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Forum Post: Perfect opportunity!! Hostess Foods bankrupt, 19000 to lose jobs! Workers unite!

Posted 2 years ago on Nov. 16, 2012, 12:21 p.m. EST by TheRazor (-329)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Now lets see if the workers and the Bakery union step up and buy the company. This will be the workers owning the means of production. If they dont step up, capitalism is proven to be superior to all other systems! If the workers dont unite, SHAME ON THEM AND SHAME ON OWS!

65 Comments

65 Comments


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[-] 5 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

From what I can gather, this resulted from an attempt to impose austerity measures on the workforce.

Loss of pension entitlements included. I bet the management get their payouts.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (22248) 2 years ago

Huh? If they weren't able to save up enough money, at their low wages, to purchase a major corporation, capitalism is proven to be superior? Hell no, that would prove what a colossal failure capitalism is.

Concentrating all of the wealth in the hands of a few is destroying this civilization. We're in a downward spiral because no one has any money to spend, let alone purchase a major corporation.

[-] 0 points by TheRazor (-329) 2 years ago

The union can buy it.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (22248) 2 years ago

No, TheRazor. The unions don't have the cash to buy a major corporation and then go on and support all of the workers that they cover across the country. This is true even for the Teamsters.

What destroys corporations are greed and bad management decisions. For instance, hostess is still making unhealthy food when Americans are finally searching for healthy alternatives, and they are paying their executives enormous sums of money while cheating and cutting back on the workers. Bad mix.

[-] 3 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Why don't you and Shayneh get in on this opportunity? Get Bain Capital to finance it for you. Just think of the profit you could extract from this company as it dies a slow death. Replace all of the workers at minimum wage, take out huge loans, receive a huge salary, and with just a few years of hard work declare bankruptcy, and pocket tens of millions. All perfectly legal too! I'm sure Mitt would give you all the necessary details on how to achieve the American dream.

[-] 4 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

If they have the capability, I agree that they should try to convert the business to a worker-owned cooperative. Is there any possibility of this happening? I am not up on this particular news item.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22361) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Perhaps a new worker ownership might see a change in direction for Hostess - like removal of pure poison junk foods(?) - and replacement with a healthier product line. Possible????????????

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6885) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Just switching from high fructose corn syrup back to cane sugar would be a (minor) health improvement. HFCS is some pretty bad stuff.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (22361) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

True - and remove that nasty substance they call creamy filling? I don't know what the stuff is - but it seems to be in no way natural - and so - not fit for consumption.

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6885) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Nah, you gotta keep the the mystery filling, man. It's what makes it soooo tasty.

I saw an episode of 'Life After People' talking about how long food lasts. The second longest lasting food was Twinkies! I think it was something crazy, like 25 years and still edible.

The food with the longest shelf-life? Honey in a sealed jar. Shelf life indefinite.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (22361) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

But Honey is healthy - twinkies(?) not so much.

[-] 0 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 2 years ago

only if you are getting unpastuerized uncut honey.

[-] -1 points by TheRazor (-329) 2 years ago

McDonalds fries are pretty resilient. Some guy did a time lapse of a bunch of foods, after a couple months they all were putrid masses of goo, except those fries. They looked almost freshly cooked even after months!

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

I watched that video. It was true?

I guess when you fry something so completely, it's simply oil, and that can only turn rancid without discolouring.

[-] 0 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

its potatoes, potatoes never go bad and when they do you just chop them up put them in the ground and wait for new ones to grow

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

Oh, they go bad, alright.

I can't think of a worse smell, offhand.

They go black, and turn into the most noxious and difficult to remove liquid stench.

When they are sliced into fries, and boiled in oil, they pretty much become saturated fat receptacles.

[-] 0 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

yeah that does something to do with it i just know potatoes are a sturdy cheap meal. (poor college student living on potatoes for most meals here).

There could be more they they put into them too i try to stay away from that since i know its not healthy

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 2 years ago

I used to have the occasional Grand Angus burger, but started getting nauseous straight away. Did some checking, and found out that to get the Heart Foundation approval tick (big deal in Australia) they replaced the sugar content in the buns with aspartame. Never eating their crap again.

