Hostess to close, cites nationwide worker strike

IRVING, TX (AP) -- Hostess Brands says it is going out of business, closing plants that make Twinkies and Wonder Bread and laying off all of its 18,500 workers.

The Irving, TX, company says a nationwide worker strike crippled its ability to make and deliver its products at several locations.

Hostess had warned employees that it would file a motion in US Bankruptcy Court to unwind its business and sell assets if plant operations didn't return to normal levels by Thursday evening.

The privately held company filed for Chapter 11 protection in January, its second trip through bankruptcy court in less than a decade.

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How many union members know where their hard earned dues are going? Do they think its worth it?

http://www.unionfacts.com/employees/Bakery%2C_Confectionary%2C_Tobacco_W...

Wow! Your comments on Unions, President Obama, and twinkies! Hmmm, did you get on here when Bush was in office and complained about him, oh, that's right, he doesn't look like President Obama. Forgetful are we in this little seaside, tourist town, leave things as they are after 1898! Just because you get on here with your side of things, don't make it believable, you're just one of the sum. Let's see if they approve my comment or only the one sided jokes you guys post :)

Hell hath no fury like a Republican scorned.

Another company bites the dust thanks to a union. Unions have caused more job loss due to outsourcing than can be imagined. A company has to be competative and outrageous wages and benefits drive the prices of goods so high that consumers refuse to pay it.

Even the Unions Financial experts tried to warn the union members, but no they didn't think it would happen. They need to remember it was Brush that started the paper work to help out the auto industry that Obama took credit for and their union was bigger.

Obama starts his World Tour as you start heading to the unemployment lines. Got to love it.

The Teamsters union is urging the bakers union to hold a secret ballot on whether to continue striking. Citing its financial experts who had access to the company's books, the Teamsters say that Hostess' warning of liquidation is "not an empty threat or a negotiating tactic" but a certain outcome if workers keep striking.

From http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2012/11/16/hostess-twinkies...

Testimony of expert witness Harry J. Wilson in the latest bankruptcy proceeding of Hostess by

I have been asked to give my expert analysis of the causes of Hostess’s current financial condition, what steps would be required for the Company to reorganize and what a
prudent investor, including a labor union investing through granted concessions, would require
to invest in a reorganized Hostess. Through working with my MAEVA colleagues, I have
determined that Hostess’ financial challenges are a result of a number of problems, largely of
its own making – years of underinvestment in products, facilities and equipment; long-term
neglect of once-dominant brands; a hollowing-out of a distribution system that once provided a
competitive advantage only a few short years ago when Hostess was the largest baking
business in the US; a failure to innovate and develop compelling products in newer, highergrowth
product segments, leaving them dangerously over-represented in the declining legacy
segments; management missteps and a Board that allowed these mistakes to continue for far
too long; a failure to compete effectively to acquire niche products and expand its product
offering to improve its competitive position; and a grossly overleveraged capital structure
imposed in the first Chapter 11 case.

13. While Hostess’ labor costs are higher than some of its competitors, roughly half
of its largest competitors operate under similar union contracts and thus have similar (and, in
many cases, higher) labor cost structures. In fact, of the 20 largest baking companies (as
categorized by Hoover’s), 16 of these companies have some unionized employees and 9 of the
16 have roughly comparable IBT representation to Hostess. It is my understanding that many of
these contracts actually have better compensation and benefits than the Hostess IBT contracts
as most of these other companies did not receive the concessions which Hostess received
during its first bankruptcy. Furthermore, the Company’s labor costs and multi-employer
pension plan contributions since its exit from bankruptcy in early 2009 have been more or less
as anticipated, highlighting the fact that its current labor costs are not the primary cause of its
current financial problems.

14. During its first Chapter 11 restructuring, unionized employees provided two
rounds of concessions to the Company, with Hostess’ Teamster-represented work force
providing over $60 million in annualized savings (total labor savings were approximately $110
million). Labor costs and MEPP contributions since emergence have been right in line with
what the Company projected in its five year business plan in February 2009.

In other words, had the Company met its own projections (as it, in fact, did for its labor costs),
the Company would be generating substantial positive operating cash flow and would not have
needed to file Chapter 11.

where did you cut and past that from?

http://www.teamster.org/sites/teamster.org/files/Wilson_Report_as_Filed_Redacted_(00216121)_c.PDF

Forbes Magazine article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/helaineolen/2012/11/16/who-killed-hostess-br...

some document of an undetermined date.

And it may all be relevant.

But the fact remains that there are now 18,500 unemployed workers who may not be eligible for unemployment compensation as they chose, at their Union's behest, not to return to work.

They had the opportunity to return. They chose not to.

I believe that's called job abandonment.

No doubt there is fault on both sides.

But I remember Lee Iaccoca standing before the Chrysler labor leaders. He noted Chrysler would have jobs with a labor rate of $20, I believe. The Union wanted $5 per hour more. He stood fast and said Chrysler would not have jobs at $25 per hour.

While I may be off a couple of dollars on the amount desired and the amount agreed to, this is very similar.

History repeated itself. But, this time, Labor leaders elected to have the employees walk the plank.

