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Dave Ross on Hostess and Unions

Original post made by Joe, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Nov 20, 2012

Dave Ross is a syndicated radio commentator, like Charlie Osgood but with a sarcastic bite. He's on KCBS daily at 2:35p and 5:35p. Today he talked about Hostess, and made a comparison between it and a similar company. Hostess filed for bankruptcy, even after the court-ordered mediation, after failing to meet the demands of its unions. The similar company, McKee Foods, is doing well without unions. In fact, as Dave points out, McKee's employees are significantly more productive that those of Hostess, even though they're producing a similar product in similar areas of the country.

The transcript of today's radio program is copied below, with a link to the Dave Ross website. Read into it what you will, but the facts remain.

*****

So Hostess may not go bankrupt after all. The judge wants everyone to sit down and talk about it. That's good. It might save those 18,500 jobs. But there's really only one thing to discuss.

According to the Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch column, Hostess's annual revenues were $2.5 billion.

$2.5 billion divided by 18,500 is $135,000 per Hostess employee. Well, there's another company with revenue figures in that ballpark: McKee Foods, makers of Little Debbie snacks -- the Cosmic Brownie, the Oatmeal Cream Pie, and the Cloud Cake, which looks suspiciously like a Twinkie, but sells for less.

McKee brings in about $1.1 billion with about 6,500 employees, which works out to $164,000 per employee. Twenty-one percent more than each Hostess employee brings in.

Now McKee has a very different history. It's still owned by the McKee family, it never sold out to venture capitalists, and it never unionized.

But there's no point in debating history, because the bottom line is they sell similar products for a lower price, and their employees are 21 percent more productive than Hostess employees.

So when everybody sits down in that bankruptcy court to figure things out, there's only one thing to discuss: how to get 21 percent more productive. When they sit down for that meeting I have a suggestion for the refreshments: Cosmic Brownies.

Web Link

Comments (59)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ted
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Nov 20, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Amazing how a radio listener can be impressed by such fluff.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nancy s.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Am I the only one wanting to say this?

The hostess bakers want to have their cake and eat it too.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by M.Antoinette
a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 21, 2012 at 3:19 pm

If they do not want to bake cake, then let them bake bread.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 21, 2012 at 8:25 pm

More eevul yoon-yun bashin' in the P-Weekly?

What a shock.

The true causes of the failure of Hostess are decades of bad management and "vulture capitalism". As reported from a REAL journalisic source (Salon magazine, not this embarrassment to journalism):

"To begin with, when was the last time you ate a Twinkie or chose spongy Wonder Bread over an artisanal or organic load? The company simply hasn't been able to adequately compete due to a stodgy, moribund management that did not act to diversify a product base that hasn't changed with the times (unless you count 100-calorie Twinkies packs). As the New York Times reported way back on Sept. 23, 2004, "People are still eating Hostess Twinkies and Wonder Bread, but the problem for Interstate Bakeries is that they are eating less of them."

",,,,the workforce agreed to massive pay and benefit cuts in an attempt to keep the company afloat. One 14-year veteran of the company describes the $150 million annual givebacks the union agreed to: "In 2005, before concessions I made $48,000, last year I made $34,000." Pensions and healthcare were cut as well, with labor's total loss equaling $110 million annually.

Following these massive givebacks, a private equity company called Ripplewood Holdings brought the company out of bankruptcy in 2009 for $130 million and rechristened it Hostess Brands. "

As a result of management that still hadn't really attempted to adapt itself to new market realities, the company earned profits in 2011 of $2.5 billion: That's 11 percent less than in 2008, before Ripplewood took over. But thanks to debt approaching $1 billion, Hostess ended 2011 with a loss of $341 million. The CEO who led the company back into bankruptcy? He got a pay raise — while Hostess pushed a 30 percent salary and benefit cut onto its employees. (A previous failed chief executive, Brian J. Driscoll, was pushed out, but only after the board tripled his pay package to $2.55 million.)

That leaves the unions in one corner and the hedge funds and Hostess management in the other. Management ordered the company to stop contributing to the union pension funds, ignoring their obligations under collective bargaining agreements. They have demanded a new round of concessions, which would have doubled insurance premiums, negated all pension obligations, and slashed pay by 27 to 32 percent. Again, the 14-year Hostess bakery veteran: "Remember how I said I made $48,000 in 2005 and $34,000 last year? I would make $25,000 in five years if I took their offer. It will be hard to replace the job I had, but it will be easy to replace the job they were trying to give me."

