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

1 recommendation

reply to elwoodblues

Re: R.I.P. Twinkee?

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 ~


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.


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


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


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


Blogger
Jedi Poster
Premium
join:2012-10-18
reply to donoreo
I realize your point applies specifically to the union(s) associated with Hostess.

However, I read especially in the US of disproportionate and IMO an over characterization of unions, lumping them all into the same category as being unreasonable, greedy, and the cause of many fiscal problems both private and public.

But there are all ways two sides to a story. for instance a long-time friend of mine is a 767 Captain for Delta Airlines. He hired on with them about 25 years ago.

Some years back Delta told their employees in general but I am referring specifically to the pilots and their union that they needed to make serious salary cutback consideration to save the company from filing a BK and going under. Eventually the pilots gave through their union gave up 35-40 percent of the salary!

A couple of years later Delta filed a BK anyway. The resulting BK emergence ended up with including the previous 35-40 percent pay cut an additional pay cut to bring the total cut to 50 percent. It even got worse then that as the pilots entire pension plan was forfeited or liquidated and the pilots lost their entire pension. I haven't talked to him for a while but unless something dramatic has changed when my friend retires he gets no pension.

So when talking about unions there is more than one story and there is no such thing as stereotype union or mindset of unions.


dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
perhaps if the pilot wasn't in the union (i know, not possible, but just for fun), and instead had a defined contribution pension instead of a defined benefit, he wouldn't find himself empty handed now...a lot of people in unions are finding themselves in that very situation.


TLS2000
Crazy Canuck
Premium
join:2004-02-24
Mississauga, ON
Or perhaps if the company had better planned, the benefits that they promised to the union would still be there.
--
Tom


Blogger
Jedi Poster
Premium
join:2012-10-18
reply to dirtyjeffer
Based upon the responses I think that dirtyjeffer and TLS2000 may have misunderstood the facts:

The union made voluntary concessions by having its members take deep pay cuts, 35-40 percent because the company said that was what was necessary to save the company from going bankrupt and out of business.

Then a couple of years later the company still filed bankruptcy. In the bankruptcy proceeding per the order of the court and the bk process the pensions were liquidated and eliminated to pay creditors. When the company reorganized no pension benefits or plan were reestablished.

So in this particular individual case neither the pilots or their union did anything wrong or irresponsible except trusting the company or taking them at their word. It was the union and the pilots that made concessions and took cuts and besides getting the shaft in that area got another shaft when the company declared the BK.

Other employees for the airline besides the pilots were affected negatively too but I don't know the details--only those affecting the pilots.

Or to restate it, the pilots, (and I presume the other employees), would have better not to make any concessions and let the company file the BK. In all likelihood they would have come out much better off than they were by making the concessions.


TLS2000
Crazy Canuck
Premium
join:2004-02-24
Mississauga, ON
Reviews:
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I didn't misunderstand anything, thank you.

DJ spewed his anti-union vitriol and I correctly pointed out that the company shouldn't be promising things to the union that it can't deliver. The bankruptcy filing is proof that the company couldn't deliver.

In all honesty, the lack of long term planning is what is killing off companies with defined benefit plans. All the fat cats on the top keep getting fat and the company ends up going bankrupt at the expense of the employees and the shareholders. Shareholders need to take a longer view on their returns or this will keep happening.
--
Tom


Blogger
Jedi Poster
Premium
join:2012-10-18
Major commercial airlines going out of business or being bought out by a competitor is a decades long tradition in the United States.

Most major commercial airlines in the US losing money all most every year goes back to 1978, the the year of airline deregulation.

Frankly why anyone would want to invest in an airline with rare exceptions like Southwest Airlines is beyond my limited financial understanding of the world of stocks and Wall Street, etc.


dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
reply to TLS2000
said by TLS2000:

DJ spewed his anti-union vitriol and I correctly pointed out that the company shouldn't be promising things to the union that it can't deliver. The bankruptcy filing is proof that the company couldn't deliver.

no "anti-union" vitriol...just pointing out that many people who planned on having a nest egg, no longer have it, because the company goes belly up...had they stashed away their own money, with top ups from the company, they would still have something...sorry if posting facts is considered "anti-union vitriol".
--
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

- George Orwell


TLS2000
Crazy Canuck
Premium
join:2004-02-24
Mississauga, ON
Reviews:
·Rogers Hi-Speed
·TekSavvy Cable
You specifically mentioned "perhaps if the pilot wasn't in the union". There was absolutely nothing stopping that pilot from saving his own nest egg. There was absolutely nothing stopping the company from saying "Hey guys, we can't afford to give you defined benefits. You'll have to have defined contribution instead."

Both parties are at fault, but the company should ultimately be the one that says no.

Unions are powerful, but only because the companies they work for have allowed them to become that powerful. Unions and corporations really need to start working together to improve all parties involved.
--
Tom


dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
said by TLS2000:
You specifically mentioned "perhaps if the pilot wasn't in the union".
not as a slight against the union, but said in a way that he would have been 100% responsible for his own retirement savings, rather than rely on a promise, which has since dissolved.

quote:
There was absolutely nothing stopping that pilot from saving his own nest egg.
true, but if you have been told the past 30 years there is this nice retirement package waiting for you after your decades of service, you are likely counting on that as your retirement income.

quote:
There was absolutely nothing stopping the company from saying "Hey guys, we can't afford to give you defined benefits. You'll have to have defined contribution instead."
many companies have said that, and continue to do...many unions have found that to be a sticking point, and often refuse it (at least on existing members).

quote:
Both parties are at fault, but the company should ultimately be the one that says no.
they have, and long strikes have been the result...those long strikes benefit no one...the company often loses money during the strike and the employees lose pay while being on strike (i don't count strike pay, as it is marginal).

quote:
Unions are powerful, but only because the companies they work for have allowed them to become that powerful.
well, after being held hostage, correct...however, that isn't a very equitable situation.

quote:
Unions and corporations really need to start working together to improve all parties involved.

i have said that all along...look at the unions in Germany...the auto companies there have workers who make really good money, but the unions foster a more co-operative environment rather than the "us versus them" mentality that is often the case here...that said, i have been seeing some unions working together better.
--
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

- George Orwell