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elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia

R.I.P. Twinkee?

No, not the Robot From Buck Rogers in Outerspace (or whatever it was called) .

Seems Hostess, unable to endure a nationwide strike has decided to pack it in. They are apparently $1b in debt and have $2b in unfunded pension liabilities.

The 82-year-old company, weighted down with $1 billion debt and $2 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, collapsed as what Fortune magazine called “obstinacy, miscalculation, and lousy luck connived to create corporate catastrophe

“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 of the company that makes Twinkies and Ding Dongs.
“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.”

All the execs will be paid out and the workers get SFA, par for the course.

»www.thestar.com/business/article···business
--
No, I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake.......


donoreo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
North York, ON

1 recommendation

That was Twiki

The brands are worth money, they will be sold off and the execs will get bonuses for doing so. They could not afford a strike, the union did not listen, now everyone is out of work. Way to go guys.

Sure, there was management mistakes along the way to get to this point, so it is not all the union's fault. Still, they are the idiots that pushed it over the edge.
--
The irony of common sense, it is not that common.
I cannot deny anything I did not say.
A kitten dies every time someone uses "then" and "than" incorrectly.
I mock people who give their children odd spelling of names.


EUS
Kill cancer
Premium
join:2002-09-10
canada
Another corp bites the dust as their paper promises legacy costs come home to roost.
Many more companies will see more of the same, or drastic cuts to pension promises, or bankruptcies.
At least Saputo owns the Canada rights, so ops will still continue here.
--
~ Project Hope ~


ekster
Hi there
Premium
join:2010-07-16
Lachine, QC
kudos:3
reply to elwoodblues
I use to love their stuff as a kid... Was probably my favourite brand of them all.
Though I haven't had any in a long time... gave up on buying sweets and desserts in a box a while ago.

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13

1 recommendation

reply to elwoodblues
The Teamsters Union had already agreed to cutbacks, but the Bakers Union refused and went out on strike....

Look, my dad belonged to a union.

But here in metro NYC and NJ, when we desperately needed utility workers to come in and help out after Sandy, the IBEW union on Long Island demanded that some of the utility workers who came up from the southern states sign an agreement acknowledging the union and handing over 22 percent of their salary to the union.

The workers and their company both said screw that, and they went to help out in Pennsylvania instead.

This was reported on WCBS-TV Channel 2 in New York.

So while management can be bad, so can unions.

And the proximate cause of no more Twinkees is the Bakers Union. As I said, even the Teamsters had agreed....


DKS
Damn Kidney Stones
Premium,ExMod 2002
join:2001-03-22
Owen Sound, ON
kudos:2
said by PX Eliezer70:

But here in metro NYC and NJ, when we desperately needed utility workers to come in and help out after Sandy, the IBEW union on Long Island demanded that some of the utility workers who came up from the southern states sign an agreement acknowledging the union and handing over 22 percent of their salary to the union.

Those referral fees were a great way to make money. Toronto District School Board had those kind of fees until recently.
--
Need-based health care not greed-based health care.

peterboro
Avatars are for posers
Premium
join:2006-11-03
Peterborough, ON

2 recommendations

reply to elwoodblues
That sucks as I was going to survive on Twinkies after the apocalypse. Now I'll have to eat brains.


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
reply to donoreo
I think it's more about not having to pay the pension costs more then anything else.

If I saw "management" cutting back it would be more palatable , but make the guy on the line take the hit instead .


EUS
Kill cancer
Premium
join:2002-09-10
canada

1 recommendation

What do you mean? On the face of it, everyone is hit, they're selling all assets and shutting down. In the end, no one will be working.
--
~ Project Hope ~


donoreo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
North York, ON
reply to elwoodblues
said by elwoodblues:

I think it's more about not having to pay the pension costs more then anything else.

If I saw "management" cutting back it would be more palatable , but make the guy on the line take the hit instead .

If they cut back it would be a drop in the bucket. Sure per person it might be a lot, but overall it would be nothing other than symbolic. Of course that does not mean that they should not have done it, they should just for leadership purposes.
--
The irony of common sense, it is not that common.
I cannot deny anything I did not say.
A kitten dies every time someone uses "then" and "than" incorrectly.
I mock people who give their children odd spelling of names.


FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
reply to ekster
said by ekster:

I use to love their stuff as a kid... Was probably my favourite brand of them all.
Though I haven't had any in a long time... gave up on buying sweets and desserts in a box a while ago.

In my area, Entemann's beat them in to the ground. Hostess got no shelf space in supermarkets anymore.
--
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury.


FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
reply to peterboro
said by peterboro:

That sucks as I was going to survive on Twinkies after the apocalypse. Now I'll have to eat brains.

Some people want the White House to nationalize the Twinkies: »petitions.whitehouse.gov/petitio···cJz0ngJR
--
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury.


ekster
Hi there
Premium
join:2010-07-16
Lachine, QC
kudos:3
Reviews:
·FreePhoneLine
reply to FFH5
said by FFH5:

said by ekster:

I use to love their stuff as a kid... Was probably my favourite brand of them all.
Though I haven't had any in a long time... gave up on buying sweets and desserts in a box a while ago.

In my area, Entemann's beat them in to the ground. Hostess got no shelf space in supermarkets anymore.

I don't pay attention to that shelf in the stores anymore, other than a very rare occasion when I might pick up some cookies, but I do not recall seeing any of their stuff either in a long while, now that I think about it.


dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
reply to elwoodblues
said by elwoodblues:

I think it's more about not having to pay the pension costs more then anything else.

If I saw "management" cutting back it would be more palatable , but make the guy on the line take the hit instead .

the pension issue is certainly a strong reason they are unable to continue business...while management will likely have their share of responsibility, just like the auto business, these "legacy" companies who had been held hostage for decades from their unions finally have their chickens come home to roost...when the constant threat of "give us this or else" becomes too much (as it often will), the unsustainable business model that union leadership demands eventually comes crashing down.

i don't all the ins and outs of Hostess, but my guess is their workforce is likely well paid (most of these big companies are) and being saddled in ridiculous benefits/pension costs in today's economy become too much to survive...while the union held tight and stood its ground, i have a feeling they are in for a rude awakening when those 18,500 workers hit the job market looking for employment that will (a) match what they were already getting or (b) get any job at all...sure, some of the trades guys may find work, but the regular joes on the line are in for a long tough search.
--
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

- George Orwell


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to elwoodblues
The Teamsters says they've seen Hostess' books and told the Bakers unions, "This is not an idle threat. They have no choice. If you don't agree to concessions, the company will go bankrupt."

The bakers replied that they'd rather lose their jobs than accept pension cuts... OK, so be it. Not management's fault at this point. When even the teamsters are telling you the company has no choice, it's bad.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


J E F F
Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
Premium
join:2004-04-01
Kitchener, ON
kudos:1
reply to PX Eliezer70
Do you know where the crews from Kitchener went (Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro)? They sent like 20 trucks or so. I don't think the city owned utility would be up to paying some damned union 22% from their workers wages...
--
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein


J E F F
Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
Premium
join:2004-04-01
Kitchener, ON
kudos:1
reply to elwoodblues
said by elwoodblues:

I think it's more about not having to pay the pension costs more then anything else.

If I saw "management" cutting back it would be more palatable , but make the guy on the line take the hit instead .

No uncommon for pensions to be not-funded, it's a pay-as-you-go system. That important because places that do the pre-paid, like OMERS, make the rules and there is nothing the union can do about it. But it's not bankrupt. Just a lot of pissed off employees because our contributions went up 50%....but at least it will be there..can't be raided.
--
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
reply to dirtyjeffer
Once again your ant-unionism comes through.

Short of going through their financial statements, you have to ask how did the underfund their pension responsibilities? More money for the execs and shareholders?


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
Teamster DID go through their financial statements. The bakers union did not. Teamsters urged the bakers to agree to concessions based on that internal financial data.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org

hark

join:2008-05-27
reply to elwoodblues
Hostess has been in financial trouble for a while now. Sure, the union should have backed off, but even if they hadn't the jobs would have been lost a couple years down the road anyway.


dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
reply to elwoodblues
it has nothing to do with "anti-unionism" and everything to do with fiscal reality...i have nothing against unions...what i object to is their "power" to shut a company down and essentially hold them hostage.

here is a story this week regarding the CAW union at the Martinrea plant that makes rear end components for the Chevy Equinox that is assembled at Cami in Ingersoll:

»www.lfpress.com/2012/11/15/marti···mi-plant

had the union not accepted the offer, and chose to go on strike (which they had already refused prior offers, threatening a strike if their timeline wasn't met), it would have jeopardized the 2500 CAW workers at Cami, since they wouldn't be able to make the Equinox vehicles without these components...GM also makes the Equinox at their Spring Hill Tennessee plant, and had apparently stated if there was any disruption of work at the Cami plant, they would shift the production to their Tennessee plant...so, even though a deal was reached in the "11th hour", the 50 or so workers at Martinrea almost jeopardized the 2500 in Ingersoll.

even the local CAW president said they need to work more closely together.
--
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

- George Orwell


loosedobbs

join:2006-06-13
Toronto

1 recommendation

reply to elwoodblues
Nothing wrong with being anti-Union.
Being pro Union before and now I hate unions. They are like terrorists. They kill factories/companies. Unions has to be crushed.
Unions are like hostage takers or blackmailers but done in legal way.

