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Daily Kos: Inside the Hostess Bankery

Posted on November 19th, 2012 at 15:08 by John Sinteur in category: News -- Write a comment

[Quote]:

In July of 2011 we received a letter from the company. It said that the $3+ per hour that we as a Union contribute to the pension was going to be ‘borrowed’ by the company until they could be profitable again. Then they would pay it all back. The Union was notified of this the same time and method as the individual members. No contact from the company to the Union on a national level.

This money will never be paid back. The company filed for bankruptcy and the judge ruled that the $3+ per hour was a debt the company couldn’t repay. The Union continued to work despite this theft of our self-funded pension contributions for over a year. I consider this money stolen. No other word in the English language describes what they have done to this money.

After securing our hourly cash from the bankruptcy judge they set out on getting approval to force a new contract on us. They had already refused to negotiate outside of court. They received approval from the judge to impose the contract then turned it over to the Union for a vote. You read that right, they got it approved by the judge before ever showing to the Union.

What was this last/best/final offer? You’d never know by watching the main stream media tell the story. So here you go…

1) 8% hourly pay cut in year 1 with additional cuts totaling 27% over 5 years. Currently, I make $16.12 an hour at TOP rate of pay in the bakery. I would drop to $11.26 in 5 years.

2) They get to keep our $3+ an hour forever.

3) Doubling of weekly insurance premium.

4) Lowering of overall quality of insurance plan.

5) TOTAL withdrawal from ALL pensions. If you don’t have it now then you never will.

Remember how I said I made $48,000 in 2005 and $34,000 last year? I would make $25,000 in 5 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.

That $3+ per hour they steal totaled $50 million last year that they never paid us. They sold $2.5 BILLION in product last year. If they can’t make this profitable without stealing my money then good riddance.

  1. A very clear example of the ultimate results of financial engineering. Once a company gets parasitized by this kind of disassociated management it becomes a zombie husk that gets more and more abusive. You have to hope that people can choose to work elsewhere.

  2. Well I hope the management gave themselves a handsome bonus for cooking up such a magnificent deal. Victorian values are alive and well in the land of the free.

  3. Pete, your wish is coming true:

    [Quote]:

    Hostess Brands, the maker of sweet snacks like Twinkies that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week, will ask a bankruptcy judge today to approve a plan that will allow it to pay $1.75 million in bonuses to 19 of its executives.

  4. That’s disappointing. I read that the private equity company that owns^H^H^H^H has the largest stake in Hostess actually bought it specifically because the majority shareholder wanted to invest in businesses with a strong union presence and show that they can be healthy and successful:

    The behind-the-scenes tale of Hostess and Ripplewood may be the opposite of a project to buy it, strip it and flip it. When Mr. Collins originally looked at Hostess, he was trying to make investments in troubled companies with union workers. He was convinced that he could work with labor organizations to turn around iconic American businesses, and he hoped Hostess would become a model for similar deals.

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