Stop watching FOX and reading the P-Weekly. Broaden your mind and your reading sources.

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Companies stumble when the market changes and they don't. It's not limited to union shops - look at HP, for example.

However, unions contributed significantly to the Hostess bankruptcy. From the Chicago Tribune:

"Unlike some non-unionized rivals, the maker of Wonder Bread and Drake's cakes had to navigate more than 300 labor contracts, with terms that often strained efficiency and competitiveness. In some extreme cases, contract provisions required different products to be delivered on different trucks even when headed to the same place."

Sounds like government inefficiency. Government can maintain this kind of disorder, but not private business.

It's not even ALL the unions. The Teamsters (7,500 of the 18,500 jobs) agreed to pay cuts. It was the Bakers' union (5,300 jobs) that held out. The Teamsters, in a rare but honest display of non-solidarity, publicly complained about the Bakers' union. (Figures courtesy of the NY Times.)

By the way, Dave Ross is on KCBS, not FOX. And as references, I chose both a Republican-leaning and a Democratic-leaning newspaper just to show the facts - choose your own objective source.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ted
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Nov 22, 2012 at 7:01 am

The Chicago Tribune is a conservative newspaper. Over the years, but especially since coming under new ownership a few years ago, the newspaper has "distinguished" itself by its frequent and consistent union bashing.


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Posted by Retired70
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 22, 2012 at 9:11 am

Interesting.
One reader reports;
"According to the Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch column, Hostess's annual revenues were $2.5 billion."
Another reader reports;
"The true causes of the failure of Hostess are decades of bad management and "vulture capitalism". As reported from a REAL journalisic source (Salon magazine, not this embarrassment to journalism): As a result of management that still hadn't really attempted to adapt itself to new market realities, the company earned profits in 2011 of $2.5 billion: "

So which is it? $2.5B in revenue (sales) or $2.5B in profit?
Which publication got it right since Hostess Brands has been losing money and, therefore, has no profits.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Don't Cry for the Dolts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 22, 2012 at 9:45 am

The best outcome of this whole sordid affair is that the union dolts that had the company strapped are now jobless. These days, with left-wing loons controlling most everything (for the worse), its a thing of beauty when the union dolts that prop up the loons, get bounced out on the street.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 23, 2012 at 10:54 am

" describes the $150 million annual givebacks the union agreed to: "In 2005, before concessions I made $48,000, last year I made $34,000.""

That is a big salary for an unskilled bakery worker. And btw, the union should have never had 150 million to "give back" - there should not have been a union, or collective bargaining for this type of job!

Hostess workers made 20-22 dollars/hour, a v ery fair wage when compared to other similar jobs like food worker at McDonald's


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 23, 2012 at 10:59 am

"Hostess workers made 20-22 dollars/hour, a v ery fair wage when compared to other similar jobs like food worker at McDonald's"

I meant to say a very fair wage even AFTER the proposed concessions/pay cut. (20-22 dollars per hour is a lot for that type of work, and to that add all the benefits...not sustainable, especially for a private company with declining revenues)

I am sure Hostess is glad to sell its assets and get rid of the burden their unionized force had become.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Hostess Twinkies are toxic...that is the unspoken issue.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2012 at 11:35 am

Just shows: You can't have your cake and eat it too !!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 25, 2012 at 8:42 pm

For those who say the unions had nothing to do with the Hostess bankruptcy, read this article (Forbes) - here are a few paragraphs, but you need to read the entire article:

"Holman Jenkins says that private equity is not to blame for Hostess's demise. Rather, “the real story is the story of two unions, the Teamsters and the Bakery union of the AFL-CIO." As Jenkins has it, though the Teamsters agreed to givebacks to finance the latest Hostess turnaround attempt, the Teamsters held onto work rules that would have driven the company into the ground. Examples: Drivers couldn't help with unloading, and products like Wonder Bread and Twinkies were not allowed to ride on the same truck. Jenkins says the bakers decided to strike because bakery operations were efficient compared to the delivery process, and they didn't want to prop up a Teamster contract that would eventually bring the company down."

" In August, as Fortune's Kaplan reports, Hostess stopped making union pension contributions. With its investment under water, Ripplewood ceased negotiating with the unions, which left workers to deal with the hedge funds. After the bakery workers went on strike, the hedge funds concluded that Hostess wasn't worth saving, writes Carney."

