will decree that Twinkies, Cupcakes and Ho Ho's are unhealthy food items and an executive order will be issued that prevents those products from ever being manufactured again.

In ordinary times that would be tinfoil hat thinking. These days, not so much.


No, you still need a tinfoil hat to believe that. Sorry.

Amnorix
11-16-2012, 09:04 AM
What is this silly "it's all the Unions' fault" business about? Sure, they're probably partly to blame, but you guys just leap right to that when, frankly, neither you nor I have 1/1000th of the knowledge to truly understand what happened here. "The unions shut it down" is pretty simplistic thinking. What management did or didn't do in the past to make the company competitive, what the debt load is, what the equity owners were and weren't willing to do -- none of that matters in your simplistic view. It's just crazy.


So, for the sake of it, I decided to spent 10 seconds looking up its history, at least since the 2004 bankruptcy. Here's what Wikipedia has to say.


[quote]2004 Bankruptcy
On September 22, 2004, Interstate Bakeries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company also named a new chief executive, Tony Alvarez. Interstate Bakery's stock, which had been at one time $34/share, fell to $2.05/share as they declared bankruptcy. At the time it was the longest bankruptcy in U.S. history. During bankruptcy, Interstate fought a 2007 bid from Mexican baked goods giant Grupo Bimbo and Ron Burkle of the Yucaipa Companies. [11]

With the leadership of Craig Jung, the company emerged from bankruptcy as a private company on February 3, 2009.[12] The plan included a 50 percent equity stake by Ripplewood Holdings and lines/loans by General Electric Capital and GE Capital Markets, Silver Point Finance and Monarch Master Funding. Interstate's union workers made contract concessions in exchange for equity.[13]

During the 2004-2009 bankruptcy period, Interstate closed nine of its 54 bakeries and more than 300 outlet stores. Interstate's work force declined from 32,000 to 22,000 employees. The company also dropped some regional brands and operating agreements, such as the agreement to produce Sunbeam Bread for the northeastern U.S. (now produced by LePage Bakeries of Auburn, Maine)..]/quote]


So it looks like we have a LONG running bankruptcy in which the main owner prior to bankruptcy FOUGHT efforts to have the company sold to other bidders. "We got this" they're saying. They come out of bankruptcy with a slimmed down operation, with unions and debtholders making concessions and getting equity in return.

Now, LESS THAN THREE YEARS after coming out of a 5 year bankruptcy, they're once again forced to file. The equity ownership that the unions got for prior concessions -- yeah, those are gone now.

So what happened? Who knows, other than the obvious fact that their debt-load was too high. It's definitely possible that they overleveraged the company -- that happens all the time -- and the unions weren't interested in another round of cuts. They'd rather see the business die than take it on the chin again.

Maybe it was the union. Maybe it's 100% on them. But without knowing alot more, including how their packages compared to non-union employees, etc., it's certainly hard to say for sure. All we know is they were the final nail in a coffin that was being built for the last 8 years, sicne the company seemingly never really recovered from teh 2004 bankrutpcy.

Amnorix
11-16-2012, 09:15 AM
Just for the sake of it, let me give you a very brief alternative scenario where the unions are basically right to do what they did. I have no idea if this is true or not, of course, but it's worth putting out there how complicated this stuff is.

To get the company out of bankruptcy, the former owners decide they're going to put in a significant amount of new money, but they want to structure it nearly all as debt, at a very high rate of interest -- 15%. On top of that they have senior secured debt form an institutional lender. The lender sees that the company is thinly capitalized so it requires quite alot of covenant protection and a higher-than-market rate of about 8% (which floats based on financial performance). This entire structure is very risky, because if the assumptions don't work, the company is pretty much bound to fail. If the new money had come in entirely (or even mostly) as equity, then the debt load would be much lower, interest rates would be much lower and the senior lender may have given more generous loan terms.

In connection with the exit, the union was required to give up rights that it had and convert some of that to equity. It wanted to have a portion of that as debt, pari passu with the senior secured, but they said (not unreasonably) "no new money from you so no debt status for you". The union accepted the deal, along with reduced benefits etc. going forward.

The new money put in by the owners is better protected because they are lenders, not equity holders, but they also helped caused the problem in the first place because there was ZERO margin for error.

Things don't work out, and the company goes back into bankruptcy. That's partly because (in my entirely hypothetical situation), they decided to expand product lines with insufficient market research, and try to penetrate new markets that were already saturated/dominated by competitors. A complete waste of effort and money.

And now the union is once again asked to make concessions so that the company can continue and the senior secured lenders (who otherwise will make a partial recovery at best) can be far more likely to make a full recovery. Union says no, we've taken it on the chin enough times. They've seen this play before, and have no confidence that this ownership group will be able to make the company viable.



All that is balanced against, of course, the workers losing their jobs. I have no idea what their other opportunities may be, so who knows if they were morons to do that or not. But the point is that the company was almost bound to fail under this ownership/leadership and they were no longer willing to keep taking reduced wages and reduced benefits to keep the company afloat.

jiveturkey
11-16-2012, 09:17 AM
It's seems obvious that they were running up hill for a while and once they hit the cliff the union just pushed them off.

Whether it was the market moving away from their products or competitors pulling them away.

I certainly can't remember the last time I purchased on of their products.

Buehler445
11-16-2012, 09:23 AM
Just for the sake of it, let me give you a very brief alternative scenario where the unions are basically right to do what they did. I have no idea if this is true or not, of course, but it's worth putting out there how complicated this stuff is.

To get the company out of bankruptcy, the former owners decide they're going to put in a significant amount of new money, but they want to structure it nearly all as debt, at a very high rate of interest -- 15%. On top of that they have senior secured debt form an institutional lender. The lender sees that the company is thinly capitalized so it requires quite alot of covenant protection and a higher-than-market rate of about 8% (which floats based on financial performance). This entire structure is very risky, because if the assumptions don't work, the company is pretty much bound to fail. If the new money had come in entirely (or even mostly) as equity, then the debt load would be much lower, interest rates would be much lower and the senior lender may have given more generous loan terms.

In connection with the exit, the union was required to give up rights that it had and convert some of that to equity. It wanted to have a portion of that as debt, pari passu with the senior secured, but they said (not unreasonably) "no new money from you so no debt status for you". The union accepted the deal, along with reduced benefits etc. going forward.

The new money put in by the owners is better protected because they are lenders, not equity holders, but they also helped caused the problem in the first place because there was ZERO margin for error.

Things don't work out, and the company goes back into bankruptcy. That's partly because (in my entirely hypothetical situation), they decided to expand product lines with insufficient market research, and try to penetrate new markets that were already saturated/dominated by competitors. A complete waste of effort and money.

And now the union is once again asked to make concessions so that the company can continue and the senior secured lenders (who otherwise will make a partial recovery at best) can be far more likely to make a full recovery. Union says no, we've taken it on the chin enough times. They've seen this play before, and have no confidence that this ownership group will be able to make the company viable.



All that is balanced against, of course, the workers losing their jobs. I have no idea what their other opportunities may be, so who knows if they were morons to do that or not. But the point is that the company was almost bound to fail under this ownership/leadership and they were no longer willing to keep taking reduced wages and reduced benefits to keep the company afloat.

If they didn't believe the company could be viable, the union should have dissolved and advise their patrons to look elsewhere for jobs.

At it's core, the union is not responsible for making company decisions, the company is. It STILL forced the shutdown of a plant, and put it's members out of work. I fail to see how that is the right thing to do. If the company sucks, disassociate with it.

Saul Good
11-16-2012, 09:25 AM
I think in general that's true (that unions have outlived their usefulness).

The problem with unions isn't that they exist. Some degree of labor solidarity is necessary and always will be. The problem is that unions have become big business, and businesses look out for themselves, not their employees.

dirk digler
11-16-2012, 09:37 AM
What is this silly "it's all the Unions' fault" business about? Sure, they're probably partly to blame, but you guys just leap right to that when, frankly, neither you nor I have 1/1000th of the knowledge to truly understand what happened here. "The unions shut it down" is pretty simplistic thinking. What management did or didn't do in the past to make the company competitive, what the debt load is, what the equity owners were and weren't willing to do -- none of that matters in your simplistic view. It's just crazy.


So, for the sake of it, I decided to spent 10 seconds looking up its history, at least since the 2004 bankruptcy. Here's what Wikipedia has to say.


