Twinkies bakers say they'd rather lose jobs than take pay cuts

Comments (26)
snjakeman21 wrote:

I bet union leaders still have their jobs.

Nov 21, 2012 9:37pm EST  --  Report as abuse
RepToTheCore wrote:

Give a man a welfare check, a cell phone, cash for his clunker, food stamps, section 8 housing, Medicaid, 100 weeks of unemployment checks, and he will vote Democrat for a lifetime.”

Nov 21, 2012 9:47pm EST  --  Report as abuse

The bakers’ union just cut their own throats. Still, I have studied this issue and it is the Teamsters who are the real problem. The company has bent over backwards to reward Teamster drivers and dumped all of the cuts on the bakers’ union. Hopefully, the brands that this company sells will go to non-union shops in right-to-work states.

Nov 21, 2012 9:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Saint999 wrote:

Changing taste and poor management that coundn’t adapt ran Hostess into the ground. Blaming the union doesn’t cut it. Hostess already went bankrupt once, just gave upper management big raises and kept taking from workers? Sounds as if they’re being “harvested”. Bet the bankruptcy team makes millions. The union is right, no future with Hostess.

Nov 21, 2012 10:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
RayDio wrote:

Hostess’s sales were declining, but not because of USA’s healthier eating habits. That line is a cheap, cop-out of an excuse and they know it.

Their sales were declining because the taste of the “iconic” treats have been declining for decades due to the owners’ incessant pathological pursuit of both saving money on ingredients and extending shelf life. In short, today’s treats are horrid blobs of incredibly unnatural-tasting goo. Expecially when compared to how they used to taste. While I was growing up, Twinkies & Suzy Q’s used to be two of my absolute favorites. These days, I literally wouldn’t eat them EVEN IF YOU PAID ME TO DO SO.

Hopefully, the future owners will turn back the clock and return these treats to the way they were long ago that made them so popular in the first place.

Nov 21, 2012 10:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Smart_Chick wrote:

So you’d rather have no income of any kind… while looking for a higher paying job. Than to have a 90% income… while looking.

Smart, real smart.

Nov 21, 2012 11:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
heartsmart wrote:

Why am I not surprised, Mr. Obama the socialist is encouraging people to unionize not work. He promised them everything, he will take care of them by sending unemployment checks, welfare, food stamps, cellphones, housing as long they vote Democrat lifelong. This is just the beginning nobody would want to work, they all want Govt benefits. pathetic.

Does anyone think these people will do this type of behavior, if the Govt. does not promise them other peoples money.

These people should not get any benefits for purposely losing jobs by not agreeing to take the jobs that are available.

POS democrats are destroying this country. In 4 years 70% country will stop working and receive Govt benefits until we go broke.

God Bless AMERICA I hope sanity prevails and people actually work for living instead of voting themselves Money by electing POS democrats.

Nov 21, 2012 11:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
tret1584 wrote:

I thought Ripplewood (Private Equity owner of Hostess) was owned by a Democrat and a big client of Dick Gephardt’s consulting firm??

Nov 21, 2012 11:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
MrScott wrote:

Enjoy the unemployment line…

Nov 21, 2012 11:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
tret1584 wrote:

Six different CEOs in 10 years and NOT ONE had bakery experience. No wonder Twinkies taste like plastic. I thought Ripplewood (Private Equity owner of Hostess) was owned by a Democrat and a big client of Dick Gephardt’s consulting firm?? This is Willard Romney’s Bain Capital playbook played by a Democrat.

Nov 21, 2012 11:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WCCAMP wrote:

Don’t you get it? It’s not Hostess that is taking, it is the MARKET that’s changing and all stakeholders have to change too. Hostess gets a smaller market share, then workers will have to take less for awhile. What’s really sad is that out of 300 varied unions, just THE BAKERS choose to run the whole company and 18,000 jobs into the ground – very compassionate!

Nov 21, 2012 11:45pm EST  --  Report as abuse
tracing wrote:

lol at thye have taken and taken from us .

it was your own union that did that.

now u can go to walmart, get a job for less, and fight to get yer union in there, i think u gonna have a real hard time doin that though, since walmart will close a store instead of goin union.

u dopes never learn do ya

by american, and buy NON UNION only, dont support union labor, its a ripoff for all concerned and funds terrorism.

Nov 21, 2012 11:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ugg wrote:

Raising the prices of Twinkies and other products in order to pay fair wages and benefits would be the right and profitable thing to do, it keeps money in circulation, this is why people can pay more, break this cycle of money circulation and people cannot pay more, today’s economy proves this. Just as house lights needs electricity circulating, various production and consumption needs require the same circulation. When circulation stops in one place, it eventually stops in all places. Like Tony Robbins says; If you think something bad is going to happen, it usually does, but only because you brought it on by focusing on it with tunnel vision.
When you try to do what you think is– the RIGHT thing to do,– everything usually turns out just fine.
I am not rich, but everything I ever wanted that cost less than a hundred dollars, I got it regardless of the cost. If it is worth buying, people will pay the price. If people refuse to pay the price, change to a different product. That is called merchandising. Don’t blame you failures on everyone else, and do not become a Corporate Raider, if you do, your life could take a turn for the worst.