" If Hostess had come up with a fabulous, new, healthy product line two years ago, perhaps that would have helped things shift. But the company had $2 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, unions that understandably didn't want to make further concessions, and two hedge funds and a private equity firm with pressure to get some sort of return on their investments. As Kaplan writes, Hostess had “two root problems"a highly leveraged capital structure that had little margin of safety, and high labor costs." A line of fabulous new products could not have solved those deep problems."

Web Link


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Posted by Ted
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Nov 26, 2012 at 12:04 am

Yeah, if the unions weren't so powerful, corporations would be able to spend money on escape doors for their Bangladesh factories. Because, you see, corporations really are concerned about their workers, they just can't afford to give them basic life protections because the unions in the united states have a strangle hold on them. It's all so logical if you really think about it. Unions are so awful! I blame the 112 deaths of walmart subcontracted workers in Bangladesh on the union goons and leftist loons in this country.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2012 at 7:38 am

From the link I posted above (article from Forbes) :

"private equity firm Ripplewood Holdings taking control of Hostess as it came out of bankruptcy in 2009."

"Ripplewood was founded by a big Democratic donor, Timothy Collins, who was trying to invest in heavily unionized, troubled companies with the objective of turning them around."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ted
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Nov 26, 2012 at 10:04 am

Oh, I forgot to say that it isn't only the unions' fault for the 112 deaths in Bangladesh, but also the Democrats who place so many cursed restrictions on companies like Walmart. If all workers in this country were paid what Walmart workers are paid, just think how much more money would be available to us rich folks. Let us pause for a second to think of Bangladesh workers, driven to their deaths by unions and the Democrat Party that supports them. Done? Okay! Can you believe some of the deals at Walmart? Wow!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 26, 2012 at 10:10 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

"I blame the 112 deaths of walmart subcontracted workers . . . " "who place so many cursed restrictions on companies like Walmart"


From Canada's national newspaper, Globe and Mail: Web Link

"The Tuba Group is a major Bangladeshi garment exporter. Its founder and managing director is Delowar Hossain, a Canadian citizen who studied at Northwestern University in Chicago, states a note to customers published on the company's website, according to the version most recently archived by Google. (The company's website was down for much of Sunday.)"

Not everything is about WalMart and/or unions.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ted
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Nov 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Right, and even though the linked story mentions that Walmart purchases goods from the company, let's not talk about working conditions, workers' rights, corporate exploitation, or the like, because in a libertarian's world, those 112 workers were free to die as they saw fit. Kathleen Reugsenegger joins the ranks of Steven, Steve, AnAss, Arroyo, Mittens, ethyl's mom, and all the other names that the sicko uses. Well done Kathleen! Freedom for all!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Logical Thinker
a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 26, 2012 at 12:50 pm

When these union workers invest in their company through stock purchases and,as stock holders, have enough power to make decisions as employers themselves, they should be able to run the company how they want to, and if they choose not to be owners of the company with stock holder voting rights, they should seek employment elsewhere if they don't like the rules. I know this sounds like the way it was when we first won our independence and it's really old fashioned,...but I'm old fashioned.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 26, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Logical Thinker,

CalPERS is an investor in Ripplewood Holdings.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

WalMart can pull their business from this particular vendor. It's not a guarantee it will change working conditions at Tuba Group. It's possible that if WalMart and others take their business elsewhere, Tuba Group will not rebuild and its employees will be unemployed. Loss of life is not acceptable.

As for Hostess, according to the WSJ, rumor is that Hostess' intangible assets could be purchased, but . . . "Flowers is unlikely to rehire Hostess employees as union workers, analysts said. It has been clear with investors that it isn't interested in assuming labor contracts . . . " Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Nov 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Time for the employees to organize! Come up with a business plan, court investors, hire qualified personnel and jump into the market.

Mike


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ted
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Nov 26, 2012 at 2:15 pm

But of course what's important is that it's a cruel world, and let's not hold any corporations accountable for trying to make a few bucks off of the backs of unskilled laborers. Heck, if Walmart doesn't exploit workers, SOMEBODY will. So let's not be critical of corporations, and especially Walmart which is manning the barricades against unionization movement and their insane demands for safe and healthful working conditions that permit also a fair living wage. Walmart is doing what the Founding Fathers said they should do: "Exploit the hell out of whomever you can, because that's the essence of freedom." (Oh, and it might save me a few bucks at the grocery store.)


