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Old 11-13-2012, 01:38 PM  
HonestChieffan HonestChieffan is offline
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Strikes dont always work.

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/h...cincinnati.ece
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:53 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Buehler445 View Post
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....
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:58 PM   #62
Buehler445 Buehler445 is offline
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Originally Posted by Amnorix View Post
So, further to my last, here's a telling chart -- comparing corporate profits to employee wages over time.





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 ****s 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.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:00 PM   #63
Buehler445 Buehler445 is offline
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Originally Posted by KC Fish View Post
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.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:12 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by vailpass View Post
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.

Quote:
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.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:17 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
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.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:19 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Buehler445 View Post
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 ****s 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 ****ed 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.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:26 PM   #67
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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.

Quote:
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.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:48 PM   #68
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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.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:48 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
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.

Quote:
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.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:01 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Amnorix View Post
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.

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.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:33 AM   #71
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Hostess shutting down nationwide. JFC
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:38 AM   #72
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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.

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Old 11-16-2012, 06:42 AM   #73
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:42 AM   #74
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:44 AM   #75
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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.

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