2004 Bankruptcy
On September 22, 2004, Interstate Bakeries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company also named a new chief executive, Tony Alvarez. Interstate Bakery's stock, which had been at one time $34/share, fell to $2.05/share as they declared bankruptcy. At the time it was the longest bankruptcy in U.S. history. During bankruptcy, Interstate fought a 2007 bid from Mexican baked goods giant Grupo Bimbo and Ron Burkle of the Yucaipa Companies. [11]

With the leadership of Craig Jung, the company emerged from bankruptcy as a private company on February 3, 2009.[12] The plan included a 50 percent equity stake by Ripplewood Holdings and lines/loans by General Electric Capital and GE Capital Markets, Silver Point Finance and Monarch Master Funding. Interstate's union workers made contract concessions in exchange for equity.[13]

During the 2004-2009 bankruptcy period, Interstate closed nine of its 54 bakeries and more than 300 outlet stores. Interstate's work force declined from 32,000 to 22,000 employees. The company also dropped some regional brands and operating agreements, such as the agreement to produce Sunbeam Bread for the northeastern U.S. (now produced by LePage Bakeries of Auburn, Maine)..]/quote]


So it looks like we have a LONG running bankruptcy in which the main owner prior to bankruptcy FOUGHT efforts to have the company sold to other bidders. "We got this" they're saying. They come out of bankruptcy with a slimmed down operation, with unions and debtholders making concessions and getting equity in return.

Now, LESS THAN THREE YEARS after coming out of a 5 year bankruptcy, they're once again forced to file. The equity ownership that the unions got for prior concessions -- yeah, those are gone now.

So what happened? Who knows, other than the obvious fact that their debt-load was too high. It's definitely possible that they overleveraged the company -- that happens all the time -- and the unions weren't interested in another round of cuts. They'd rather see the business die than take it on the chin again.

Maybe it was the union. Maybe it's 100% on them. But without knowing alot more, including how their packages compared to non-union employees, etc., it's certainly hard to say for sure. All we know is they were the final nail in a coffin that was being built for the last 8 years, sicne the company seemingly never really recovered from teh 2004 bankrutpcy.

Yep. I posted this in the Lounge thread but here is a good read for anybody. Lots of people to blame not just unions.


http://management.fortune.cnn.com/20...kies-bankrupt/ (http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2012/07/26/hostess-twinkies-bankrupt/)

Amnorix
11-16-2012, 09:48 AM
If they didn't believe the company could be viable, the union should have dissolved and advise their patrons to look elsewhere for jobs.

Que? Unions don't exist to just dissolve. They dont' exist to kill companies, either, of course, but they certianly aren't required to roll over anytime management asks.

At it's core, the union is not responsible for making company decisions, the company is. It STILL forced the shutdown of a plant, and put it's members out of work. I fail to see how that is the right thing to do. If the company sucks, disassociate with it.

So, hypothetically, if management said we want you to take minimum wage jobs with no benefits, the union shouldn't recommend its employees vote against that plan because, you know, the company is responsible for making its own decisions and if that's what the company wants....?


Yeah, no. Makes no sense.

The union basically told management that there would be permanent disassociation by all involved rather than accept the latest offer. Management "accepted" that "offer." So that's what happened.

Amnorix
11-16-2012, 10:03 AM
Wow, the unions didn't want to accept another round of massive concessions, I CAN'T understand why!!!!


The board replaced Driscoll with Greg Rayburn, a restructuring expert Hostess had hired as a consultant only nine days earlier. Rayburn was a serial turnaround specialist who had worked with such high-profile distressed businesses as WorldCom, Muzak Holdings, and New York City Off-Track Betting. He became Hostess's sixth CEO in a decade. Within a month of taking over, Rayburn had to preside over a public-relations fiasco. Some unsecured creditors had informed the court that last summer -- as the company was crumbling -- four top Hostess executives received raises of up to 80%. (Driscoll had also received a pay raise back then.) The Teamsters saw this as more management shenanigans. "Looting" is how Hall described it in TV interviews.

InChiefsHell
11-16-2012, 10:07 AM
The union basically told management that there would be permanent disassociation by all involved rather than accept the latest offer. Management "accepted" that "offer." So that's what happened.

So they thought the company was lying about how much trouble they were in and that they would never actually close? They Union decided it was better to have everyone lose their jobs on principal? I'm not sure what they thought the company should have done instead...:spock:

Brainiac
11-16-2012, 10:08 AM
No, you still need a tinfoil hat to believe that. Sorry.
Really? In an age where the city of New York makes it illegal to sell a sugar-sweetened drink over 16 ounces? In an age where Obama states he will issue executive orders to implement Cap & Trade after it was rejected by Congress?

Take off your blinders, dude.

Brainiac
11-16-2012, 10:10 AM
Wow, the unions didn't want to accept another round of massive concessions, I CAN'T understand why!!!!
That's what wrong with liberalism in general. They want what they want. It doesn't matter whether or not the money is there to give them what they want. They want what they want, and damn the consequences.

dirk digler
11-16-2012, 10:12 AM
That's what wrong with liberalism in general. They want what they want. It doesn't matter whether or not the money is there to give them what they want. They want what they want, and damn the consequences.

So you would be ok taking an 8% paycut twice and lose pension and benefits while the top execs are giving each other huge raises?

theelusiveeightrop
11-16-2012, 10:13 AM
Brilliant.

KC Dan
11-16-2012, 10:13 AM
So you would be ok taking an 8% paycut twice and lose pension and benefits while the top execs are giving each other huge raises?nah, unemployment is a much better option....

Amnorix
11-16-2012, 10:15 AM
So they thought the company was lying about how much trouble they were in and that they would never actually close? They Union decided it was better to have everyone lose their jobs on principal? I'm not sure what they thought the company should have done instead...:spock:


Hostess here isn't really Hostess, it's massive big money that bought into Hostess previously. I think the union lost all confidence in their willingness to tell the truth and or restructure the company in a way that would let it actually survive.

The union made its choice, and now its members must live with the consequences. The point here is that the union can't ALWAYS just roll over, right? We can agree on that much anyway, I assume?

Amnorix
11-16-2012, 10:18 AM
That's what wrong with liberalism in general. They want what they want. It doesn't matter whether or not the money is there to give them what they want. They want what they want, and damn the consequences.


This was a massive battle between big labor and big hedge funds where all held guns to each other's heads. The hedge fund guys said "take this or I pull the trigger", and the union said "fuck you" and so they did.

Each is completely within their rights. Sometimes companies should NOT be saved. Why the hell this is so clearly a problem because of labor instead of being something created by everyone involved, I have no idea.

Amnorix
11-16-2012, 10:19 AM
nah, unemployment is a much better option....


Well, it might be right? At some point the scale tips.

dirk digler
11-16-2012, 10:21 AM
nah, unemployment is a much better option....

fair point. But I certainly wouldn't be staying there too long and would be looking for a new job months ago.

InChiefsHell
11-16-2012, 10:24 AM
Hostess here isn't really Hostess, it's massive big money that bought into Hostess previously. I think the union lost all confidence in their willingness to tell the truth and or restructure the company in a way that would let it actually survive.

The union made its choice, and now its members must live with the consequences. The point here is that the union can't ALWAYS just roll over, right? We can agree on that much anyway, I assume?

I bet you if you asked the members, they'd rather have a job. Just sayin'. It's NOT about "The Workers" it's all about "THE UNION".

Brock
11-16-2012, 10:27 AM
I bet you if you asked the members, they'd rather have a job. Just sayin'. It's NOT about "The Workers" it's all about "THE UNION".

How much of a pay and benefit cut would you be willing to lay down for?

Amnorix
11-16-2012, 10:30 AM
I bet you if you asked the members, they'd rather have a job. Just sayin'. It's NOT about "The Workers" it's all about "THE UNION".


It should be about the workers. Since 92% or whatever voted in favor of the strike, then apparently they agreed with the union leaders. Hopefully they fully understood the potential consequences of that decision.

dirk digler
11-16-2012, 10:31 AM
I bet you if you asked the members, they'd rather have a job. Just sayin'. It's NOT about "The Workers" it's all about "THE UNION".

Which is why the Teamsters Union accepted the pay cuts again. They are even trying to convince the other union members to force a vote.

Chief Henry
11-16-2012, 10:41 AM
AT least those 18,500 people will now have free condoms and abortions :rolleyes:

Amnorix
11-16-2012, 10:47 AM
AT least those 18,500 people will now have free condoms and abortions :rolleyes:


You have a pretty weird way of looking at the world. Just sayin'

Buehler445
11-16-2012, 10:49 AM
Que? Unions don't exist to just dissolve. They dont' exist to kill companies, either, of course, but they certianly aren't required to roll over anytime management asks.