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Let's not just hold the offending company responsible. Let's reach out far and wide, WalMart, anyone who buys clothes at WalMart (often people trying to make a buck stretch further) (and better check the list of other companies purchasing from that facility), people who invest in WalMart (ooops, often union pensions) and, of course, a grocery store, even though it's clothing. And you don't think blaming WalMart is "exploit(ing) the hell out of whomever you can"?

Seems to me Hostess asked for concessions to save the company and the jobs. Instead, someone else is likely to keep making Twinkies and the former employees will either be unemployed or non-union.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ted
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Nov 26, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Yeah, let's not hold Walmart responsible for a large percent of its workers being eligible for food stamps. Let's turn a blind eye to Walmart's subcontractors and their exploitation of child labor. Yep, it's all about giving all the impoversihed poor people of Pleasanton a cheaper product on the shelves. 6 Waltons possess more wealth than bottom 40% of this country. Why on earth shouldn't it have the right to contract with sweatshop and child labor using firms? Staceleen's libertarian delusion is plopped upon us once again.

To the other boob: Workers oftentimes attempt to buy factories and plants that are being gutted by vulture capitalists. Very rarely does a deal occur. Why? The vulture capitalists move onward to other companies and by their own admission don't want competitors in the same industry, and least of all from high-morale workers who are proud of themselves and their products.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm

I was not able to open the WSJ link Kathleen provided, so I googled "flowers hostess" and found it (or a similar one? - also WSJ) :

"Flowers is unlikely to rehire Hostess employees as union workers, analysts said. It has been clear with investors that it isn't interested in assuming labor contracts, said BMO Capital Markets analyst Amit Sharma and other analysts. More than 90% of Flowers's workforce is nonunion, analysts estimate."

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2012 at 5:02 pm

If you are unable to view the full article, just google "flowers hostess" and it is the sixth or seventh result


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dave X
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Keep at 'em Ted.

Why unions? Why regulations?

Because back in the good ol' days, railroads, mines, you name it, could get by killing & maiming employees without consequence.

How d'ya think Leland Stanford & friends made their fortune? Two words: Transcontinental Railroad. A few chinamen got blown off a granite cliff today? They got a million more of 'em, eh? We can get more, cheap!!

Let's make pesticides overseas! Why not, what could India do about it after Bophal, anyway?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dave X
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm


"
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association said it would stand by the victims' families and offered $1,250 to each of the families of the dead. Tazreen's owner was meeting with representatives of the group Monday afternoon.

"

So, so touching, isn't it?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Hurry, hurry; Let's all go online ot EBay and get the last of those Twinkies and Faded Glory clothing!


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 26, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Here's the thing, who is thinking that 112 (or more) lives is a good trade for product. Not me.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by me
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2012 at 10:02 pm

This is not just about Walmart. There are multiple brands of clothing made in Bangladesh..... Hilfiger, Kohl's. Ralph Lauren to name a few. There was another fire today but no one died.
Sad.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Member
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Nov 26, 2012 at 10:19 pm

I happen to like Twinkies now and then. They bring back memories of childhood school lunches. If you don't like them, don't eat them.

The unions are part of the problem, and poor financial management is also part of the problem. If you think that the problem is only one of those or the other, you have a closed mind.

Twinkies and the other products will continue to be made, but by some other company. The Hostess assets will be sold through the Bankruptcy Court process, and the rights to the names and recipes will be sold to another baking company. It might be in Mexico or China, or it might be in a "right to work" state here in the U.S. where the products will be made in the future by non-union employees.