I hate Toronto Star and Unions and terrorists.

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
reply to J E F F
said by J E F F:

Do you know where the crews from Kitchener went (Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro)? They sent like 20 trucks or so.

Sorry, no.

I actually had need to drive a lot through NJ, NYC, and north of NYC last Friday.

Saw lots of out-of-area workers, but didn't happen to see your guys. This is a huge region of course.

The trouble with the electrical worker union was on eastern Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk counties, east of NYC) AFAIK.

------------------------

I'll tell you what, though, wherever they ended up, the people down here who saw trucks marked "Hydro" would be awfully confused.


dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
reply to loosedobbs
said by loosedobbs:

Nothing wrong with being anti-Union.
Being pro Union before and now I hate unions. They are like terrorists. They kill factories/companies. Unions has to be crushed.
Unions are like hostage takers or blackmailers but done in legal way.

I hate Toronto Star and Unions and terrorists.

unions did many good things...they still do in some cases (though we don't see much of it any more)...since many of the good things unions did, are now part of the laws and regulations governing business, much of what they do is partly redundant...that said, i have nothing against people joining a union...i do feel that if Ontario ever wants any of its "labour" jobs back, we would need to be a "Right to Work state"...that way, companies wouldn't be held hostage by the workers, but the workers would still be ensured of decent working conditions and a sustainable compensation package.

it's also important to know that the corporate mindset has also changed (for the worse) over the years...many CEOs (etc) think too short term, as they likely know they'll only be there for 5 years...so it's maximize profits, make a shitload of money, move on to the next company...while the top often make a fortune, the company, its customers and its staff suffer...and that is wrong.
--
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

- George Orwell


Dustyn
Premium
join:2003-02-26
Ontario, CAN
kudos:11
reply to elwoodblues


J E F F
Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
Premium
join:2004-04-01
Kitchener, ON
kudos:1
reply to PX Eliezer70
Oddly enough, Kitchener Hydro was at Long Island, not sure if it was at that part. No mention of it in NY papers though..





--
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
said by J E F F:

Oddly enough, Kitchener Hydro was at Long Island, not sure if it was at that part. No mention of it in NY papers though.

Ah, well, thanks for the help.

Long Island geographically includes Kings (Brooklyn), Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk counties. Because the first two became part of NYC, most people today just mean Nassau and Suffolk when saying Long Island. But even Nassau and Suffolk have about 2.8 million people.

Anyway, the help was very welcome, I am sure.


dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
reply to dirtyjeffer
some of the comments in this article are rather interesting.

»www.businessweek.com/news/2012-1···trike#p1

while i am sure the company itself isn't without fault, a lot of people are pretty pissed at the union for what it has become and done to people who, for the most part, just want to work.
--
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

- George Orwell

zod5000

join:2003-10-21
Victoria, BC
Reviews:
·Shaw
reply to elwoodblues
I tend to think unions are both good and bad. The whole reason they started was because companies had bad working conditions, low wages etc.. (While making pretty big profits). I still think there's a use for unions today. There are still many companies making a killing but pay their employees sweet **** all.

The problem is that many unions aren't flexble. They're like a rolling snowball, always wanting more. Even when the company they work for is having a hard time maintaining operations. The union my dad is a part of accept a 10% wage rollback in an attempt to help the company get out of creditor protection. Which seams to have worked for now. Unfortunately many unions don't do things like and the company folds.

Without unions we have many large companies making cash hand over fist. Meanwhile the employee benefits/wages are pretty meh. I think real wages have gone down in the last 20-30 years?

It's a bit of a condundrum. Without unions, the corporations have all the power. With unions, the unions have all the power. It's virtually impossible to strike a balance.


Last Parade

join:2002-10-07
Port Colborne, ON
reply to J E F F
said by J E F F:

Do you know where the crews from Kitchener went (Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro)? They sent like 20 trucks or so. I don't think the city owned utility would be up to paying some damned union 22% from their workers wages...

I saw a lot of hydro trucks from that area on the thruway a couple weeks ago.