So, hypothetically, if management said we want you to take minimum wage jobs with no benefits, the union shouldn't recommend its employees vote against that plan because, you know, the company is responsible for making its own decisions and if that's what the company wants....?


Yeah, no. Makes no sense.

The union basically told management that there would be permanent disassociation by all involved rather than accept the latest offer. Management "accepted" that "offer." So that's what happened.

The unions SHOULD be about their constituents. But they're not. If they don't have enough faith that business can continue, they should try to find their constituents another job and discontinue labor relations. Not kill the fucking company and put their constituents out of work.

At that point, if their constituents wanted to stay, they could, but they wouldn't be represented by the union.

Nope. Kill companies. Put our members out of work.

Rain Man
11-16-2012, 10:52 AM
I think that unions are absolute evil and I think that any company with more than 500 employees is absolute evil. If I was a worker I would avoid them both.

Brock
11-16-2012, 10:53 AM
The unions SHOULD be about their constituents. But they're not. If they don't have enough faith that business can continue, they should try to find their constituents another job and discontinue labor relations. Not kill the fucking company and put their constituents out of work.

At that point, if their constituents wanted to stay, they could, but they wouldn't be represented by the union.

Nope. Kill companies. Put our members out of work.

The members voted, remember?

Buehler445
11-16-2012, 11:27 AM
The members voted, remember?

Guess I missed that. Apologies. But one of the points Amno made was that the union didn't have faith in the ability of the company to come out of it due to their debt structure. And that was the reason they denied the offer. I guess his point isn't valid either.

But suggesting that the union is blameless in all this is silly.

King_Chief_Fan
11-16-2012, 11:30 AM
Hostess here isn't really Hostess, it's massive big money that bought into Hostess previously. I think the union lost all confidence in their willingness to tell the truth and or restructure the company in a way that would let it actually survive.

The union made its choice, and now its members must live with the consequences. The point here is that the union can't ALWAYS just roll over, right? We can agree on that much anyway, I assume?

the company could easily have locked the union out, and hired replacement workers. Their on stream time, quality would proabably be improved.

There is a company in Iowa where the workers have been on strike over 3 years, the company replaced the entire workforce (with fewer people) and the company has the best cost position, on stream time and highest quality in the companies history. The employees wages and benefits are comperable to what the union workers were being paid.

Union workers are scratching their head wondering, where is my union support now?

Amnorix
11-16-2012, 11:33 AM
Guess I missed that. Apologies. But one of the points Amno made was that the union didn't have faith in the ability of the company to come out of it due to their debt structure. And that was the reason they denied the offer. I guess his point isn't valid either.

But suggesting that the union is blameless in all this is silly.


92% of the members voted in favor. I think I mentioned that.

I said the union (meaning the workers, really, in this context) didn't have confidence in the company and its leadership. I don't know that that is why they denied hte offer, but it would seem to be the most likely reason beyond "it's economically unacceptable", which is obviously the main reason.

Amnorix
11-16-2012, 11:35 AM
the company could easily have locked the union out, and hired replacement workers. Their on stream time, quality would proabably be improved.

There is a company in Iowa where the workers have been on strike over 3 years, the company replaced the entire workforce (with fewer people) and the company has the best cost position, on stream time and highest quality in the companies history. The employees wages and benefits are comperable to what the union workers were being paid.

Union workers are scratching their head wondering, where is my union support now?


You're kind of all over the place here, but seemingly the company could NOT have easily locked the union out because, well, they didn't. Instead they chose death.

King_Chief_Fan
11-16-2012, 11:44 AM
You're kind of all over the place here, but seemingly the company could NOT have easily locked the union out because, well, they didn't. Instead they chose death.

Choosing death must have been their goal then. If they wanted to continue to run operations, they could have locked out union workers since there was no contract.

regardless, i do think it is a sad ending........mostly for the employees.

okoye35chiefs
11-16-2012, 11:47 AM
Not defending the employer, but just to be clear, they are not losing their pensions, the employer is just not paying into them anymore. They get to keep what is already there. I lost my pension plan some 10 years ago, but still have the balance of what was already paid into it. I don't know many people that have pension plans any longer outside of my friends that are teachers or govt employees.

same here. Lots of fortune 500 companies did away with pensions years ago.

J Diddy
11-16-2012, 11:49 AM
Choosing death must have been their goal then. If they wanted to continue to run operations, they could have locked out union workers since there was no contract.

regardless, i do think it is a sad ending........mostly for the employees.

Especially the 8% who got voted out of a job.

Buehler445
11-16-2012, 11:49 AM
92% of the members voted in favor. I think I mentioned that.

I said the union (meaning the workers, really, in this context) didn't have confidence in the company and its leadership. I don't know that that is why they denied hte offer, but it would seem to be the most likely reason beyond "it's economically unacceptable", which is obviously the main reason.

Then I suppose they deserve to be on the bread lines. Mind bogglingly fucking stupid.

Amnorix
11-16-2012, 11:57 AM
Choosing death must have been their goal then. If they wanted to continue to run operations, they could have locked out union workers since there was no contract.

regardless, i do think it is a sad ending........mostly for the employees.


I doubt the hedge funds, which poured in millions of dollars, are very happy at the outcome either. Sounds like alot of poor choices along the way by alot of people, which is often what causes this kind of result.

dirk digler
11-16-2012, 12:01 PM
Some good information

http://hotair.com/archives/2012/11/16/twinkies-fall-victim-to-union-management-dispute/

Update II: Like I said, I haven’t paid much attention to this fight, so I don’t have a lot of insight into whether labor or management has been more unreasonable. However, the Teamsters’ web site seems to lay the blame (http://www.teamster.org/content/teamsters-bakery-workers-should-hold-secret-ballot-vote-hostess) on the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) for refusing to go along with the Teamsters to accept the last offer from Hostess:In fact, when Hostess attempted to throw out its collective bargaining agreement with the Teamsters in court, the Teamsters fought back and won, ensuring that Hostess could not unilaterally make changes to working conditions during the several months’ long legal process that recently ended.

Teamster Hostess members were allowed to decide their fate by voting on the final offer conducted by a secret mail ballot. More than two-thirds of Hostess Teamsters members voted with 53 percent voting to approve the final offer.

The BCTGM chose a different path, as is their prerogative, to not substantively look for a solution or engage in the process. BCTGM members were told there were better solutions than the final offer, although Judge Drain stated in his decision in bankruptcy court that no such solutions exist. Without complete information, BCTGM members voted by voice votes in union halls. The BCTGM reported that over 90 percent rejected the final offer and three of its units ratified the final offer.

On Friday, Nov. 9, the BCTGM began to strike at some Hostess production facilities without notice to the Teamsters despite assurances they would not proceed with job actions without contacting the Teamsters Union. This unannounced action put Teamster members in the difficult position of facing picket lines without knowing their right to honor such a line without being disciplined.

As is our longstanding tradition, Teamster members by and large are honoring Bakery Worker picket lines when encountered and complying with their contractual obligations when not encountering picket lines. The BCTGM leaders are putting Teamster members in a horrible position – asking them to support a strike that will put them out of a job when they haven’t even asked all their members to go on strike.

That strike is now on the verge of forcing the company to liquidate – it is difficult for Teamster members to believe that is what the BCTGM Hostess members ultimately wanted to accomplish when they went out on strike. We may never know unless the BCTGM members, based on the facts they know today, get to determine their fate in a secret ballot vote.

Teamster members would understand that the will of the BCTGM Hostess membership was truly heard if that was the case. That’s a pretty remarkable statement from the Teamsters.

Update (MKH): Just a little background. There’s a lot going on, here, though the bakers union strike was certainly the last straw for Hostess. The company has been in bankruptcy twice in the last decade, and as Allahpundit notes (http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2012/11/16/video-hostess-chief-on-the-labor-dispute-that-killed-twinkies/), the culture of organics and calorie-counting was working against them.

But the bakers union deserved to get thrown under the bus by the Teamsters because it looks like they threw the Teamsters under the bus, first. The Teamsters and the bakers worked together to come to a deal with Hostess in September. The bakers were quiet during negotiations, and apparently pulled a surprise move when they rejected the deal.
(http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2012/11/13/unions-drive-america-dangerously-close-to-the-twinkie-cliff/) Hostess, which also owns Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, Wonder Bread and other celebrated baked goods, has been in Chapter 11 since January, its second such filing in a decade. The key parties have been two major hedge funds and two big unions, and they’ve been fighting over wages and pensions. Hostess contends givebacks are needed for the company to emerge from bankruptcy. The unions respond they’ve given up enough.