How badly do we need unions when all they do is increase wages and benefits for a mere 7% of the population above what the other 93% is being paid? Who do you think pays for those above-market wages and benefits? Us consumers pay for it. The other 93%. And if it's a government employee union, 100% of us pay for the above-market wages and benefits through higher taxes.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by 2012 world
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2012 at 7:49 am

Member says it all pretty well. Workers knew what they were doing when they willingly put their jobs on the table....they lost the game. Game over. Maybe other workers will be brighter.
Today there are thousands of U.S. laws that were not on the books in the 20's & 30's....don't use old stories, or stories in other countries. Stick to current, relevant, US stories.
Willing workers should have the freedom to hire on to any company they want...without the bullies permission!
and Ted, plenty of Dem, left of center papers across the country have been attacking unions, public unions in particular.
Our own Bay Area News Group (Valley Times), only endorses DEMOCRATS, but have been doing a fabulous job of educating us and attacking CA public unions, even pursuing and winning a lawsuit giving us, the public taxpayers the right to have all our public employees salaries and retirements made available to us, the taxpaying employers. Fortunately, the public is wising up to the other side of the story.
Most of our country functions very well, freely, in a non-union environment. Today, there are volumes of 21st century laws and u-tube. Unreasonable union bullying of other workers and tactics from the 1920s are no longer relevant or needed.


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Posted by Ted
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Nov 27, 2012 at 9:15 am

The soft-headed ones are out in full force with KR's and 2012's comments (and they really do deserve each other, assuming they are not the same person posting under different names).

Yep, those tens of thousands of Walmart workers are protesting Walmart's policies and practices from back in the 1920s. Today's protests have nothing to do with what is going on today. Today, a Walmart worker doesn't need a union for such matters as collective bargaining because, you see, she can go directly to one of the Waltons and argue her case. Brilliant reasoning, 2012.

And of course what Walmart does in Bangladesh has nothing to do with Walmart in US. Just like our involvement in Afghanistan. Why worry about what's happening in Afghanistan when it isn't occurring in our country?

And KR's reasoning is no less confused than 2012's. No one wants 112 people dying for heaven's sake. And certainly no one promotes such. But let's be real, she argues, Walmart has the right to engage in whatever practices it wants overseas, because that isn't our problem. And, heck, if Walmart's practices are changed whose to say that someone else won't fill the void? Analogy: Of course I'm for us bombing the bejesus out of a population, but no one wants people dying because of the bombing; and, further, yes I may have hit that family of pedestrians with my car, but if I hadn't have hit them somebody else might have. So, we really, truly don't want sweatshop workers dying, but it sure is nice getting a discounted pound of Oroweat Bread. Libertarians' embrace of freedom promotes and permits such distorted logic.


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Posted by 2012 world
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2012 at 9:29 am

Ted, your hypocrisy is so transparent. You bullies just want to target non-union WalMart. Yet, most of Nordstrom, Target, and 99% of goods in any US chain is made in VietNam, China, Korea, India, on and on....so are you fighting offshore or WalMart. Most of us are bright enough to see thru your motive, even if you aren't bright enough to recognize that we see thru your selectivity and hypocrisy.
Most of today's stores are non-union, but you pick on WalMart. And union or not, the goods come from all the same locations for the chains.
I have no idea who KR is, and PW doesn't allow 2 diff names in a topic!! you're just plain clueless about most everything


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Posted by Ted
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Nov 27, 2012 at 9:51 am

Ah, here is 2012's reasoning, redux. Other companies use off-shore sweatshop labor too. So, you see, this lets Walmart off the hook for any responsibility for exploitation of child labor, hideous work conditions, and the like. Yes, it surely does!

Last time I looked, tens of thousands of Nordstrom workers are not protesting the conditions of their work. Nor, last time I looked, do Nordstrom workers qualify for food stamps. Selective reasoning?

We know that 2012 has an axe to grind because of some early traumatic experience that involved working with others. Posting under many different names, he voices the same mistaken arguments day after day after day. Is there any INTELLIGENT life out there? Or must we suffer the same convoluted, morally defective reasoning of 2012/KR?


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Posted by 2012 world
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2012 at 10:25 am

Hey Ted, why don't you and a few other bully geniuses buy Hostess and run it the way you like. Truly. YOU geniuses know it all. You are so brilliant, you can take the risk, baby each other, count all the money as it rolls in on it's own, get rich, and see how long you last in the marketplace. ...fine with customers, who just want their twinkies !! ..company will pretty much run itself ! Good Luck, we'll be rooting for you !!


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Posted by Ted
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Nov 27, 2012 at 10:35 am

In other words, 2012 has no cogent argument to offer and so resorts to name-calling. Perhaps too many twinkies? This, combined with childhood trauma, offers the best explanation for the strident character of 2012/mittens/annaSS/steve/pick em's one-man assaults on unions in contradiction to the anemic weakness of his arguments.

Please, any intelligent life on this issue? Or must we suffer 2012's monopolization of idiocy?


