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home : opinions : opinions September 25, 2016

11/17/2012 1:09:00 PM
Letter: Blame the unions for no more Twinkies!


I don’t think I’ve had a Twinkie in the last decade or more – but I’m going to miss them. The Hostess Bakery Company will probably be liquidated shortly. They have been in the process of working through bankruptcy, trying to reorganize and, in the process, save the jobs of their several thousand employees.

In order to survive, the company needed to renegotiate all their union contracts, cutting wages and benefits. All the involved unions accepted the new contracts except one.

It went to arbitration and, after studying the company’s offer, the Labor Judge ruled that the union had to accept the contract. Last week the union started a wildcat strike.

Within days Hostess was forced to close three of its plants in three different cities, laying off hundreds of employees, including those in the unions that had accepted their contracts.

Hostess announced that if the strike continues they will not be able to come out of bankruptcy and will have to start the liquidation of the company. At last notice, the strike continues.

I wish someone would explain to me why, in this depressed job market, anyone would kick their employer while he is down, most likely ensuring that the business will close its doors and that person will be jobless. They will never know if the company would have survived and the lost wages and benefits restored in later contracts.

I feel sorry for the Hostess Company and all the employees who were willing to work with the company in order to continue bringing home a paycheck, even a smaller one. But I will miss knowing there is a Twinkie out there if I want one.

Jim Barber

Camp Verde

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Article comment by: M J

Sayyyyyy Lee
That offer for your friend Angela to volunteer at the library, or for meals on wheels still stands. I mean..... with all the time she has on her hands now.

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Lee Cali

Seems like fewer and fewer people are taking what Jim Barber says to heart. In this array of opinions only two agree with him, and you know what it means to be in the same league as MJ.


Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: John A. Bond

Flash Alert! HuffPost is reporting that Hostess may not go out of business after all.

The company and the Bakers union are in mediation and the company may not go out of business after all.

Seems the bankruptcy Judge wanted the union and management to sit down and hammer out a deal that will Hostess to emerge from bankruptcy again, to live another day.

So, I guess those "evil unions" may not have caused the downfall of America's junk food icon.

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Ryan Jensen

I can't even begin to describe my embarrassment at the thought that I likely live in the same community as the person below who wrote in as "Shaniqua Jackson."

Your post fails miserably as humor or relevant social commentary but speaks volumes about your troubled mindset.

Good luck pal.

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: M J

Re: if one had to guess...
Sorry, but you guessed wrong.
Better luck next time.

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Slater Slater

If it weren't for Unions, 10yr olds would still be
working in mills etc.Blame it on Mexico,China
Greed,and scumbags.
You'll never get it if you never served in a brotherhood.Ronald Regan broke Unions to
replace air traffic controlers,you might note he
didn't mess with the mechanics.Go figure.

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: if one had to guess which if the standard conserva-talkers signed in as S. Jackson...

which one would it be... MJ gets the vote.

and they wonder why they lost the election... give your selves a hand right wing nut jobs... you have once again proven that you are your own worst enemies...

free speech is not a guarantee of any sort of intelligence as we can all see.

please... proceed...

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Shaniqua Jackson

Where da gubment bale out whens yalls needs it. Twinkeys bes goods fo yalls peoples Ize grewed ups on ums Deeps frys um in lard rely goods Yalls dont no nuttin

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: 'Truth' is hard to find in life, and harder to find

in your inaccurate-as-usual right-wing blatherings, Jim.

Try this: "Forbes had a good piece on what really happened here, including this:

Hostess has been sold at least three times since the 1980s, racking up debt and shedding profitable assets along the way with each successive merger. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2004, and again in 2011. Little thought was given to the line of products, which, frankly, began to seem a bit dated in the age of the gourmet cupcake...
As if all this were not enough, Hostess Brands’ management gave themselves several raises, all the while complaining that the workers who actually produced the products that made the firm what money it did earn were grossly overpaid relative to the company’s increasingly dismal financial position." (Washington Post)

Please don't let Fact get in the way of your predilection for un-truth.


Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Tina Vigilante

Little Debbie Ziggers are very similar to Twinkies, if you're dying for a Twinkie fix try one.

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: blaming the workers unions for no more twinkies ...

is like blaming democrats for not electing romney...

as others have said... if all of the free market loving conservatives would have been buying more hostess goodies then they would still be in business and giving the bosses 300% raises while squeezing the labor for more savings.

and if all of the conservatives that were so sure Romnay was going to win had actually voted then he might have... as it sits obama is 3.5 million votes ahead and climbing...

its called reality and when it's does not go your way you have 2 choices...cry about it or get on with it... so go to ebay and buy some $100.00 dollar twinkies to eat while you drown your sorrows in a glass of milk. 8^)

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Mary Jane

Has no-one read about Hostess' chairman giving himself a 300% raise just as he asks the employees to take a pay cut. The board of Hostess has run the company into a ditch and bled it for all they can steal and it's the employees fault because they don't want to take a pay cut to finance the management's 300% increases in pay?

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Ailean Wright

I hear the Liberals want to Nationalize Twinkies so they can hand them out for free at the marijuana dispensaries sort of like condums at planned parenthood clinics..

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Wacka Wacka

Interesting how no one seems to mention the cost of inputs here ...

Do you suppose the Twinkies will move to Mexico because of
a) Labor cost, or
b) Sugar cost ...

That protected price of US sugar helps ..
a) Labor, or
b) Corporations ...

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Maybe I missed something

The FACTS consistently escape you, don't they Mr. Barber?

"But while headlines have been quick to blame unions for the downfall of the company there’s actually more to the story: While the company was filing for bankruptcy, for the second time, earlier this year, it actually tripled its CEO’s pay, and increased other executives’ compensation by as much as 80 percent."

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