Last month, Hostess made what it said was its “last, best offer.” CEO Greg Rayburn told Fortune that union rejection would result in the company immediately filing to liquidate—and putting thousands of employees out of work. Union members were faced with a Hobson’s choice: accept drastic concession or lose their jobs.

Late last Friday the largest unions—the Teamsters—announced that by a narrow vote, 53.6% to 46.4%, its Hostess rank-and-file had approved the new collective bargaining agreement. (Out of 7,900 Teamsters voting at the company, slightly more than half cast votes). Rayburn and Teamsters leadership both offered up measured words about the “difficult” decision.

But shortly thereafter, word came that the 7,000 employees of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union had rejected Hostess’ proposal. (No details of the vote were announced, though some press reports suggested there were only voice votes at locals rather than a written mail tally.) Though the leader of the bakers’ union in recent weeks had excoriated the proposal, the rejection was nonetheless curious. That’s because the bakers’ union had been quiescent for months in bankruptcy court, letting the Teamsters engage Hostess management and the hedge funds over the company’s demands to restructure by scuttling existing labor agreements. This is what the deal looked like. It sounds like the Teamsters really did make sacrifices, and many of them were crossing the bakers’ picket line to keep the company functioning:The proposed new labor deal consists of an immediate 8% wage cut and work rules more favorable to the company.

Employer contributions for health insurance would decrease 17%. Hostess contributions to multi-employer pension plans would cease until 2015, at which point the current required level of funding would plummet from $100 million to $25 million.

According to Rayburn, the proposal has been endorsed by Hostess’s key secured lenders, which are led by hedge funds Silver Point Capital and Monarch Alternative Capital. One estimate put cost savings for Hostess in the neighborhood of $200 million.

For their part, the unions would receive two seats on a restructured nine-member board of directors and 25% of equity. That would make the unions part of Hostess’ capital structure for the first time.

Chief Henry
11-16-2012, 12:39 PM
You have a pretty weird way of looking at the world. Just sayin'



Its what the country voted for. I'm guessing most of those union bakers voted for it too.

Amnorix
11-16-2012, 01:39 PM
Its what the country voted for. I'm guessing most of those union bakers voted for it too.



Yes, free condoms. That's what the 2012 election came down to. Thanks for clearing that up for us.

King_Chief_Fan
11-16-2012, 01:39 PM
Yes, free condoms. That's what the 2012 election came down to. Thanks for clearing that up for us.

free condoms and no ding dongs

vailpass
11-16-2012, 02:20 PM
Some good information

http://hotair.com/archives/2012/11/16/twinkies-fall-victim-to-union-management-dispute/

Update II: Like I said, I haven’t paid much attention to this fight, so I don’t have a lot of insight into whether labor or management has been more unreasonable. However, the Teamsters’ web site seems to lay the blame (http://www.teamster.org/content/teamsters-bakery-workers-should-hold-secret-ballot-vote-hostess) on the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) for refusing to go along with the Teamsters to accept the last offer from Hostess: That’s a pretty remarkable statement from the Teamsters.

Update (MKH): Just a little background. There’s a lot going on, here, though the bakers union strike was certainly the last straw for Hostess. The company has been in bankruptcy twice in the last decade, and as Allahpundit notes (http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2012/11/16/video-hostess-chief-on-the-labor-dispute-that-killed-twinkies/), the culture of organics and calorie-counting was working against them.

But the bakers union deserved to get thrown under the bus by the Teamsters because it looks like they threw the Teamsters under the bus, first. The Teamsters and the bakers worked together to come to a deal with Hostess in September. The bakers were quiet during negotiations, and apparently pulled a surprise move when they rejected the deal.
(http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2012/11/13/unions-drive-america-dangerously-close-to-the-twinkie-cliff/) This is what the deal looked like. It sounds like the Teamsters really did make sacrifices, and many of them were crossing the bakers’ picket line to keep the company functioning:

Yep. Sounds like the Teamsters acted rationally on this one.

HonestChieffan
11-16-2012, 05:46 PM
Yep. Sounds like the Teamsters acted rationally on this one.

As did management

HonestChieffan
11-16-2012, 05:50 PM
These people make me want to gag


Washington (CNN) – Several major labor unions are banding together to launch an ad campaign next week urging members of Congress to raise tax rates on the wealthiest Americans and to protect entitlement programs from major cuts as a solution to the looming fiscal cliff, a source with knowledge of the effort told CNN Friday.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the Service Employees International Union and the National Education Association are banding together for this campaign, which will be launched next week.

The effort will include a “six figure” buy of television ads, as well as ads online, the source told CNN.

The groups will argue, using new polling data, that the public does not favor major cuts in entitlement programs like Medicaid, but wants to see a solution to curbing the nation’s deficit based on raising the tax burden on the wealthier parts of the population, as well as policies that encourage job growth.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/16/several-unions-to-launch-major-ad-campaign/

alnorth
11-16-2012, 05:55 PM
wow. Based on what I'm reading, the baker's union are a bunch of idiots.

alnorth
11-16-2012, 05:56 PM
This episode is a good illustration that there is a difference between a smart union that knows when they need to give in, and a stupid union.

Since its a privately-held company, the unions couldn't access the books, but rather than go all angry fire and brimstone, the teamsters wisely hired independent consultants to take a good, long, hard look at the company. Those consultants came back and said "look, based on what we do know from court documents the company is not in great shape and is heavily in debt. Here's the bad news: that debt is now owned by hedge funds. Those hedge funds are now management, and those guys are not businessmen, they are cold-blooded reptiles. If they don't see an easy, clean path to getting their money back through a new contract and concessions, those bastards will pull the plug, fire everyone, and sell off the company, so you'd better agree to their final offer"

The baker's union was run by a bunch of morons. They had no sophisticated outside experts giving them good unbiased advice, they were all angry, emotional, and led by fire-breathing hellraisers convinced that the company was lying. They ignored the Teamsters who pleaded with them to accept the contract, and put up enough of a roadblock to make their new owners give up on finding a new deal.

edit: apparently Hostess did open their books recently, and thats what prompted the Teamsters to conclude that it was not a bluff. From another article:

Ken Hall, the Teamsters secretary-treasurer, said his union didn't doubt Hostess' claims after seeing its books.

"I think it's obvious there was no bluff," said Hall. "Our financial advisers had looked at their books, they had total access. We pushed them in negotiations to where we thought it was the absolute limit, that we would get the most for our members and [still] have a pathway back to prosperity for the company. The bakers' union disagreed with that."

From a teamster angry at the bakers:

"They're losing [5,000] jobs," Ortuso said of the bakers' union, "but they're costing 18,900 people their jobs."

Brock
11-16-2012, 05:56 PM
These people make me want to gag


Washington (CNN) – Several major labor unions are banding together to launch an ad campaign next week urging members of Congress to raise tax rates on the wealthiest Americans and to protect entitlement programs from major cuts as a solution to the looming fiscal cliff, a source with knowledge of the effort told CNN Friday.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the Service Employees International Union and the National Education Association are banding together for this campaign, which will be launched next week.

The effort will include a “six figure” buy of television ads, as well as ads online, the source told CNN.

The groups will argue, using new polling data, that the public does not favor major cuts in entitlement programs like Medicaid, but wants to see a solution to curbing the nation’s deficit based on raising the tax burden on the wealthier parts of the population, as well as policies that encourage job growth.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/16/several-unions-to-launch-major-ad-campaign/

How dare they act in self-interest! Nobody else does that! Outrage!

bobbymitch
11-16-2012, 08:19 PM
This episode is a good illustration that there is a difference between a smart union that knows when they need to give in, and a stupid union.