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Posted by Ted
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Nov 27, 2012 at 10:45 am

It's a shame that this sick, multi-named poster (today he posts as 2012, though his comments on this thread are numerous as he's able to disguise his identity), is able to give the impression that PW readers and commentators are largely a group of sickos like himself. Increasingly it is becoming obvious that there is only one sicko, who goes by dozens of different names. Tell-tale characteristics? On the one hand, he hates gays, hates women, hates unions, hates liberals, hates Democrats, hates teachers, hates intelligent people (whom he calls elitist); on the other hand, he offers 'rationale' for his hatred that can only elicit pity from those who read him.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2012 at 10:56 am

From left leaning huffington post (article is on the union's (teamsters) website:

"Even knowing Hostess may have been doomed in the long run, some Teamsters said they can't help but feel like collateral damage in the bakers' union's showdown with management.

"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.""

and what one union employee had to say about it:

"Rich Pavelko, a Hostess driver who started selling Drake's products 31 years ago, said he felt the company was generally in tatters after years of poor decision-making at the executive level. But another pay cut was better than being unemployed, he said, and perhaps the company would find a way to right itself or at least make itself attractive to a committed buyer."

Full article:

Web Link

Union's website where link to article is:

Web Link

------------

So it seems to me that the majority of Hostess employees would have rather remained employed even though they felt the company was not managed properly, and it was because of a minority (about 5000 bakery union workers out of a total of 18,500 Hostess union employees) that the company ended up shutting down and now every employee is without a job. Was it worth it? Not imo, and after reading various articles, many now unemployed Hostess workers did not think it was worth it, and they had already agreed to concessions including modifying the pension deal... it all ended up being decided by the 5000 or so union bakery workers who refused to make concessions.


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Posted by China
a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 27, 2012 at 10:59 am

Ted, you should get out and travel some. Go visit China, India, Vietnam, Thailand to name a few and you will see economies and growing very quickly. You are stuck in the past as unions are an anchor and not a means of growth. We are not competing against Walmart but rather we should learn from them in how to compete against these other countries. Socialism does not work nor will it ever and first California and then the rest of the states will learn the cold hard truth of it the hard way. Wake up Ted as the world is much larger than what resides between Hopyard and Santa Rita roads.


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Posted by Ted
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Nov 27, 2012 at 11:29 am

Ah, yes, the same poster now adopts Resident and China as his name. Same selective use of quotes and facts, combined with unfounded claims about that hated bogey, socialism.

Hostess managemet, assessing their own poor management decisions over recent years, gave themselves between 75 and 80% raises in 2011, and this during a time of bankruptcy and extreme worker 'givebacks'.

Then, suddenly, it is the workers' fault. You see, it is the workers who closed down the company. It was the unions who refused to concede more so that management could continue to give themselves 75-80% yearly wages.

I guess the unions' negotiation efforts reflected how they'd rather face termination than continue to be brought to their knees by wall street vultures who care only about skimming more profit from the company.

And China's response? We need to become more like Bangladesh. Because that's where the future lies. The sickness abounds.


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Posted by China
a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 27, 2012 at 11:36 am

Ted,

It is over and companies like Walmart will dominate and unions are the maggots of the world feasting and killing dead or dying companies.


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Posted by None of the Above
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Let me get this straight. The president bailed out Wall Street, banks and car companies, but not a dime for Hostess?

Too bad they can't bring the company back as a worker-owned business where billion dollar profits don't go to line the pockets of invisible private equity investors.


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Posted by Watergate two
a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Obamaclaus has his own mess to deal with and does not have time for Hostess but rather must focus on getting everyone off of his a?$# for Bengzahi, cover up , and the dead americans and oh yes must paint everyone as racists for not supporting his lying ambass Rice. What a joke.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

From Ted: " But let's be real, she argues, Walmart has the right to engage in whatever practices it wants overseas, because that isn't our problem. And, heck, if Walmart's practices are changed whose to say that someone else won't fill the void? Analogy: Of course I'm for us bombing the bejesus out of a population, but no one wants people dying because of the bombing; and, further, yes I may have hit that family of pedestrians with my car, but if I hadn't have hit them somebody else might have. So, we really, truly don't want sweatshop workers dying, but it sure is nice getting a discounted pound of Oroweat Bread." This is your "distorted logic," not mine.

