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Old 11-17-2012, 01:23 AM   #29
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I can't speak for this particular case and folks from collective bargaining units like to blame management whenever a company fails that has a union. When companies are doing well financially, there is great pressure from labor to sweeten the perks. Management often agrees to avoid strikes, making promises against a future they cannot afford. When times get tougher (all business is cyclical) many (but not all) unions refuse to take cuts to sustain the company, especially if it is in the middle of a contract rather than at renewal.

Thus, the company often does not have the flexibility it needs to react quickly to a changing business climate. Taxpayers are often caught with the bill of underfunded pensions and so forth.

Hostess had several failings because it did not adapt. Yet that is not the whole story. A long history of acquisitions left it with a complex web of multiple union contracts and benefit programs. This also contributed greatly to their lack of ability to adapt.

All this said, non-union is no guarantee of success either. I spent 10 years as part of a high tech company that designed and manufactured innovative products. It was a wonderful place to work and paid well. We were way ahead of our peers, yet pricing pressures eventually pushed our manufacturing to china, our customer support to India, our logistics to UPS, our IT to outsourcing, and so forth. Foreign competitors stole our intellectual property, copying our design and selling the result to Dell, HP and others. At our peak, we were1600 employees. 80 are left today. (I moved on, 8 months before my job would have been eliminated)

Who is to blame? Management? There were some missteps, but they were highly adaptive.

I suggest that consumers play a part as well. In the above example we used to win on innovation and service. Yet customers demanded prices to drop by 5% every 90 days. That leaves the only innovation to be how to make it cheaper. All the while, we complain about how good customer service is hard to find these days.

I'm currently in management in an organization that has 2 unions. It is eye opening to observe the collective bargaining process and some of the behaviors.
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:01 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by TdogKing
Alot of mis-information about Unions here. Tell me what's wrong with getting paid decent wage, benefits , pension and have somebody helping you make sure you get what's coming to you ? Everyone I meet is jealous of what I have because of being in a Union . I just Retired after spending 37 years working my butt off building Freeway Bridges and now I'm enjoying a Union pension, I don't feel for one minute that I skated along screwing my employers because I was Union, I earned it . Have you seen the Hostess CEO got a 300% increase in pay, maybe that had some bearing on their problems... Ya think ?
The person who is thankful just to have a job, and is trying to pay his rent or mortgage, would be glad to have those jobs. It's a shame. Just watching news, hostess had to try to run a profitable business and deal with the so called " I earned it" union obligations of 372 collective bargaining agreements, 40 different pension plans, 5,500 delivery routes because the unions said wonder bread and twinkies couldn't be carried in the same trucks.....! I think as someone said earlier, we're not getting the full story on the news, I think there right, it's a lot worst than we even know! Unions will be the death of America!
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:22 AM   #31
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:36 AM   #32
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The person who is thankful just to have a job, and is trying to pay his rent or mortgage, would be glad to have those jobs. It's a shame. Just watching news, hostess had to try to run a profitable business and deal with the so called " I earned it" union obligations of 372 collective bargaining agreements, 40 different pension plans, 5,500 delivery routes because the unions said wonder bread and twinkies couldn't be carried in the same trucks.....! I think as someone said earlier, we're not getting the full story on the news, I think there right, it's a lot worst than we even know! Unions will be the death of America!
I'm so glad we all don't share your opinion because that would be the death of America. Companies would love to pay only minimum wage and if everyone was willing to except that then we would all be eating twinkies for dinner.
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:38 AM   #33
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Always sad when folks lose their jobs. I feel somewhat responsible since I haven't bought a twinkle or their bread products in years.

I don't know why but for some reason this part of the linked article sounds familiar.

"The company is now controlled by a group of investment firms, including hedge funds Silver Point Capital and Monarch Alternative Capital."

Aside from the union contribution to the failure - two bankruptcies - rotating management - mounds of debt - owned by capital management companies -what could possibly go wrong?

I agree with other post - probably will be picked up by someone. I suspect a few people will make a killing. In the meantime working men and women will suffer.

I still won't buy twinkles though. Just not my thing.
if they are picked up by somebody else they are still out of thier jobs becuase of thier own greed
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:42 AM   #34
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Who wants to buy a dying company? Selling the factory items to a bread maker maybe?
Hostess is a bread maker - Wonder Bread is one of their major brands, but that brand has been slipping in popularity for years as well. Still, they were baking 127 million loaves of Wonder Bread every year.


As for the salary increases for Hostess executives, there is a grain of truth there but all is not as it seems. Executive pay was changed from a low salary + large bonuses to salary only, so of course the salary part was dramatically increased when the bonuses were eliminated. One can argue whether the executives of a failing company deserve either bonuses or a large salary, but there is nothing illegal about changing the basis for compensation. Obviously the executives ended up making more net pay on salary than they would have in bonuses, since few bonuses would be paid with sales in the crapper and the company losing money.
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:52 AM   #35
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It appears to me that the union had a choice to make - take 8% less or be out of a job. They chose the latter, for better or worse. It doesn't make sense to me, but then again, that's why our company doesn't have any manufacturing facilities left in Ohio or Pennsylvania, despite the fact that some of these dated back to the early 1800s. Production today is in Texas, Oklahoma or offshore. We couldn't compete with a cost per standard hour of $127.00 or more (back in the 1990s) in some of these facilities.

As far as jobs are concerned, I'll just say that we're having a job fair at our Houston headquarters today looking for engineers, project managers, IT personnel, etc. There's plenty of work down here for qualified personnel. I've worked here for 39 years next month and have never been out of work a day in my life since leaving college.

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Old 11-17-2012, 08:20 AM   #36
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It baffles me that some would decide $0/hour over 8% less !

Please understand that ANY generality is wrong in SOME cases, so apologies to those that did fine work within the union concept...but for the most part unions have out lived their time...

I once was in a union when I was younger and it held me back in that longevity meant more than my talent and effort....

Apologies, but when unions first were formed, weren't they the cream of the crop - the artisans? I saw the work some of these artisans did first hand... and did not want my name associated with that work - at all

but to each his own opinion, that's why some politicians are elected despite their failings.... OOPs, did I type that ?!?
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:22 AM   #37
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We had a huge manufacturing plant in my town. The union kept driving the wages and benefits up, so the company had no choice but to close and is now in Mexico. Unions were necessary 100 years ago, not so much now.
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:33 AM   #38
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Inept management answerable to a hedge fund , negotiating with intransigent unions . Devastating for the working families try to make ends meet
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:10 AM   #39
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And when the unions are no longer hear in the US. Management and some bean counters will decide that the 40 hour work week is no longer good enough. You no longer deserve a paid vacation, sick time, pension, health benifits, etc, etc. Your children or grandchildren will be out of work and the bread winner in the family will be 12 seeyears old. Then you will ask yourself what went wrong in this country.
All of these benifits that the average blue collar worker and middle to lower management enjoy and take for granted today was fought for very hard with our forefathers blood. Most of you whom have responded here so far would like to see this all taken away just for the right to have a job.
I for one will fight for what I have earned and my fair share of the profits I have helped build in the company I work for. I am a union member and I have been for 34 years. I have seen some bad, but mostly fair treatment of hourly employees within my company due to the presence of this union. I have seen the nonunion sectors of this company treated very poorly. Our company has gone though 2 bankruptcies and the employees , myself included has taken several pay cuts. I am now making less today per hour than in 1992. Has the cost of living stayed the same or decreased since then? No. My company has seen record profits for the past 8 quarters. Our union is now in negotiations and we have been 23 months without a contract, should we tell the union to just stay status quo because I am happy I have a job, or should at least try to get an increase close to the cost of living increase? I think the latter.
So the next time you say that unions will be the death of this country, think about where that will take us.
Sorry for the long rant, but I have found that most people who put down organized labor haven't a clue what they are asking for.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:51 AM   #40
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Modern Unions are the modern Mafia and do not care whatever about "the working class", they care only about themselves and maintaining power over those that do not realize that most large union leaders advocate overthrowing the U.S of A to let themselves run it, as if they are not already doing that thanks to significant like minded civilian officials.

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Old 11-17-2012, 10:50 AM   #41
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News today detailed the history of Hostess issues, goes back nearly a decade (the problems likely go back farther but 2003 is when the first filing noting them happened.

Nothing more to say on this issue.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:55 AM   #42
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Apparently, Hostess is closing its doors because they can't negotiate a resolution with their workers.
Its more than that.. They were losing money already 'cause no one was buying Twinkies or Ho-Ho's anymore. The strike simply sped things up..


Beside, the brands are up for sale, so they prolly wont go away.. Chinese Zinger's any one?
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