Hostess with the leastest

Sunday, November 25, 2012
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Dying for one last Hostess Twinkie? Don’t be in too big a rush, if you can find any, to blame the stubborn workers who struck, rather than accept significant wage and benefit concessions unilaterally imposed by their bosses. Company management, which had been in bankruptcy for eight of the last 11 years, seems as much to blame for standing by a product line that was about three decades behind the times.

The fast-buck artists who snapped up the last Twinkies on store shelves and are now trying to unload them on eBay for $10 apiece may get stuck with them — much in the manner that speculators who bought cases of Billy Beer did when Jimmy Carter was president.

Not that there’s much chance the cakes will ever grow stale — too many preservatives for that. But there are already reported to be buyers lining up to acquire the rights for the company’s iconic products — Twinkies, cupcakes and Wonder Bread. So there may be a happy ending, of sorts, to the story: jobs for many of the 18,500 workers who have now lost theirs, many of them after agreeing to concessions that the company’s 5,600 bakers resisted.

But it would be surprising — and foolish, really — if some company does buys Hostess and continues to bank on the kinds of products it hung its hat on long after Americans’ snacking tastes had changed. Preservatives were only part of the unhealthy elements of those cakes and breads: too much processed white flour, refined sugar, sodium and saturated fat. To some extent, Americans have been eating less of those and more whole grains and unsaturated fats, such as are found in foods like granola or nuts.

Even competitors that still make the former types of snacks — like Kraft, Sara Lee and Nabisco — are making them healthier these days, or at least offering healthier versions of them for consumers to try. And they’re marketing them so consumers know to look for them. Hostess dropped the ball on both counts (but kept right on making those cloyingly sweet snowballs).

There’s been quite a bit of nostalgia generated by the Hostess liquidation story of the past week, including the aforementioned run on Twinkies, but even if a new baker steps forward to make them, we doubt that within a few months’ time — after all the hoopla has died down — much demand for these products will remain. Why else did it keep going bankrupt?

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November 25, 2012
8 a.m.
manjoe says...

100% wrong. What killed the company was union greed.

November 25, 2012
2:49 p.m.
Fritzdawg says...

manjoe: Not so, even remotely. Having already STOLEN the employee financed($3 per hour) pension fund, they made a final offer.

"What was this last/best/final offer? You’d never know by watching the main stream media tell
the story.
So here you go…

~8% hourly pay cut in year 1
~ with additional cuts totaling 27% over 5 years
~ Currently, I make $16.12 an hour at TOP rate of pay in the bakery
~ I would drop to $11.26 in 5 years
~They get to keep our $3+ an hour pension fund forever
~Doubling of weekly insurance premium
~Lowering of overall quality of insurance plan.
~TOTAL withdrawal from ALL pensions.

Remember how I said I made $48,000 in 2005 and $34,000 last year?
I would make $25,000 in 5 years if I took their offer.

It will be hard to replace the job I had, but it will be easy to replace the job they were trying
to give me.
During this same time, management gave themselves astronomical raises, no doubt as reward for the stellar job they had done raping the company.
The CEO, gave himself a raise from $750,000 per year, to $2,250,000 per year.

They even had the gall to ask for $1,500,000 bonuses and severances to oversee the liquidation of the company.

You might want to give AM radio a rest for a while.
It's misinforming you to the point of ignorance.

November 25, 2012
4:03 p.m.
wmarincic says...

It was an 8 percent cut in pay that would be given back in 2 years. Union greed, look at NYS and its public employee unions.

November 25, 2012
6:12 p.m.
Fritzdawg says...

wmarincic: That's 8% the FIRST year. It's actually a progressive pay cut. That's why those who were making $48k in 2005, but only $34k in 2011, and are on track to make only $25k in 2017.

That company will never pay them back a single penny, and they know it.
In 2005, Hostess "borrowed", the entirely employee paid for, pension fund, and blew it on them and their friends, and here, 7 years later, not a single attempt has been made to pay any of it back, and people who retired during that period are not getting the benefits they payed in to for 30 years.

It takes a lot of nerve to give yourself a million and a half dollar raise, while telling your employees that you NEED to cut THEIR pay to a level at which they can't even support their families.

Please stop being such a corporate sycophant, as it makes you look unflatteringly servile.

Though I guess that's true of most teabaggers.

November 25, 2012
11:08 p.m.
wmarincic says...

Well with unemployment they will make a whole lot less. You keep mentioning teabagger, I wonder if that has been done to you. Unions are greedy thugs and because of them our whole manufacturing industry in America is now overseas. Only an idiot would believe different fritzdawg

November 27, 2012
7:56 p.m.
robbump says...

It is only because of unions that our manufacturing jobs ever DID become good jobs.

Without unions, factory jobs would have remained much like the tales of Charles Dickens from that time right up through today.

How come our country was the strongest, our economy the strongest during the days when the labor movement was the strongest? Why has economy faltered as unions faltered?

Yup, it's those dirty unions' fault. Now if we could just open up those debtors' prisons!

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