“Twinkies – Oh my Gosh, I love them!” – “Sugar” from Tick, Tick Boom
So, as Hostess closes its doors, I find myself completely torn. Normally, I am on the side of the workers and the unions.
I even understand their position in this case. Hostess was cutting benefits by 30% and salaries by 8%. With a collective bargaining agreement, there’s issues with cutting those things.
What I wonder, is if there was a way to push the negotiations without striking?
Ah, well, I’m not on the union management and don’t know enough about the situation with Hostess management to know if there was another way. All we can do is understand what to do going forward.
How do we keep these situations from happening in the future? I don’t know. There’s no hard and fast rule.
What I do know, is that sometimes there are other situations that need to be explored. Hostess, being a public company, and in Chapter 11 for the second time, was under extreme pressure to grow.
It did not need growth. It needed stability. There’s a difference. Sometimes, you need to shrink, not grow, in order to continue.
Maybe there was waste or inefficiencies that needed to be addressed. Maybe there was a specific market share they weren’t going after. Hostess isn’t a company I’ve owned. I don’t know enough about them to say.
All I can say is, I’m going to miss your cupcakes.
And now, I’m going to run out and buy one of everything Hostess and put it in a box to save for the future….
Edited 11-18-12: So one of my friends was kind enough to find some information on the history of these negotiations and the bankruptcy:
After they filed for bankruptcy back in 2005 the workers took a pay and benefits cut. One guy they talked to lost $10k a year with the cut. The CEO was getting $750k a year. Last year the management voted to increase their pay. That same CEO was now getting $2.5 mil a year. That is when they first started asking the workers to take a another pay cut. The guy who lost $10k before was being asked to take another $10k pay cut and pay almost all of his insurance premiums. His pay would be $25k a year. For the hours he worked, unemployment pays more. For what he would have gotten from Hostess he would have lost his house because he wouldn’t be able to meet their mortgage.
Hostess wanted workers to go back to the same pay and benefits scale that they were paying in the 1950s. So yeah. Hostess? Totally in the wrong.