Since its a privately-held company, the unions couldn't access the books, but rather than go all angry fire and brimstone, the teamsters wisely hired independent consultants to take a good, long, hard look at the company. Those consultants came back and said "look, based on what we do know from court documents the company is not in great shape and is heavily in debt. Here's the bad news: that debt is now owned by hedge funds. Those hedge funds are now management, and those guys are not businessmen, they are cold-blooded reptiles. If they don't see an easy, clean path to getting their money back through a new contract and concessions, those bastards will pull the plug, fire everyone, and sell off the company, so you'd better agree to their final offer"

The baker's union was run by a bunch of morons. They had no sophisticated outside experts giving them good unbiased advice, they were all angry, emotional, and led by fire-breathing hellraisers convinced that the company was lying. They ignored the Teamsters who pleaded with them to accept the contract, and put up enough of a roadblock to make their new owners give up on finding a new deal.

edit: apparently Hostess did open their books recently, and thats what prompted the Teamsters to conclude that it was not a bluff. From another article:



From a teamster angry at the bakers:

Obviously this isn't the first time for union stupidity. Many years ago, there was one of the last large shoe manufacturers left in southern Missouri. With growing pressure from imports, they could not give employees the expected annual pay raise and the union went out on strike. The family owned business gave the union a copy of their books and asked then where they could cut costs to pay for a pay raie. The union leaders were adamant that the the company provided a "deceitful set of second books" and not the real ones. The company had no choice but to close their four plants and 1,200 people were out of a job. The company tried to hang on by importing their line of shoes, but eventually went bankrupt.

Buehler445
11-16-2012, 08:22 PM
Mom went to school with a lady that worked at Hostess. She said there were 18500 employees in the company and only 5000 employees in the union. And I assume that 5000 was split between the two unions. So a couple thousand people caused 18500 to lose their jobs. What a bunch of fuckholes.

alnorth
11-16-2012, 08:40 PM
Mom went to school with a lady that worked at Hostess. She said there were 18500 employees in the company and only 5000 employees in the union. And I assume that 5000 was split between the two unions. So a couple thousand people caused 18500 to lose their jobs. What a bunch of ****holes.

no, those 5,000 were in the baker's union.

The teamsters were actually a lot larger, it was the smaller union that killed hostess.

BucEyedPea
11-16-2012, 08:47 PM
Mom went to school with a lady that worked at Hostess. She said there were 18500 employees in the company and only 5000 employees in the union. And I assume that 5000 was split between the two unions. So a couple thousand people caused 18500 to lose their jobs. What a bunch of ****holes.

Careful now, you're not allowed to mention someone you know who said something. Not here anyway.

BucEyedPea
11-16-2012, 08:55 PM
https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/248947_494290937260228_1928424184_n.jpg

RINGLEADER
11-16-2012, 08:57 PM
Don't really see a problem. When 92% of the workforce says no, then clearly it was an unacceptable contract. Hopefully they thought long and hard about the alternatives if the plants were closed, but taking an 8% pay cut and cessation of payments into their pension plan is a fairly big hit they were being asked to take.

I love the attitude of so many on here who seem to basically support employers no matter what they do. I'm hardly a die-hard labor supporter, but some of you guys are over the top.

Employer doesn't have to stay in business if the union makes it more trouble than its worth.

Employees don't have to accept pay cuts to keep their jobs.

I don't see the problem -- they both seem to have gotten what they want.

RINGLEADER
11-16-2012, 09:04 PM
no, those 5,000 were in the baker's union.

The teamsters were actually a lot larger, it was the smaller union that killed hostess.

Yep.

I've worked in areas where unions are definitely needed and actually helpful in certain respects, bringing real value to the table.

I've also worked in areas where the unions exist only as a covert form of extortion, bringing nothing of value to the process and actually sucking quality and jobs out of the final product by their presence.

This situation really sucks for the Teamster and non-union employees.

RINGLEADER
11-16-2012, 09:07 PM
How dare they act in self-interest! Nobody else does that! Outrage!

I thought we were supposed to come together for the common good?

Fat Elvis
11-16-2012, 09:21 PM
This episode is a good illustration that there is a difference between a smart union that knows when they need to give in, and a stupid union.

Since its a privately-held company, the unions couldn't access the books, but rather than go all angry fire and brimstone, the teamsters wisely hired independent consultants to take a good, long, hard look at the company. Those consultants came back and said "look, based on what we do know from court documents the company is not in great shape and is heavily in debt. Here's the bad news: that debt is now owned by hedge funds. Those hedge funds are now management, and those guys are not businessmen, they are cold-blooded reptiles. If they don't see an easy, clean path to getting their money back through a new contract and concessions, those bastards will pull the plug, fire everyone, and sell off the company, so you'd better agree to their final offer"

The baker's union was run by a bunch of morons. They had no sophisticated outside experts giving them good unbiased advice, they were all angry, emotional, and led by fire-breathing hellraisers convinced that the company was lying. They ignored the Teamsters who pleaded with them to accept the contract, and put up enough of a roadblock to make their new owners give up on finding a new deal.

edit: apparently Hostess did open their books recently, and thats what prompted the Teamsters to conclude that it was not a bluff. From another article:



From a teamster angry at the bakers:

Actually, the Teamsters Union suggested that the concessions not be accepted. The members voted to accept them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3CsAkqZGvis

Fat Elvis
11-16-2012, 09:27 PM
nah, unemployment is a much better option....

After previous concessions were calculated, many concluded that they could make more money on unemployment. Seriously.

RINGLEADER
11-16-2012, 10:05 PM
After previous concessions were calculated, many concluded that they could make more money on unemployment. Seriously.

Well if you incentivize people to not work, don't be surprised when they decide to quit working.

HolyHandgernade
11-16-2012, 10:19 PM
Once again, its blame American Workers time, unions are the bogey man. Maybe, for just a bit more perspective:

Since 2002 Hostess has hired 6 CEOs and none were able to turn the company around.

Hostess began closing plants in 2003.

In 2004, after failed restructuring, Hostess filed for bankruptcy. The BCTGM (that's the union in question here) agreed to wage and benefit concessions saving the company a reported 110 million. Money that was never reinvested into the company.

In 2009, emerging from bankruptcy, Hostess is controlled by a private equity firm and two hedge funds. Company's debts grow while sales decrease. Hmmm, anybody remember the Kaybee Toys saga?

In 2011 company is floundering and blames unions demanding concessions again. Workers refuse. Why would you give again to a company that didn't reinvest the first time around and now using "equity" strategies to benefit the executives?

2012 Hostess files for bankruptcy, demands huge givebacks and stops paying pension obligations. Union files complaint with NLRB. BCTGM goes on strike. Hostess announces liquidation.

Like you guys said, its all American workers' fault. Bad management had nothing to do with this.

BucEyedPea
11-16-2012, 11:54 PM
Sounds like they were just losing market share. Not everyone eats that crap anymore. I mean frickin' Wonder Bread? People are more health conscious.

Brainiac
11-17-2012, 06:11 AM
Once again, its blame American Workers time, unions are the bogey man. Maybe, for just a bit more perspective:

Since 2002 Hostess has hired 6 CEOs and none were able to turn the company around.

Hostess began closing plants in 2003.

In 2004, after failed restructuring, Hostess filed for bankruptcy. The BCTGM (that's the union in question here) agreed to wage and benefit concessions saving the company a reported 110 million. Money that was never reinvested into the company.

In 2009, emerging from bankruptcy, Hostess is controlled by a private equity firm and two hedge funds. Company's debts grow while sales decrease. Hmmm, anybody remember the Kaybee Toys saga?

In 2011 company is floundering and blames unions demanding concessions again. Workers refuse. Why would you give again to a company that didn't reinvest the first time around and now using "equity" strategies to benefit the executives?

2012 Hostess files for bankruptcy, demands huge givebacks and stops paying pension obligations. Union files complaint with NLRB. BCTGM goes on strike. Hostess announces liquidation.

Like you guys said, its all American workers' fault. Bad management had nothing to do with this.
That doesn't change the fact that there was no more money to give, and that the smaller union forced the company to go out of business despite the wishes of a majority of the employees.

Buehler445
11-17-2012, 06:48 AM
Once again, its blame American Workers time, unions are the bogey man. Maybe, for just a bit more perspective:

Since 2002 Hostess has hired 6 CEOs and none were able to turn the company around.

Hostess began closing plants in 2003.

In 2004, after failed restructuring, Hostess filed for bankruptcy. The BCTGM (that's the union in question here) agreed to wage and benefit concessions saving the company a reported 110 million. Money that was never reinvested into the company.

In 2009, emerging from bankruptcy, Hostess is controlled by a private equity firm and two hedge funds. Company's debts grow while sales decrease. Hmmm, anybody remember the Kaybee Toys saga?

In 2011 company is floundering and blames unions demanding concessions again. Workers refuse. Why would you give again to a company that didn't reinvest the first time around and now using "equity" strategies to benefit the executives?