[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

yeah i still get stuff time to time but i always hate myself after so im picking healthier restaurants or my own dam food instead of that bull shit.

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6885) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

I'd like to see that video. YouTube?

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6885) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Thanks, TR.

[-] 0 points by TheRazor (-329) 2 years ago

Its bankrupt and the assets will be sold at auction. If ever there was a chance to put into play the priciples that so many here expound, this is it. If this incredible opportunity goes by and the Bakery union fails to act, what does that say? It truly says European style worker coops arent the panacea everyone says they are.

[-] 0 points by ronniepaul2012 (214) 2 years ago

Exactly. I just posted essentially the same thoughts above before I read your post!!!

[Deleted]

[-] -1 points by TheRazor (-329) 2 years ago

Unwlling to own the means of production at fire sale prices? Then this movement isnt serious. It becames a silly joke.

If a union isnt willing to invest in the means of production and challenge itself to create marketable products, OWS loses all meaning.

[-] 3 points by Gillian (1842) 2 years ago

Hostess ( and many other companies) could learn a thing to two from Bob Moore, founder of Bob's Red Mill. http://www.classwarfareexists.com/owner-of-bobs-red-mill-natural-foods-gives-his-company-to-his-209-employees/#axzz2CUMzkW00

[-] 2 points by Progression (143) 2 years ago

Some creditors question Hostess pay raises approved in late July.

Brian Driscoll, CEO, around $750,000 to $2,550,000 (300% raise) Gary Wandschneider, EVP, $500,000 to $900,000 John Stewart, EVP, $400,000 to $700,000 David Loeser, EVP, $375,000 to $656,256 Kent Magill, EVP, $375,000 to $656,256 Richard Seban, EVP, $375,000 to $656,256 John Akeson, SVP, $300,000 to $480,000 Steven Birgfeld, SVP, $240,000 to $360,000 Martha Ross, SVP, $240,000 to $360,000 Rob Kissick, SVP, $182,000 to $273,008

NOTE: Some executives didn't take full raise. Source: Creditors' Committee court filings

I see unions getting much of the flak for the collapse of Hostess but they had other problems. Namely corporate raiders (management) who gave themselves obscene "performance based" raises prior to bankruptcy. If you can spare a moment to upvote this thread on reddit, it will be greatly appreciated:

http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/13bzbt/hostess_management_hikes_their_own_salaries_prior/

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Disgusting.

[-] -2 points by VQkaq2 (-21) 2 years ago

Disgusting.unions

[-] 2 points by Buttercup (1067) 2 years ago

Twinkies and DingDongs have been in trouble for a long time. It's a little thing called 'healthier eating habits' a changing consumer marketplace leading to decreased market share. It's why Coke branched out into flavored water style drinks and sports beverages.

The problem is not the Twinkie and DingDong unions. The problem is super hydrogenated fat, high fructose corn syrup, superfine sugar, cellulose fiber, something in the center that nobody knows what it is but it stays gooey and greasy for years. aka Twinkies and DingDongs. Ding Dong.

[-] 0 points by TheRazor (-329) 2 years ago

And the Bakery Union cant figure out how to buy the assets and create healthier food lines? This is the chance.

[-] 1 points by Buttercup (1067) 2 years ago

You're kidding right? The Bakery Union should innovate new food products??

Healthier snack foods have already been created. That's why Twinkies and Ding Dongs have been losing market share. And if company management had done it's job and innovated new healthier snack products, they probably wouldn't be going out of business. It's not the Unions job to do that. Nobody is going to stay in business when they're losing market share. Union or no union.

Products live and products die. That's not the fault of unions. Is it the candlemakers fault that the candle market collapsed after the invention of electricity? Was it the candle maker union that killed the candle market?? Was it the buggy maker union that killed the horse and buggy market?? Jeesh. Do you read what you write?

[-] -1 points by ronniepaul2012 (214) 2 years ago

What you say is true, but there are a dozen or more bakeries that will be available at firesale prices. Perfect chance for the workers to own the means of production. Local groups have the opportunity to buy 1 facility and produce an innovative product. Or do you concede that "worker bees" can't do this?