From Bloomberg: "Hostess blamed the latest bankruptcy on a weak economy and costs tied to pension- and medical-benefit obligations. Hostess had total assets of about $982 million and liabilities of about $1.4 billion as of Dec. 10, according to court papers." Web Link

So, Ted, we can agree that raises given to management were a lousy decision. Those raises, however, are only part of what caused the downfall.


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Posted by 2012 world
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Actually, None, very, very few companies received a cent of 'bailout'. Bailouts only went to Obama's 'chosen' companies. He picked the winners and losers. Most auto support companies received zero, and DEALERS throughout the country, with costly inventories, were told to lay off mechanics and shutter the doors of their own dealerships within days of being told to shut down. Dublin Blvd is still closed, with grown up weeds in the lot. ONLY the "auto workers UNION" was rescued. My engineer son's manufacturing employer furloughed workers for a year, then finally had to shutter it's doors, and will never again exist....it was an Obama 'loser' since it was not union.
The ONLY hope for all those companies Obama closed, would be "equity investors" who rescue, and "line the pockets" of OTHERS as their own. Sorry you are so ill-suited to a free-market country. You would have done well to watch Charlie Rose last night as he spoke of the miracle of a capitalist society...how the US will survive while others will fail.
The 'creator' of Hostess built a nice business. Unfortunately, it can't last forever when unions seek to destroy it. Unions tend to shoot themselves in the foot as their 'business plan'.
It's amazing how fast they'd change their tune, if unions took over the company.


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Posted by Ted the hater
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2012 at 4:12 pm

"On the one hand, he hates gays, hates women, hates unions, hates liberals, hates Democrats, hates teachers, hates intelligent people (whom he calls elitist); on the other hand, he offers 'rationale' for his hatred that can only elicit pity from those who read him. "


Ted, you really need to get some help quickly. Your association with union thugs has really turned you into a bitter, pathetic creature. The fact that you are obsessed with Walmart's business practices indicates that you need to find work, since WalMart would not hire you. Or, at least get a hobby.....maybe volunteer as a crossing guard, assuming you're not a pedophile. Change your focus to something productive instead of your one-man mission to destroy what you can't have. They call those people losers.......bye, now...


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Posted by None of the Above
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Not so, 2012, at least according to Forbes. We can trust that as a source, right?

Web Link


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Posted by Ted
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Nov 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Now 2012 changes his name from China/Joe/watergatetwo to Ted the hater. Same infantile reasoning, curlishness, pouting, bad grammar, name calling. He's unable to divorce himself from a truncated style that exposes his cognitive deficiency. A very sad case.

We do know that Hostess suffered under poor management for many years. We also know that management was routinely gorging itself on company profits, even while declaring bankruptcy and extracting numerous, major concessions from its workers. We also know that the company did little to improve itself but rather continued putting out inferior, obesity causing, twinkie-thinking products which afflict consumers such as the sick fellow on this and other PW threads who tries to fool everyone by using different names. Finally, we can be quite certain that the wall streeterso who came in did so not to save workers' jobs, for such would have been contrary to 'good capitalist gouging practices' but rather to accumulate as much profit as they could, even if this meant sending the company down the tubes of bankruptcy and liquidation.

We do not know that unions were in any way culpable for the company's downfall, beyond what Hostess' corrupt management has insisted and the repetitive drumbeat of unions-are-bad that seems to be an obligatory staple among all writers for right-wing rags such as Forbes and Reason. Then we have the traumatized readers, willing to accept any scintilla of evidence to support their trauma-induced disdain for unions. We know that KR was traumatized as a youth in Chicago as unions, in response to Pinkertons' head-bashing tactics, started pooping in her father's pick-up truck; and we know that the poor sick fool who uses various names has had some kind of falling out with unions, probably the result of his inability to get along with others in a social setting. (Hatred does that to people, as his antics well attest.)


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 27, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

No trauma, false story about my father. Blatant lies makes the rest of your posting(s) worthless.


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Posted by Ted
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Nov 27, 2012 at 7:41 pm

In other words, find anything -- A N Y T H I N G -- so that KR doesn't have to make a fool of herself by actually putting a coherent argument (or counter argument) together. Sorry about any mistakes in the story. I guess it wasn't actually a pick-up truck ... or something like that. Still, obviously the trauma for KR lingers. For despite the facts that we actually know about the Hostess closing, all KR can do is bang the drum of childhood vengeance against the union meanies -- all of them, because all of them are meanies.