2012 Hostess files for bankruptcy, demands huge givebacks and stops paying pension obligations. Union files complaint with NLRB. BCTGM goes on strike. Hostess announces liquidation.

Like you guys said, its all American workers' fault. Bad management had nothing to do with this.

Nobody is saying that the company was insanely profitable or even doing an acceptable job of running their business. But the fact remains that the union of 5,000 people killed 18,500 jobs.

And what do you do when you're in trouble? Try to get better. That's what DM was doing? Do you really think the management team was the same through 6 fucking CEOs? But they were attempting to turn it around. It's not like the fat cats at the top were just sitting around, wiping their asses with $100 bills and eating twinkies all day.

JFC

chiefzilla1501
11-17-2012, 07:51 AM
I understand, but my hope is that these type of stories deal a blow to organized labor. Lets be real here, labor forces are not being abused and working conditions are far from brutal. Unions have outlived their good. Lets get them the **** out of my country.

Unions serve a very good purpose. But America has it all wrong. Unions are adversarial. In Germany, unions and companies work collaboratively. In America, it's about winning a fight. In Germany, it's about negotiating a middle ground.

That's the big problem here. We can't pretend that corporations are faultless. We also can't ignore that our unions are doing a shitload more harm than good right now. Because to your point, workers aren't abused and working conditions are brutal, but much of that can be attributed to unions.

chiefzilla1501
11-17-2012, 08:00 AM
Nobody is saying that the company was insanely profitable or even doing an acceptable job of running their business. But the fact remains that the union of 5,000 people killed 18,500 jobs.

And what do you do when you're in trouble? Try to get better. That's what DM was doing? Do you really think the management team was the same through 6 ****ing CEOs? But they were attempting to turn it around. It's not like the fat cats at the top were just sitting around, wiping their asses with $100 bills and eating twinkies all day.

JFC

They were still getting paid handsomely, even as their company burned to the ground. Most of those fired CEOs were likely paid a handsome golden parachute, which means you are paying a bazillion dollars to a leader who failed. And you're right. New CEOS mean new management, which mean new change, which means a shitload more time, money, and resources have to be spent just to implement change. I have a huge problem with executive compensation. Executives are getting paid to fail. That, or they are motivated by short-term incentives.

That money could and should have been spent on investment. They could have built more or more efficient plants. Upgraded their processes and systems. Potentially managed closure of an ineffective plant.

I hate what unions have become. I think this story is pretty amusing. But let's not dance around the fact that they are the ones getting fired for a leadership that failed the company for years and got paid handsomely to do it.

patteeu
11-17-2012, 08:12 AM
They were still getting paid handsomely, even as their company burned to the ground. Most of those fired CEOs were likely paid a handsome golden parachute, which means you are paying a bazillion dollars to a leader who failed. And you're right. New CEOS mean new management, which mean new change, which means a shitload more time, money, and resources have to be spent just to implement change. I have a huge problem with executive compensation. Executives are getting paid to fail. That, or they are motivated by short-term incentives.

That money could and should have been spent on investment. They could have built more or more efficient plants. Upgraded their processes and systems. Potentially managed closure of an ineffective plant.

I hate what unions have become. I think this story is pretty amusing. But let's not dance around the fact that they are the ones getting fired for a leadership that failed the company for years and got paid handsomely to do it.

I don't think anyone is losing sight of that, but companies don't owe employees good management. They owe shareholders good management and the leadership is accountable to the shareholders. Workers who think management sucks should vote with their feet or live with the results.

chiefzilla1501
11-17-2012, 08:31 AM
I don't think anyone is losing sight of that, but companies don't owe employees good management. They owe shareholders good management and the leadership is accountable to the shareholders. Workers who think management sucks should vote with their feet or live with the results.

I think a lot of people do lose sight of that, but I agree with your post. I think in many cases, union members are bullied by unions (see teacher's union) and others where the unions aren't working in the best interest of their members. In many cases, it's not the workers at fault, but the unions that enable them.

I don't blame workers for wanting better conditions for themselves. In many cases, the workers are uneducated about the issues or what's at stake. I blame the union leaders who should be the ones to decide what's negotiable. Again, the big problem is that our unions are adversarial, but that is just as much on the corporations who create that relationship. Our companies and unions fist fight instead of negotiating.

Bowser
11-17-2012, 08:58 AM
I don't think anyone is losing sight of that, but companies don't owe employees good management. They owe shareholders good management and the leadership is accountable to the shareholders. Workers who think management sucks should vote with their feet or live with the results.

You're contradicting yourself with this statement. You can't have a good brand to show the shareholders without good management of the company and the people working in it that provide the product the sharholders have invested in.

chiefzilla1501
11-17-2012, 09:33 AM
You're contradicting yourself with this statement. You can't have a good brand to show the shareholders without good management of the company and the people working in it that provide the product the sharholders have invested in.

Yup. This is exactly the problem with the American business system today. First of all, the idea that executives serve the shareholders is BS. They serve the boards, and in many cases, the boards are made up of cronies. Anybody who's followed Save our Chiefs knows the feeling -- it would take a serious groundswell of shareholders to actually force leadership to do anything in their interests.

More importantly... in terms of short-term interests, many shareholders are driven by tomorrow's stock price, not the stock price 5 years from today. Executives are compensated for these goals usually. That means that if you were to invest in a new plant that is in a far better market with far better technology, or you were to invest in helping a bleeding plant sell just a few more products a little more efficiently, you'll always go with Option B. There is a huge problem when companies believe that investing in growth, better serving their employees, and marketing are considered expenses vs. ways to ensure the business grows 3 years from now.

HolyHandgernade
11-17-2012, 09:34 AM
Unions serve a very good purpose. But America has it all wrong. Unions are adversarial. In Germany, unions and companies work collaboratively. In America, it's about winning a fight. In Germany, it's about negotiating a middle ground.

That's the big problem here. We can't pretend that corporations are faultless. We also can't ignore that our unions are doing a shitload more harm than good right now. Because to your point, workers aren't abused and working conditions are brutal, but much of that can be attributed to unions.

Actually, its not one or the other. Sometimes the union has to take an adversarial position, but there are many unions that work collaboratively today, you just wouldn't know it because of all the right wing "unions are evil" propaganda that they increase exponentially whenever they get any example to to exploit. Then unions have to go into defensive posture. This is the result of polarized politics in the United States and tactics used to throw people's attention towards how to be envious of somebody else and blame them.

Are unions faultless? Of course not, but are they completely to blame? Hardly, but you wouldn't know because of the conservative echo chamber that is convinced they are still mob driven entities. The unions I am familiar with (air traffic controllers and pilots) do work collaboratively and have developed their own "professional standards" organizations to help self police our membership. The result? The safest most efficient system in the world. Despite air traffic control being "run by the government" filled with "public sector union employees", our airspace is run in a more cost efficient manner than Aeroeurope, a privatized entity, of comparable size.

I agree more unions need to move towards this model, but the solution is not demonizing them and looking to eliminate them, which has been the right wing mission, and stories like these very rarely give the management incompetency and the amount of dollars they wasted in the process. Very rarely do unions just sit around and one day say, "You know what, I don't think we're getting paid enough despite the hard times, let's strike!" Its an infantile reaction born of prejudice, very rarely of an informed perspective.

HolyHandgernade
11-17-2012, 09:44 AM
Nobody is saying that the company was insanely profitable or even doing an acceptable job of running their business. But the fact remains that the union of 5,000 people killed 18,500 jobs.

And what do you do when you're in trouble? Try to get better. That's what DM was doing? Do you really think the management team was the same through 6 ****ing CEOs? But they were attempting to turn it around. It's not like the fat cats at the top were just sitting around, wiping their asses with $100 bills and eating twinkies all day.

JFC

I think the model, ever since the air traffic controllers strike, has been to bust the unions up, and management became more preoccupied with this endeavor, emboldened by the conservative think tanks in trying to turn popular opinion against unions. I honestly don't know what management was trying to do. What did they do with all the money from the first time around that they saved? How do I know they weren't victims of Bain Capital type of scheme where, "If we turn the company around, fine, if we don't , the top executives will still make out OK." The company doesn't want to open their books.

My point was that unions are not solely to blame for this like the OP wants to cast it. Its a one-sided, ill-informed public perception hack job intended to put unions in a bad light. You say it was 5000 that killed 18,500, and I'm say there's a much smaller number involved that may have had just as much if not more of an impact than the 5000, but you wouldn't know it from the OP.