Nov 22, 2012 12:00am EST  --  Report as abuse
Unionbuster wrote:

This is a classic example of a workforce getting way to comfortable with their jobs. All the comments seem to say that the workers do not want to work. If you do the math, they make around $18-$20 an hour take-home with another $10-$12 an hour in benefits.

I guarantee you if Hostess shuts down then sets up the next month with a new group of employees, people who have been out of work for years would work for $16 an hour with benefits.

This is the start of the welfare State which President Obama began to institute. What was the comment, the worker would rather collect unemployment and have the company close rather than keep his job for another 10+ years. This personifies what is wrong with the USA.

Nov 22, 2012 12:03am EST  --  Report as abuse
SamSmithers wrote:

“”I really can’t afford to not be working, but this is not worth it. I’d rather go work somewhere else or draw unemployment,” said Johnson, a worker at Hostess for 23 years.”

Spoken like someone without a clue as to how hard it will be to replace the job and benefits they just tossed away. Those unemployment checks dont last forever! This isnt the same economic times like when you last looked for a job and they were plentiful, a union job wont be easy to replace at all.

Nov 22, 2012 12:04am EST  --  Report as abuse
GBreply wrote:

Forced to send two trucks to the same location to deliver two different products. Perhaps Hostess was doomed anyway, however rules like this cannot help. I believe unions could make a come back and be a true benefit to employees if they stopped demanding ridiculous rules. The harsh reality is there would not be as many union members, however the companies they work for would be more competitive and they could benefit from the company’s strength. A stronger more profitable group of employees has got to be a good thing.

Nov 22, 2012 12:08am EST  --  Report as abuse
darandeyoe wrote:

This is the kicker, if you dig around enough on the internet, you get the whole story. The Teamsters where offered an 8% pay cut and the company would put a couple of teamsters on the board of trustees. After a year the company would give back some of the pay cut up to 5%.

Then you get the statement from one of the Bakers he took a pay cut from the last bankruptcy in 2009. He was making $45,000 a year, after the cut he made around $35,000 a year. The NEW bankruptcy this year, Hostess offered the Bakers a pay cut from $15 an hour down to $11 an hour, this will put them down below $25,000 a year. The Bakers pension fund the company hasn’t contributed to in a year would be forgiven and Hostess would no longer pay a pension to these employees.

Now the Teamsters bite the bullet, their deal sucks but is not that bad, they approve it. The Bakers say no way. (the company knows this will happen they gave them a crappy deal) They play both unions against each other, because neither union knows what deal was offered to the other. So the Teamsters are saying why DON’T you accept the offer, and the Bakers are asking why DID you accept the offer. The media falls for it hook line and sinker. You really have to dig through news reports to find this.

The company wants to go bankrupt and then blame it all on the unions. The whole story needs to come out!!!!!!

Quit the union bashing, they are needed just as much today as they where 100 years ago, these companies would cut us all down to minimum wage and cry financial hardship the whole way. In these hard times someone would undercut your wage to take your job in a heartbeat, if allowed. Most people don’t realize that a majority of wages are determined by union negotiations, Union scale sets the standard for those industries

Nov 22, 2012 12:16am EST  --  Report as abuse
ugg wrote:

When your heart stops, “blood quits circulating” then you stop and quit breathing, economies do the same thing, problems is people are not smart enough to know this.
In our economy money has quit circulating. Is there a genius out there who knows how to get money circulation again? Everyone out there thinks they know the answer. Well, we will just need to wait and see.
The answer is simple, think about it?
If I run and hide my money off shore, does that effect money circulation? That is another no brainer among intelligent people.
Is my economy connected to your economy?, probably not in the short term, but in the long term, probably very much so. That is where we are now.

Nov 22, 2012 12:17am EST  --  Report as abuse
Billsview wrote:

No need to worry, there will soon be 20 million illegal aliens getting amnesty that will work for alot less. Obama said he was going to create new jobs but didn’t say for who?

Nov 22, 2012 12:18am EST  --  Report as abuse
darandeyoe wrote:

If you dig around on the internet enough you find the whole story. The Hostess company is playing us all. They offer the Teamsters a deal that cuts their pay by 8% and eases up to 5% after a year. They also get two Teamsters on the board of trustees. Now they give the Bakers a deal they know they won’t take. After the last Hostess bankruptcy they lost $10,000 a year in wages the new deal will cut another $10,000 off their wage down to $25,000 a year. They would no longer have a pension and the pension money they haven’t deposited for the last year is gone forget it, bye bye. So neither union knows what deal the company is offering the other union. Now the unions are against each other. Share holders and execs are going to walk away with everything they can grab. They drew all the attention off of themselves because it’s “THE UNIONS FAULT”. And the unions are fighting back and forth while they get away with it.