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Posted by Not all are union meanies
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2012 at 8:15 pm

- It's the public employee unions that tug at our sense of security, our sense of safety, while claiming it's all about the children. While doing so they convince our school districts to commission a study (not difficult because they control our school boards)to determine how many more 100's of millions they can recommend in facility upgrades, technology upgrades, and solar panels that will lead to another ridiculous recommendation of more school bonds and/or parcel taxes, which will also provide more union jobs at prevailing wages whether we actually need the improvents or not.

The building trade unions and the public employee unions, especially the PUSD/building trades our in cahoots, which means both public & private sector unions are co-conspirators/meanies in an ongoing assault on taxpayer income.

Why do you think it's the taxpayers responsibility to keep the unions bread buttered just because the PUSD is doing their marketing?


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 27, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Ted, You should write fairy tales. My father was a lifelong union member. I already said Hostess' problems are many and actually agreed with you about the management raises.


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Posted by Ted
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Nov 27, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Sounds like you have a story to tell, KR. I'm sure the thousands upon thousands of readers of this thread would love to hear it.

@Not all unions are meanies. If you mean to spew your hatred of teachers, perhaps you might find another thread? I'm sure there are plenty.


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Posted by 2012 world
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Ted, you are SO Tiresome. You have nothing of import to offer, so you repeatedly (however feebly) attempt to distract with the inane, ....because you can't offer any logic. That political campaign of trying to dazzle and distract the ignorant with the irrelevant...is OVER !!
If you are attempting to hold up the 'union defense' you are sorely failing ! Calling all your opposition as just a mere ONE person, is really twisted. This may be a jolt to your fragile state, but we are all very different. I don't know if any of them know each other, but I don't know ANY of them. I couldn't figure why in TWO comments you called me, 2012 and KR one in the same, because we sounded alike... puzzling since I know that's not me. Since you did it again, I scrolled up through each trying to find KR and could not....so I had to think, and LO,finally, the very last one I'm now looking at is Kath Ru.....now I get it !!
Ted, you need help. If you can't intellectually defend and debate the merits of your position, don't stoop to accusing everybody of being one person....how elementary can you get...SO JR. High !! Give it up ! Don't you understand, we're on the right side, and those principles are obvious to any who have not be indoctrinated with union propaganda ! ....like minds, different people.


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Posted by Not all are union meanies
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Ted Says: "@Not all unions are meanies. If you mean to spew your hatred of teachers, perhaps you might find another thread? I'm sure there are plenty."

That's not what I said, Ted. What I said was/is, " It's the public employee unions that tug at our sense of security, our sense of safety, while claiming it's all about the children. While doing so they convince our school districts to commission a study (not difficult because they control our school boards) to determine how many more 100's of millions they can recommend in facility upgrades, technology upgrades, and solar panels that will lead to another ridiculous recommendation of more school bonds and/or parcel taxes, which will also provide more union jobs at prevailing wages whether we actually need the improvements or not.

The building trade unions and the public employee unions, especially the PUSD/building trades our in cahoots, which means both public & private sector unions are co-conspirators/meanies in an ongoing assault on taxpayer income."

Not spewing hatred Ted. I'm just calling it as it is while hoping others, especially the PTA members, wake up to the fact that the teacher/building trade union unions are using them as pawns to promote their own agenda which, by the way, is contrary to better/higher/greater educational performance because it only promotes greater union pay scales & benefits.

That's how it's working in todays California, Ted. And that's why throwing more dollars at education continues to be a failed proposition. Do you understand where I'm coming from, Ted?


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Posted by Ted
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Nov 27, 2012 at 10:51 pm

It doesn't matter what name, or how many names you use, meanies/2012/joe/mittens/libisdisease/tedthehater. Nor does it matter how doth protest the charge that you are the same sick person who posts on these threads day in and day out with nothing to say but hatred in the mental set of a 13 year old boy. Yes, I think I know where you're coming from, because you tell us all every day as you bellow from a gutter nothing but sickness, hatred and self loathing. You're not fooling anyone, try as you may.

You've presented no argument re. Hostess, nothing with regard to Walmart, and now you're cut-and-pasting someone else's redundant and tiresome criticisms of public school teachers. Face it, you are dumb; you are sick; and you're too much of a fool to recognize your illness.


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