HolyHandgernade
11-17-2012, 09:52 AM
I think a lot of people do lose sight of that, but I agree with your post. I think in many cases, union members are bullied by unions (see teacher's union) and others where the unions aren't working in the best interest of their members. In many cases, it's not the workers at fault, but the unions that enable them.

I don't blame workers for wanting better conditions for themselves. In many cases, the workers are uneducated about the issues or what's at stake. I blame the union leaders who should be the ones to decide what's negotiable. Again, the big problem is that our unions are adversarial, but that is just as much on the corporations who create that relationship. Our companies and unions fist fight instead of negotiating.

Well, speaking as a union member, but not a NEA member, this is rarely the case. In any large organization, flexibility is going to decrease as the membership goes up, even more so if the scope is national in structure. Union members are not "bullied". Unions look to attract membership, not create a bunch of people saying, "I'd get out if I could". Most unions today are professionals, not traditional blue collar, so they are not uneducated or clueless about the issues.

So, you really need to be specific instead of casting all unions with the same brush. Most unions have evolved, and many that haven't have management that doesn't want them to. They want to see the union busted, not improved.

BucEyedPea
11-17-2012, 09:54 AM
One main problem with unions the right had was forcing others to join one.
I was introduced to the right on this idea—but that people had a right to join one. It was the forcing part.
Then, the economics of losing their own jobs was after that.

You can still say, unions have unionized themselves out of jobs because so many have left the country.
The principle still applies whether or not there's a handful that don't fit the mold. Exceptions always exist.

chiefzilla1501
11-17-2012, 10:01 AM
Actually, its not one or the other. Sometimes the union has to take an adversarial position, but there are many unions that work collaboratively today, you just wouldn't know it because of all the right wing "unions are evil" propaganda that they increase exponentially whenever they get any example to to exploit. Then unions have to go into defensive posture. This is the result of polarized politics in the United States and tactics used to throw people's attention towards how to be envious of somebody else and blame them.

Are unions faultless? Of course not, but are they completely to blame? Hardly, but you wouldn't know because of the conservative echo chamber that is convinced they are still mob driven entities. The unions I am familiar with (air traffic controllers and pilots) do work collaboratively and have developed their own "professional standards" organizations to help self police our membership. The result? The safest most efficient system in the world. Despite air traffic control being "run by the government" filled with "public sector union employees", our airspace is run in a more cost efficient manner than Aeroeurope, a privatized entity, of comparable size.

I agree more unions need to move towards this model, but the solution is not demonizing them and looking to eliminate them, which has been the right wing mission, and stories like these very rarely give the management incompetency and the amount of dollars they wasted in the process. Very rarely do unions just sit around and one day say, "You know what, I don't think we're getting paid enough despite the hard times, let's strike!" Its an infantile reaction born of prejudice, very rarely of an informed perspective.

That's fair. Sadly, the reason why unions are demonized are because the ones that are the most crooked are the ones that matter to us the most. Public sector unions matter when they fight for disproportionate benefits using taxpayer money. The NEA matters when they completely lost the objective of educating our kids.

You are absolutely right, though, that these are more extreme examples.

HolyHandgernade
11-17-2012, 10:13 AM
That's fair. Sadly, the reason why unions are demonized are because the ones that are the most crooked are the ones that matter to us the most. Public sector unions matter when they fight for disproportionate benefits using taxpayer money. The NEA matters when they completely lost the objective of educating our kids.

You are absolutely right, though, that these are more extreme examples.

We don't use taxpayer money. Unions are funded by their member's earnings, the government doesn't do much more than provide a space for them to operate on the facility. Do taxes formulate the revenue that pays my salary? Yes. But, once it gets to me, that's my money, I pay taxes on those same earnings just like anyone else. I choose to send a portion of my earnings for benefits of union membership.

I don't know enough about the NEA to state something definitively one way or the other, but I doubt they have "completely lost the objective of educating our kids". The NEA, I'm quite sure, has many objectives. I don't know what internal measures and initiatives the NEA supports, but I would be careful about using superlatives. The teachers in our district are outstanding and I haven't seen or heard a large backlash against the union from them.

alnorth
11-17-2012, 10:27 AM
Like you guys said, its all American workers' fault. Bad management had nothing to do with this.

You are missing the point. Whether or not management sucked in the past is irrelevant. The unions had a choice to make, a choice that was informed by unbiased outsiders who looked at the books and told the unions the truth of the situation. They could either have a job under these new conditions, or they could lose their job.

The membership of the teamsters union made the correct, dispassionate choice. The idiot bakers made the stupid, emotional choice.

BucEyedPea
11-17-2012, 11:15 AM
I blame it on Michelle Obama's lunch program and it's food spies. Hostess is the type of food that kids eat and goes in lunches.
The unintended consequences of another govt program.

HolyHandgernade
11-17-2012, 12:51 PM
You are missing the point. Whether or not management sucked in the past is irrelevant. The unions had a choice to make, a choice that was informed by unbiased outsiders who looked at the books and told the unions the truth of the situation. They could either have a job under these new conditions, or they could lose their job.

The membership of the teamsters union made the correct, dispassionate choice. The idiot bakers made the stupid, emotional choice.

That's absolutely a possibility, and that point can be earnestly made, I just don't think it ought to be made in the backdrop of "why unions are evil". Unions, like executive boards, like individuals can make wise or poor choices. It just appears to me, that whenever there is a union example, it gets blown to the nth degree by conservative talk shops. It is further expanded to any union, and particularly to public sector unions.

I'm not saying one has to be a union fan, but this partisan blame culture we have going from the conservative side wants to bust unions,they don't want meaningful dialogue, they want them gone and they do it under the guise that unions are the reason companies go belly up. Most of these people have no contact with unions, they don't know how they are organized, or what makes them a positive influence in the system. They're a bogey man for the conservative right to lay blame at, just like they did in San Bernardino.

chiefzilla1501
11-17-2012, 01:14 PM
We don't use taxpayer money. Unions are funded by their member's earnings, the government doesn't do much more than provide a space for them to operate on the facility. Do taxes formulate the revenue that pays my salary? Yes. But, once it gets to me, that's my money, I pay taxes on those same earnings just like anyone else. I choose to send a portion of my earnings for benefits of union membership.

I don't know enough about the NEA to state something definitively one way or the other, but I doubt they have "completely lost the objective of educating our kids". The NEA, I'm quite sure, has many objectives. I don't know what internal measures and initiatives the NEA supports, but I would be careful about using superlatives. The teachers in our district are outstanding and I haven't seen or heard a large backlash against the union from them.

In a private sector union, the union fights like hell against corporate leaders motivated to act in the interest of their company. In a public sector union, they fight against politicians or administrators who may or may not represent the taxpayer interest. In some cases, they can be bought with votes or money. We taxpayers pay your salary and unions are negotiating salary increases and keeping benefits / pensions that are bankrupting government payrolls. That does matter, because your union negotiates what raises you'll get and what the next hired employee will make in benefits. I don't care about the money you make. I do care as a taxpayer when your have pensions and yearly raises that are way beyond what the private sector makes. I don't care about paying good government workers. I do care when the public sector unions have basically developed a system that makes it incredibly difficult to reward good employees because they have to pay for a lot of bad ones and give bad ones handsome bonuses. And so, we the taxpayer pay a shitload in waste from bad employees who weigh down the system.

Ford made the adjustment by going bankrupt and finally fixing their benefits mess. All private sector businesses have, in fact. The public sector has not because again, there isn't that strong motivated adversary to the union that's going to fight for the taxpayer.

As per the NEA, what superlatives? We have one of the worst educational systems in the world. I am not one of those people who believe teachers are overpaid. I'd love to pay them more. But the kind of ridiculous protections they put on teachers, even ones who are clearly fireable. I'm not talking about little performance issues which I know are difficult to measure. I'm talking about teachers who are grossly inappropriate. Teachers are forced to pay union dues. Many of them don't want to. We've created a bloated system where tenured teachers make it impossible for young teachers to keep work. We've created a system where teachers are forced to teach off a rigid curriculum, and teachers are practically punished for going above and beyond. What does it tell you that when Wisconsin gave teachers a choice, many of them opted out? If the union was fighting for them, then why are that many teachers dissatisfied?

HolyHandgernade
11-17-2012, 01:37 PM
Public sector unions do not fight against politicians, we argue for or against policy. We support politicians, no matter which party, that support union issues, and not all union issues revolve around pay.