I expect Hostess will sell the recipe and naming rights to Little Debby , Kraft, ??, etc and these facilities will be closed, anyway. Hell, the people can have a bread factory. The possiblilites are endless.

[-] 3 points by Buttercup (1067) 2 years ago

'Or do you concede that "worker bees" can't do this?' - not at all. Anybody that can raise the capital can do it. Continue making goo filled treats or something else. Whatever they make, they'll be competing with the Krafts, Little Debbie's, whoever. Larger companies who have enormous advantages in economies of scale.

My only point is, it's not the unions fault that Twinkies has been losing market share.

And whether or not the workers or union 'buy' the means of production, does not prove capitalism is 'superior'. It could simply mean that the unions don't want to be in the Twinkie making business. Or that the workers couldn't raise the capital. It does nothing to prove capitalism's superiority. As Razor/DingDong suggests.

I don't know for sure, but I suspect that the snack food industry is bigger today than it was 50 years ago and still growing. It's just that Twinkies is dying. Look at protein bars. There are innovative products out there. Twinkies Co. didn't get in on that action. And that's why they're going out of business. Not the unions fault.

It's pretty disgusting that Twinkies Co. is blaming the workers and the union for they're own management failures in navigating the market place. Another example - General Mills. They saw the market changing and responded with more whole grain and high fiber in their cereals. Whole grain Twinkies? Who knows. It might have worked.

While it's sad that these people will be losing their jobs, I suspect there are overall increases in snack food manufacturing as a result of the overall growth in the industry.

[-] -2 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

You might have a point if the facts agreed with your argument:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/18/us-obesity-us-idUSBRE88H0RA20120918

[-] 4 points by Buttercup (1067) 2 years ago

And yet they still had declining sales. For the past 10 years. lol lol rotflol. You just destroyed your argument with your own argument. Way to go.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

How does declining sales translate to increasing obesity rates? What sales are declining?

[-] 5 points by Buttercup (1067) 2 years ago

Seriously? I have to explain this to you? Twinkies are fattening. So despite increasing obesity rates, Twinkies still has declining sales.

Look it up. It's well documented. They first filed for bankruptcy 10 years ago due to declining sales. And they've continued to decline ever since.

Maybe people like Little Debbies better. I don't know. But if you can't manage to increase sales of fatty filled snack cakes when obesity rates are increasing - that's a management problem.

And they did try to branch out with healthier alternatives. Natures Pride Bread. But it was too little too late.

[-] -1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Read what I wrote (no mention of twinkies).

How does declining sales translate to increasing obesity rates? What sales are declining?

If, as you claim, the rate of sales of fattening foods is declining how can it be that obesity is increasing? The sales of fattening foods must therefore be increasing. The market is speaking but no one is listening (except the suppliers).

It can't be that more fat people are eating more of the supply of fattening foods because obesity is rising. Once a person has been defined as obese eating more does not add to the statistic. No, it must be that non-obese people are consuming more, adding to the increase in sales of fatty foods, and driving up the rates.

It could also be that we are getting better at keeping obese people alive. As new fat folks girth-up (particularly kids) the rate increase. Probably have to look at the demographics to figure that one out.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8719) 2 years ago

TheRazor . . . who are you, the cousin of Mack the Knife?

[-] 1 points by jemmie (2) 2 years ago

From Huffington Post:

We did everything we could to save the company," said Joseph Ortuso, a Teamster and sales route driver from New Jersey who'd been with Hostess or its acquisitions for more than two decades. "We never gave up during bankruptcy. We fought in the marketplace to retain our business. In the end, somebody else made the decision."

"They're losing [5,000] jobs," Ortuso said of the bakers' union, "but they're costing 18,900 people their jobs."

Ken Hall, the Teamsters secretary-treasurer, said his union didn't doubt Hostess' claims after seeing its books.

"I think it's obvious there was no bluff," said Hall. "Our financial advisers had looked at their books, they had total access. We pushed them in negotiations to where we thought it was the absolute limit, that we would get the most for our members and [still] have a pathway back to prosperity for the company. The bakers' union disagreed with that."

"Frankly, I feel sick about what's going on here," Hall added. "It's a tragic day for 18,000 workers."

[-] 1 points by freakzilla (-161) from Detroit, MI 2 years ago

Whatever it takes. Just keep my Twinkies coming.

[-] 0 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 2 years ago

if you will cosign on my loan i will give it a shot.

[-] 0 points by Shayneh (-482) 2 years ago

I think it's great - Obama said the business wasn't built by the people who own it - well this just goes to prove how wrong he is. They built it and they can shut it down and put lots of people out of work if they so desire.

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

It's 82 years old. The people running it simply preside over the work that labor produces. The workers/bakers build the products. The execs sit on their fat asses sucking up pay the don't deserve. Now the greedy, selfish, execs who decided to liquidate is asking the judge for almost $2Million for bonuses.

It's disgusting.

[-] -1 points by Shayneh (-482) 2 years ago

Well, it's apparent that they are tired of dealing with those who think they know what's best for the business so they decided to do what a lot of other businesses are going to do - close their doors.

How does that make you feel?

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

The execs failed at managing the business. They drove the corp into bankrupcy. That's what they built. They do not deserve bonuses. They deserve prosecution.

How does that make you feel?

[-] 0 points by Shayneh (-482) 2 years ago

How do you know that they "failed at managing the business"? Do you know something no one else does?

Please provide us with factual information - so we all can make a determination on if what you say is true.

And if what you say is true then it is they who owned the business and they are the ones who decided to close it down.

So, now we have an opportunity for the people who worked there to buy the business and "co-op" it. Just what a lot of you were talking about - well here's the opportunity.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

if they (execs) get credit for running businesses, then they have be responsible for business failure.

As far as buying the failed corp that the execs ruined, there are many possibility.elements and issues related to that.

Whatever happens good luck to the workers.

[-] -2 points by VQkaq2 (-21) 2 years ago

You are correct, the unions destroyed it

Peace

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by Coyote88 (-24) 2 years ago

Perhaps the Feds can bail them out.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (22361) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Why? A failing snack food co with over 2 billion in sales? Sounds like it is being driven onto the rocks on purpose.

[-] 0 points by Coyote88 (-24) 2 years ago

More conspiracies huh?

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (22361) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Is it? You mean it isn't just piss poor management?

[-] 0 points by Coyote88 (-24) 2 years ago

Your proof? I believe the local Teamsters agreed with the proposed contract. Are you saying they are corporate stooges?

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (22361) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Now what tangent are you off on? How do you go from a company that makes 2 billion in sales going out of business and I say piss poor management must be involved for the current failure and you come back with some non-sense about teamsters?

[-] 0 points by Coyote88 (-24) 2 years ago

The teamsters agreed to the companies proposed contract. He Bakers union didn't. The teamsters are pissed. 19000 jobs lost. Piss poor management? No doubt a big part of the problem. But rarely all of the problem. And if the union takes over ( buys) the business that will guarantee success?

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (22361) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

With 2 billion in annual sales? Ummmm - lemme think a mo - shit it does sound impossible don't it? NOT But the employees will likely not get that chance as the current owner will sell off the pieces of the business for more profit - and the employees will be the only ones who get screwed. Familiar story.

[-] 0 points by Coyote88 (-24) 2 years ago

If you know the operating costs of the company please tell me. I can't seem to find that info.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (22361) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

2 Billion in sales - 19,000 workers - hmmmm - nope sorry don't know the operating costs - but with 2 billion in sales - I think they should have been able to make ends meet.

[-] 0 points by Coyote88 (-24) 2 years ago

You really don't understand business. Do you? Forget it. Your ignorance is nothing new..

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (22361) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I understand Binness just fine. Binness these days is getting as much out as possible in the shortest period of time - sell off the corpse of the freshly dead Binness and look for something else to rape then burn to the ground - let former workers fall where they will. It is the current curriculum in Binness school. Much applauded by wallstreet.

Have you missed this growing trend in Binness?

[-] -1 points by Coyote88 (-24) 2 years ago

Oh for.... Yeah...never mind....you keep believing that pertains to every one..

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (22361) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

No not everyone - not yet. But for many it was a similar forerunner of having their work outsourced offshore. You seem to be having a problem with seeing reality.