RIP Hostess

“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.

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Wishlist of stuff that is just cool.

As always, I have no need for any of the things on this list.

They’re just COOL.

My father’s always said, “you can want anything in the world, just don’t expect to get it.”

That being said:

Weapon thumbtacks – come in katana, rapier, battle-axe, etc. (Thinkgeek.com)

Hakko 936 Soldering Iron (Boing Boing) <– Okay, this I might need. We've lost the soldering iron in the house. Might as well get a good one as opposed to a twenty dollar P.O.S. which will be broken within two years.

UNDX-1 Pocket Geiger Counter (Boing Boing) – I want it for, um, for ghost hunting? Yeah, that’s it. Ghost hunting. *nods*

Cheshire Cat Pocket Watch – Sadly, this is just concept art, but I want it. NOW

Adam Wallacava tentacle chandelier (This links to the gallery, so you might have to search past shows)

“Retro Domesticity” Bracelets

These gorgeous, handmade bracelets feature original charms from the forties.

The artist Jeanne Slather (charmedbracelets.net) says:

These charms first caught my eye because they seemed so odd: What kind of woman would choose to hang a sterling silver ironing board from her wrist? Was it a not-so-subtle symbol of domestic bondage?

A tiny toaster, with slices of toast that pop up. A push lawn mower. A sewing machine, also with moving parts. And my favorite, a bug sprayer with a moving handle.

Personally, I adore the bug sprayer.

BugSprayer Bracelet

National Buy a Book by a Black Author and Give it to Somebody Not Black Month.

This is an interesting interview with Carleen Brice. (Black Female Author of Mainstream/Literary)

I would love to see books treated as books. So if a book is women’s fiction, I’d love to see it marketed broadly to women, not only black women. What tends to happen is that my books and books like mine have to become popular with black audiences and then cross over. And it’s maddening! It’s maddening to see a book like The Help get marketed to all readers and a book like The Air Between Us get lost in the shuffle. Similar subject matter. One author is white; one is black. Is that the reason why one took off and one didn’t…? Probably not the only reason, but it’s hard to believe it’s not part of the reason. I’d love to see L.A. Banks’ vampire books shoot up the bestseller lists like Charlaine Harris’ books. I’d like to see HBO or some other channel turn them into a series like True Blood.

I’d love to see a white writer called “the new Pearl Cleage” or “the new Attica Locke” instead of always vice versa. I’d love to see book reviewers compare books by genre and subject matter instead of by authors’ ethnicity.

A list of 50 books on Indiebound from Carleen Brice (via The Rejectionist)

Now, I honestly couldn’t tell you the race of most of the authors I pick up. (A good bet is white male. I say this as a white female.) I decided to take a stroll through the 50 books she recommends. I’d love to say they all looked great, but they didn’t. Problem is, I just don’t read mainstream lit. I want genre books. So, if someone were to round up say 50 SciFi books by American Minority Authors, it might be more helpful to me.

Personal rec on this theme : The Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker

Still the following did peak my interest. (At least so far as I’m putting it onto my books to read list. Which these days means from the library.)

Big Machine By Victor Lavalle