Our public sector union fights FOR the public safety. We oppose policies that want to run the NAS "like a business". We're not a business, we're a safety and service provider. We don't make profits or have a natural competition. We work with users to make the system as efficient as we can without sacrificing our commitment to safety. So, when the taxpayer sees a "policy" that "claims" it can save them money, that isn't necessarily the entire story. What corners does it cut to achieve this better savings? What impact does it have on the already existing operations? We tried this "run it like a business" approach during the Bush II years and it had disastrous results. Now, we work in a collaborative fashion, and the system has improved in efficiency, cost and savings. If one compares that to another national/regional system, ours is the more efficient despite working more traffic.

"Bad employees" are going to occur in any system. The union, at least ours, does not fight to "keep bad employees". Its function is to make sure management follows the outlines for what constitutes justified dismissal. Even if the employee is "bad", we can't just let management do whatever it wants because it sets these things called "precedents". Maybe one time was an actual "bad employee", maybe the next is an employee a manager had an axe to grind with. If we let an unorthodox procedure fire an agreed upon "bad" employee, management will cite that procedure as justification to keep using it.

Certainly, these aren't easy problems, and even most union members could identify these bad apples. But, the solutions aren't always easy when you're trying to protect the larger portion of your membership. Like I noted earlier, we're instituting self-policing measures known as "professional standards" to help bring "bad" employees up to par. This can be initiated from either co-workers or management who want to try and resolve something before more formal proceedings. The point is, most union members are proud of their jobs, and they represent what is left of the "middle class" who aren't private business owners. They are the consumers that can afford to consume what others want to sell. Shouldn't we try to make this class bigger? Instead of reducing the wages of working people so they are on par with third world workers, shouldn't we work towards a middle class that can afford to live within its own society?

The superlative was "completely lost". I'm not completely familiar with the NEA to speak to their level of bloated-ness or whether the majority, or even large minority, would prefer there was no union. You would have to get someone from that demographic to speak for them.

Direckshun
11-17-2012, 01:52 PM
Fun thread.

chiefzilla1501
11-17-2012, 01:54 PM
Public sector unions do not fight against politicians, we argue for or against policy. We support politicians, no matter which party, that support union issues, and not all union issues revolve around pay.

Our public sector union fights FOR the public safety. We oppose policies that want to run the NAS "like a business". We're not a business, we're a safety and service provider. We don't make profits or have a natural competition. We work with users to make the system as efficient as we can without sacrificing our commitment to safety. So, when the taxpayer sees a "policy" that "claims" it can save them money, that isn't necessarily the entire story. What corners does it cut to achieve this better savings? What impact does it have on the already existing operations? We tried this "run it like a business" approach during the Bush II years and it had disastrous results. Now, we work in a collaborative fashion, and the system has improved in efficiency, cost and savings. If one compares that to another national/regional system, ours is the more efficient despite working more traffic.

"Bad employees" are going to occur in any system. The union, at least ours, does not fight to "keep bad employees". Its function is to make sure management follows the outlines for what constitutes justified dismissal. Even if the employee is "bad", we can't just let management do whatever it wants because it sets these things called "precedents". Maybe one time was an actual "bad employee", maybe the next is an employee a manager had an axe to grind with. If we let an unorthodox procedure fire an agreed upon "bad" employee, management will cite that procedure as justification to keep using it.

Certainly, these aren't easy problems, and even most union members could identify these bad apples. But, the solutions aren't always easy when you're trying to protect the larger portion of your membership. Like I noted earlier, we're instituting self-policing measures known as "professional standards" to help bring "bad" employees up to par. This can be initiated from either co-workers or management who want to try and resolve something before more formal proceedings. The point is, most union members are proud of their jobs, and they represent what is left of the "middle class" who aren't private business owners. They are the consumers that can afford to consume what others want to sell. Shouldn't we try to make this class bigger? Instead of reducing the wages of working people so they are on par with third world workers, shouldn't we work towards a middle class that can afford to live within its own society?

The superlative was "completely lost". I'm not completely familiar with the NEA to speak to their level of bloated-ness or whether the majority, or even large minority, would prefer there was no union. You would have to get someone from that demographic to speak for them.

Appreciate the reasonable debate, by the way.

I agree with you on those fronts. It's why I've never said public sector unions need to be disbanded. I believe they are very valuable. And I have never been in favor of cutting spending for the sake of cutting spending. And trust me, I get the idea that one of the bigger problems in America is the wealthiest class hoarding money instead of investing back into their business to create long-term growth (because I am a firm believer that in many cases, lousy public sector work would work better and harder in the private sector).

At the same token, I don't support paying for something that's broken and not doing anything about it. As a business guy myself, it infuriates me that good workers get rewarded in the public sector in the same way bad ones do. My beef is primarily with salary and benefits, which is a huge chunk of what taxpayers pay (I get that you guys fight for policies and standards, which I am in favor of). Every bad employee we pay for is money we waste. And when the public sector negotiates pay raises and hefty benefits well above the private sector, that's a problem too. I am for a strong middle class, but not the point of protectionism where we say it's okay for our money to be wasted on bureaucracy and benefits that we can't afford. As a taxpayer, keep in mind that I don't work in the public sector. And so when you fight for these lofty benefit and salary increases, they come at the expense of me seeing that money instead go to better roads or better schools or better police.

HolyHandgernade
11-17-2012, 03:03 PM
I appreciate the respectful tone as well. Don't forget, though, we are taxpayers too. Its hard to speak on this issue for other unions and their level of professionalism. You may have one idea in mind where I have another.

Another thing to keep in mind, its actually cost effective for the public sector to deal with a baragining unit as opposed to individuals. The government would have to set up an entirley new entity just to deal with employee contract negotiations to handle that volume of employees.

When we negotiated pay, and I will only speak to what I know, we negotiated using what our private sector counterparts in our line of business made. A government, generally, will be more stable than a business, so it won't be as susceptible to the forces of the market as a business is. When a contract is negotiated in good economic times, it may very well have been commenserate with what the private sector is doing. You don't want a government as susceptible to the market as a business is.

I know it seems like another era, but a short time ago, the argument was that government couldn't attract the best and the brightest because those individuals could do better in the private market. Therefore, the inefficiency in government was in part to blame with the wages one could make in the public vs private sector. So, we move to increase the competitiveness of a public sector job, the economy goes south, and now everyone screams that the public sector is overpaid.

It just goes to show, any one snapshot is usually not enough to paint the overall picture.

HonestChieffan
11-17-2012, 05:17 PM
Long but interesting read on the innerworkings of Hostess end and who was involved. You may be surprised if you ever followed Mo politics


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-11-16/hostess-liquidation-curious-cast-characters-twinkie-tumbles

Radar Chief
11-19-2012, 03:06 PM
Hold the phone, Twinkies aren't dead yet.



Hostess, union agree to mediation at judge's urging

http://news.yahoo.com/hostess-liquidation-too-sweet-managers-u-says-191817929--sector.html

WHITE PLAINS, New York (Reuters) - Hostess Brands Inc agreed in court on Monday to enter private mediation with its lenders and leaders of a striking union to try to avert the liquidation of the maker of Twinkies snack cakes and Wonder Bread.

Hostess, its lenders and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) agreed to mediation at the urging of Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain of the Southern District of New York, who advised against a more expensive, public hearing regarding the company's liquidation

vailpass
11-19-2012, 04:42 PM
Hold the phone, Twinkies aren't dead yet.



Hostess, union agree to mediation at judge's urging

http://news.yahoo.com/hostess-liquidation-too-sweet-managers-u-says-191817929--sector.html

WHITE PLAINS, New York (Reuters) - Hostess Brands Inc agreed in court on Monday to enter private mediation with its lenders and leaders of a striking union to try to avert the liquidation of the maker of Twinkies snack cakes and Wonder Bread.

Hostess, its lenders and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) agreed to mediation at the urging of Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain of the Southern District of New York, who advised against a more expensive, public hearing regarding the company's liquidation

I have a good filling about this.

WoodDraw
11-19-2012, 04:49 PM
Hostess faces several objections to its liquidation plan.

The U.S. Trustee, an agent of the U.S. Department of Justice who oversees bankruptcy cases, said in court documents it is opposed to the wind-down plan because Hostess plans improper bonuses to company insiders.

Shocking...

HonestChieffan
11-19-2012, 04:54 PM
Shocking...


They dont know the power of Dick Gephart.

HolyHandgernade
11-19-2012, 04:54 PM
I have a good filling about this.

:LOL: