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Old 11-20-2012, 07:45 AM   #81
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At 125,000 a month, I imagine he could make a little room...
IF he and his team are able to rescue Hostess from a horrible situation (that was probably not of his doing if he is new) and in the process save thousands of jobs and add value for investors and creditors, then it could be viewed as a bargain.

How much would you pay for an x% chance of saving 15,000 jobs?
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:27 AM   #82
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Perhaps, but I'm thinking that the CEO has more room for self-righteous indignation than the inept union boss who came razor close to getting his 5,000 members jobs lost forever.
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Maybe, maybe not.

I haven't looked into the history of this particular CEO...

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Perhaps that's not a good analogy; what I object to is the self-righteous indignation of those whose default position is that it's always the union's fault...

Let's try another analogy: you turn of the TV in time to catch the last few seconds of a football game. A 60-yd field goal would win, but unfortunately, the kicker misses. Is it his fault the team lost? Or was it too many interceptions, dropped passes, missed tackles, and stupid penalties?

Granted, the baker's union's decision appears dumb, although they may still get a better deal in mediation. But a case study of Hostess would likely reveal a string of errors, bad decisions, and mismanagement by all involved.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:55 AM   #83
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Perhaps that's not a good analogy; what I object to is the self-righteous indignation of those whose default position is that it's always the union's fault...........Granted, the baker's union's decision appears dumb, although they may still get a better deal in mediation. But a case study of Hostess would likely reveal a string of errors, bad decisions, and mismanagement by all involved.
I agree that there is enough blame to go around (and the Baker's union is dumb). I also concede that unions are a necessary evil in some cases to level the playing field and prod companies that would not naturally do so to treat and pay their employees fairly. I once had a client who was not unionized but paid its employees well and had good benefits - they were fairly paternalistic and benevolent and treated their employees fairly so there was really no need for a union. I wish more companies could behave that way. On the other side of the coin, I'm thinking Walmart and some other companies who use oodles of part-time jobs to avoid full-time employee benefit costs, pay minimum wage or barely more, etc.

OTOH, it seems too often that unions do more harm than good by insisting on nonsense work rules to artificially "create" more jobs (that result in more union dues) and strong-arm companies for benefits that companies can't afford (like pensions). As an example, I heard on an NPR interview that Hostess was precluded from having Twinkies and Wonder Bread delivered in the same truck according to union rules. I'm ok with unions negotiating pay and benefits, but when they start poking their noses into the way businesses are run it becomes a problem because they have an in-bred incentive to try to create jobs that are not economically viable.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:03 AM   #84
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I agree that there is enough blame to go around (and the Baker's union is dumb). I also concede that unions are a necessary evil in some cases to level the playing field and prod companies that would not naturally do so to treat and pay their employees fairly. I once had a client who was not unionized but paid its employees well and had good benefits - they were fairly paternalistic and benevolent and treated their employees fairly so there was really no need for a union. I wish more companies could behave that way. On the other side of the coin, I'm thinking Walmart and some other companies who use oodles of part-time jobs to avoid full-time employee benefit costs, pay minimum wage or barely more, etc.

OTOH, it seems too often that unions do more harm than good by insisting on nonsense work rules to artificially "create" more jobs (that result in more union dues) and strong-arm companies for benefits that companies can't afford (like pensions). As an example, I heard on an NPR interview that Hostess was precluded from having Twinkies and Wonder Bread delivered in the same truck according to union rules. I'm ok with unions negotiating pay and benefits, but when they start poking their noses into the way businesses are run it becomes a problem because they have an in-bred incentive to try to create jobs that are not economically viable.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:09 AM   #85
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Perhaps that's not a good analogy; what I object to is the self-righteous indignation of those whose default position is that it's always the union's fault...
Agreed - I am sure there is some shared blame, but at this point, at least from what I've read, this particular action by the Baker's Union looks bad. As I said, when both management AND the Teamsters is telling the Union to negotiate, it says a lot.

And FWIW, I'm not anti-union, I'm anti any side having too much power (I like free markets - that works both ways).

Maybe I'm anti-union in a way - I think that when a company gets so much power that a Union is justified, other steps (from a 3rd party) should be taken to reign in that power. Unions have a way of just creating an opposite problem, as in this example...

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As an example, I heard on an NPR interview that Hostess was precluded from having Twinkies and Wonder Bread delivered in the same truck according to union rules.
I heard some other examples like that, but don't recall offhand. It can get crazy.

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Old 11-20-2012, 09:54 AM   #86
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We really don't have enough information to judge what is happening with Hostess Brands, although it is probably safe to assume that the media is being used by all parties to promote specific views. Mediation seems to be a more neutral course, hopefully it will help everyone find a way to remain a viable business.

Unions have lost a big opportunity over the past 2 or 3 decades to reinvent themselves (IMHO). They still fight the labor battles of a century ago. Labor's greatest challenge today is acquiring skills that have value, workers need help here, and unions are in a unique position to provide that help. Some may be doing that but on a national scale this is not evident.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:08 AM   #87
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Unions have lost a big opportunity over the past 2 or 3 decades to reinvent themselves (IMHO). They still fight the labor battles of a century ago. Labor's greatest challenge today is acquiring skills that have value, workers need help here, and unions are in a unique position to provide that help. Some may be doing that but on a national scale this is not evident.
Good observation. I might add "work with their company to promote (and share in) success - a rising tide lifts all boats."

RE: "They still fight the labor battles of a century ago. " Yes, I get frustrated when I hear people of today say (rightly so) that Unions gained this or that important benefit/safety measure, etc. True, but that was then - are the relevant and adapted to today's environment?

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Old 11-20-2012, 10:40 AM   #88
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Was watching "CBS This Morning" where there may be a last ditch effort for management and union to come to an agreement before bye bye Twinkee (unless another company picks Hostess up). Nothing like a little, "you lose, I lose" to get folks to the bargaining table .
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:45 AM   #89
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Fortunately, I suppose, depending on your view of Twinkies et al, there appears to be other interested parties, should the mediation fail.

Twinkies hope? Hostess puts off liquidation, agrees to mediation - latimes.com

Quote:
On Friday, Hostess said it would go out of business, blaming a strike by members of the BCTGM union. Workers who walked out accused the company of slashing benefits and wages while rewarding managers with substantial pay raises.
Shocking...

Quote:
Florida-based private equity firm Sun Capital Partners said it hoped to buy the company with a more union-friendly deal, according to Fortune.
Flowers Foods, parent to the Nature’s Own brand, is also in the mix. The Georgia-based baking company said Monday that it has extended its loan agreements, allowing it to access more funds for “acquisition financing” and “expansion goals,” among other purposes. To analysts, the move signaled that Flowers is interested in picking up Hostess.
Hurst Capital filed a letter of intent in bankruptcy court Monday to buy Hostess’ assets -- including intellectual property and office supplies -- in a “multimillion dollar” offer.
Reports over the weekend also named Bimbo Group, the Mexican company that owns Sara Lee and Entenmann’s.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:04 AM   #90
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On Friday, Hostess said it would go out of business, blaming a strike by members of the BCTGM union. Workers who walked out accused the company of slashing benefits and wages while rewarding managers with substantial pay raises.
Shocking...
I don't know, but it could be those pay raises were justified. What if those managers are working their butts off 100 hours a week to try to save the company? Maybe they are doing it better than anyone else could?

Or maybe they slime, stealing from a sinking ship - I haven't seen the details.

I was just middle management, but I worked very hard during a time when the company made great profits, and I also worked very hard during a time when the company was losing money and market share. But if they wanted to keep me there, and the felt they needed to give me a raise to keep me there, I got a raise. If they got to the point where they could not afford to pay competitively, they would be in deep trouble. They did freeze wages for a while, but that was a time when other companies were doing the same, or cutting.

I also have no seen any details on just what the Bakers were at pay/benefit-wise. I'd like to see that. I've got some sympathy for the retail workers being 'forced' to work the holiday, not sure I could work up sympathy for the Bakers or not.

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Old 11-20-2012, 11:30 AM   #91
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Fortunately, I suppose, depending on your view of Twinkies et al, there appears to be other interested parties, should the mediation fail.

Twinkies hope? Hostess puts off liquidation, agrees to mediation - latimes.com

Shocking...
I had read that the Hostess CEO, when the bakers walked out, made a very strong statement that there was no white knight waiting in the wings, unlike what the bakers had apparently been led to believe. I wonder if there really were.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:49 AM   #92
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I had read that the Hostess CEO, when the bakers walked out, made a very strong statement that there was no white knight waiting in the wings, unlike what the bakers had apparently been led to believe. I wonder if there really were.
See my post above...
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:59 AM   #93
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See my post above...
Yes, that's why I quoted the easily-quoted part of it (haven't completely mastered the Android e-r.org app)--interesting that perhaps some "good guys" may ride in despite the CEO's strong assertions to the contrary.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:02 PM   #94
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I had read that the Hostess CEO, when the bakers walked out, made a very strong statement that there was no white knight waiting in the wings, unlike what the bakers had apparently been led to believe. I wonder if there really were.
But I don't think the other companies would be looked at as "White Knights" by the Baker's Union. From what I've read, they will want significant concessions for the Baker's Union, likely more severe than what Hostess was asking for.

The devil you know.... ?


At any rate, the reps from the Baker's Union could have done their own research on this, just as the Teamster's Union had done. Or, the Union could buy them out and run the business, though the strike could be looked at as a means to buy the company at a rock-bottom price, maybe illegal? But it's one option I hope the mediator looks at.

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Old 11-20-2012, 12:18 PM   #95
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Looks to me like both sides are playing hardball calling each others' bluff, but have second thoughts and ask themselves "For the sake of twinkies , do we really want to play hardball?"
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:09 PM   #96
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Looks to me like both sides are playing hardball calling each others' bluff, but have second thoughts and ask themselves "For the sake of twinkies , do we really want to play hardball?"
It's heartwarming . Someone should sell "Save the Twinkie!" teeshirts.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:32 PM   #97
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It's heartwarming . Someone should sell "Save the Twinkie!" teeshirts.
Great idea. Looks like someone already has:

Image Detail for - Fifth Sun T Shirt, Save The Twinkie - Mens T-Shirts - Macy's
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:35 PM   #98
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Unions have lost a big opportunity over the past 2 or 3 decades to reinvent themselves (IMHO). They still fight the labor battles of a century ago. Labor's greatest challenge today is acquiring skills that have value, workers need help here, and unions are in a unique position to provide that help. Some may be doing that but on a national scale this is not evident.
Yes, even some sort of worker skill certification process might help (especially as companies and workers are less loyal to each other, worker mobility is greater). But the skills are so quickly changing . . . it would require a lot of agility.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:41 PM   #99
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But does it have the "Union Made" label?



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Old 11-20-2012, 01:47 PM   #100
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I've seen both sides of the union debate.

Have a brother who had a manager in law enforcement that treated his workers like they were the inmates. Had he not been in a union, he would have lost his job as the manager "had it in for him" as the saying goes. On the other hand, I've had union workers come up to me an inch from may face, trying to provoke and incident, calling me a scab, among other things.

My conclusion of this Twinkie saga... I'm sure glad that I'm retired and don't have to w*rk anymore for a living.
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