Skip to comments.Twinkies—A Defense: The real battle at the snack maker is union vs. union.
Posted on 11/21/2012 9:37:20 AM PST by SeekAndFind
A corporate bankruptcy is a paper death. The underlying assets live on. Killers of paper structures, in this light, are devalued villains, but a cry has gone up to identify the villain behind the pending liquidation of Hostess Brands, maker of Twinkies, Devil Dogs, Wonder Bread and other déclassé delights.
Everyone knows the answer: It was the bakersi.e., the branch of the AFL-CIO formally known as the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union. The bakers are guilty of a perfectly justifiable attempted homicide.
Don't believe any guff about how chubby Americans are gnawing on carrot sticks. Forget blaming private equity, whose sin in the Hostess matter has been overworking the bankruptcy process to prolong the paper life of a Hostess not fit to survive.
The real story is the story of two unions, the Teamsters and the Bakery union of the AFL-CIO. Here's where things get interesting.
The Teamsters reluctantly agreed to givebacks to finance the company's latest turnaround attempt. The bakers rejected any concessions and went out on strike, despite being informed that the result would be the liquidation of the parent company and the loss of 18,500 jobs.
Tsk tsk, went even the liberal media, assuming that union bloody-mindedness must be at work. Think again. As the bakers rightly saw it, they were being asked once more to prop up Teamster jobs that would likely guarantee that any Hostess resurrection would be short-lived.
Start with the fact that Hostess's bakery operations are relatively efficient, and though the company planned to sell or close some of the plants anyway, the company had the power to do so already under its union contracts.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
The sticking point was Hostess's distribution operations, source of the Hostess horror stories filling the media. Union-imposed work rules stopped drivers from helping to load their trucks. A separate worker, arriving at the store in a separate vehicle, had to be employed to shift goods from a storage area to a retailer's shelf. Wonder Bread and Twinkies couldn't ride on the same truck.
Hostess has spent eight of the past 11 years in bankruptcy. As the company explained to its latest judge, the Hostess brands "have not been able to profit from many of their existing delivery stops and have been unable to enter potentially profitable markets, such as dollar stores, vending services and movie theaters."
So.... these stupid unions kept me from being about to buy cupcakes at the movies??
During visits to the technical side of the house in some unionized plants this does not surprise me. Salaried employees could not do something as simple as moving a computer setup from one area to another. Union people had to do that work, especially the electrician that unplugged it and plugged it into a different power outlet.
The union was also quick to file a grievance if they suspected someone else of doing a "union" job.
I worked a job years ago that required me to be a UAW member. I witnessed people say to management, "I can't move that sawhorse....you'll need a shop carpenter for that."
And that was in 1979. It has only gotten worse.
So the Bakers Union killed themselves to teach the truck drivers a lesson. Why, that’s bound to work. And a baker making over $120,000 a year is not good money. Man....I want to start writing for the WSJ. They must be making a ton of money if they can turn up their noses at $120,000 a year!