Unions are needed today just as much as they where 100 years ago. A lot of companies these days would cut us all down to minimum wage and cry poverty the whole time. The companies would give all the execs bonuses for cutting labor costs too. Most people don’t realize the effect union wage negotiations have on pay, union scale sets the standard for those industries.

Nov 22, 2012 12:45am EST  --  Report as abuse
Jitsujunkie wrote:

Free Obama phone, unemployment pay, food stamps…Union workers unite!

Nov 22, 2012 1:31am EST  --  Report as abuse
davee55 wrote:

This is the epic fail of capitalism, which if you remember your high school economics REQUIRES the exploitation of labor. The rich only get rich by taking food off the table of vast majority that is barely making ends meet.

Add to that, the stockholders, to whom the company is required to serve. By law, the profits go to the stockholders and when they are scattered across the land, have little care about anything other than the investment income they receive and which is taxed at a lower rate than income.

Then there is the market. As highly competitive as it is, the company needs to maximize profits just to pay its bills. They find ways to cut costs, often destroying the integrity of the very product they sell. Twinkies DO NOT taste the same as they did fifty years ago. I can’t think of a single processed commercial product that does, and there are tens of thousands to choose from.

For example; A coke toady tastes nothing like a coke from the sixties. Good luck even find a root beer that tastes like root beer. And this is going on everywhere. In a company’s attempt to cut costs, they substitute sugar for high fructose corn syrup. Because the flavor changes, the main ingredients have to be altered but nothing really substitutes and the flavor suffers. People assume it was just a bad batch or that their tastes have changed and either live with it or abandon it. So the company has to waste more money on poorly executed marketing campaigns and again the product will suffer. before long, a cola has no cola in it at all (this last has been true for decades) but people keep drinking it.

Then there are the unions. In theory, they are a great thing. In practice, they tend to be as corrupt as management itself. Does anyone out there truly believe that $35,000 a year is a ‘good’ job? I doubt that anyone who actually thinks about it believes so.

No the failure of Hostess is due to a wide number of failures but the individual workers can only be blamed for wanting to share in the great American dream. They will all go down in flames as this is the system we Americans promote.

But the big stockholders will not really be hurt. The company will sell off its brands, which they figured to do long ago, take their profits and run. This unfortunately, is the American way.

Some say ninety percent of something is better than a hundred percent of nothing. but anyone who knows this shell game knows that this year it’s ninety percent, then next year it’s the same, or worse. Every iteration produces workers who become increasing desperate and management knows this. They can play the workers against each other and in the end, they get richer, the workers get poorer but more importantly, the workers become powerless and become dependent on the good graces of management which, in this case, is completely missing.

If you want to blame someone, blame the big box retailers that force the manufacturers to sell product at a lower profit, hoping volume will make it up. It never does, not in the long run.

If you want to save these companies, you have to be willing to pay for the product and that is something few Americans are willing to do.

It’s too late to save Hostess but just look around, virtually every modern company in the country uses the same business model.

Nov 22, 2012 2:48am EST  --  Report as abuse
MrDonut wrote:

The company and the union signed a contract.

If 2 drivers delivering to the same location is a financial burden on the company, why did they agree to the terms of the contract? If the wages were too high, why did they agree to the terms of the contract? If making pension payments was going to be a financial burden to the company, why did they agree to the terms of the contract? The company knew these things when they signed the contract. They didn’t have to sign the contract. They signed (and took the easy way out) just to do what our government does, which is, to kick the can down the road.

The management at Hostess was inept , plain and simple.

Nov 22, 2012 3:23am EST  --  Report as abuse
Landin wrote:

“Well, go ahead [and close down], we’re tired of their threats.”

This type of statement in today’s economy sounds absolutely insane to me. They think they’ve got it tough now? News flash: unemployment benefits don’t meet 100% of lost wages, and they end after a very short period.

And good luck finding new work. These folks are going to be schooled real fast on just how marketable they are with a single, narrow work skill in an old-school manufacturing industry and a history of entitlement demands.

It’s a cinch that any new owners are going to rely more on computer-controlled baking equipment to reduce costs, maintain consistent quality, and increase output. Human labor? Not so much. And the human labor that IS needed is going to be non-union.

Millions of Americans have been bearing down and working under pay cuts, reduced benefits, and increased workloads for several years — doing whatever it takes to keep food on the table, clothes in the closet, and a roof to live under.

Demanding increased wages and benefits from a weak company in a feeble economy isn’t just unrealistic — it’s suicidal.

Nov 22, 2012 3:36am EST  --  Report as abuse
weirish1937 wrote:

Good for the 15,000+ who will now stand in line to obtain “Food Stamps” and other free Obama stuff. And good for the unions that will no longer receive the union dues of 15,000+ workers. Give me a job for $35,000 a year!!!

Nov 22, 2012 11:17am EST  --  Report as abuse
ojdidit wrote:

only in america do 18,000 people prefer not to work when given the choice and make no mistake about it that was there choice

Nov 22, 2012 3:30pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.