SCTom, this is the whole document which was excerpted by RSimmons a few posts upthread: http://www.teamster.org/sites/teamster.org/files/Wilson_Report_as_Filed_Redacted_(00216121)_c.PDF

No more twinkees,hostess cupcakes?
Wake up America,the culture and landscape has changed.
This product was a "core' snack for years.

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/business/Hostess-Threatens-to-Close-Baker...

For those of us that have worked, or are still working for a company for 25 + years...I'm sure you have seen an era take over in your business called "Mismanagement"!
It's happening all across America, where "Inexperienced" so called "Team Leaders" are put into place to make "Experienced" decisions on how to keep a company operational...in all aspects.
Now comes the Enron effect:
Employees, Union or Not, are tired of upper management turning an operation into a short term profit function for a short term profit, then getting the Hell out, which usually takes long time jobs with them, not to mention peoples financial plans. But what do the management guru's care...they made their profits, and now off to buy up some small island somewhere and sip cocktails on the sandy beaches.
When people stand up for their hard earned years, and rights of being a dedicated employee, then complain about the cost of health care/pension/salary loss making their jobs turn into a pocket lining process for upper management...their thoughts are supported by you and I. But when the word UNION is mentioned...then it's all the employees fault.
Double standard way of thinking by John Q. Public...I've seen it for years...and Hypocritical.
Here's an example: A company locally here (Wilmington) is not Union...but a majority of their Sister affiliates are: Local people here want all the Union benefits...(i.e.) wages/other benefits...but at the same time they criticize the Unions within their own company...until Contract Time!
Hypocrites!

Guest Reply, you have struck the nail on the head! What the anti-union folks gloss over is that there have already been deep cuts in wages and benefits endured by the union rank and file and management came back demanding MORE cuts and give-backs.

Keep an eye open for further reports. My bet is that the Bankruptcy Court is going to see right through this management ruse to void its collective bargaining agreements.

Okay strikers - now how is it working for you? You are now out of a job period. This won't be the first company and it won't be the last because of what is going on. More and more people are going to lose their jobs or at least go from full time time part time so that the companies won't have to pay for insurance. You can thank Obama and his cronies for that!

Its a sad day for the workers but politics come on.Check with there union and ask them how it got to this point.The election is over the democratic process is over the election is a done deal.Had the Republicans chose someone better to run the outcome may have been different.Maybe by 2016 you all will have someone to run against Hillary.

Even second graders know it is better to get a little of a good thing than to get a lot of a bad thing. Too bad union leader only act like second graders yet lack the same intelligence.

The Union should buy the factories with all the money from the workers dues and have them keep their jobs. Or if Hostess was smart they would rehire all the workers back thru a temp agency and cut the unions out.

Well, if the Union works were not allowed to draw Unemployment they would be thing twice about their jobs. More and more companies are going to have to do this. Look at the Post Office 15 Billion in the hole, most comapies don't have the Gov't to fund them.

And hasnt for several years now which is why Postal Service has been running huge deficits and losing money hand over fist. Congress passed legislation that altered the business model for the USPS cutting off federal funding. Which is why postal rates have been going up rapidly across the board.

they did change the business plan. What they failed to change was the employee mindset which allowed them to think Congress would always be around to bail them out if they got too close to the cliff.

On another note, how much has been lent to them by Congress which someday will have to be repaid?

They operated at a $15 Billion loss. That money has to come from some source.

They can not issue stock. They can not seek outside investors. They will not sell assets.

So where does the shortfall come from?

America is really going to get a huge dose of what it deserves. You were told where this administration is taking this country. What about the first 4 years did you NOT get? I don't feel a dang bit sorry for none of ya. This is only the tip of the iceberg of what the next 4 years of this tax and spend administration in epic proportions is going to mean to the people of this country...you voted it!! YOU GOT IT!

if you check the tally book, North Carolina went Republican for Romney.

And unless you're an entitlement recipient or posting from outside the US boundaries, you're in the same boat.

the unions to come on television and say "We showed them!" Tell that to the union workers who just lost their jobs. I'm sure they'll stand and applaud you all the way to the unemployment office.

That was soooo good You never know what you have until you lose it Look how many Americans have lost their jobs and cannot find another due to age or other I would give my right arm to go back to work Did they even consider their families or their homes that they may lose during all of this or just the all mighty union Now who's going to feed them

JJ

they will be eligible for unemployment. They were offered the opportunity to return. They chose not to as the Labor Leaders would not agree to an $.08 hourly wage cut.

I would not be surprised to see this called job abandonment which should negate their ability to collect unemployment.

The company was in bankruptcy. The $.08 cut had been aproved by the Court; it's not as though this was a ploy to fatten profits and feed the stockholders and directors.

But liek he said on the 6th, "The best is yet to come" Well here it comes. 18000 out of work; and it did not have to be that way

I'm so sorry you won't be able to sit and eat twinkies while you sign up to secede from the USA.

I would assume the employees, hourly and salary, would be eligible for unemployment. Unfortunately, Hostess won't be around any longer to pay into the UE system.

It was .08 it was 8 percent overall just to correct your answer.. However the drivers had already accepted this. whats sickening is it wasnt even a large majority of the people who were on strike it was actually the bakers union members only who destroyed the company.

there was a proposed cut in wages and a proposed cut in benefits; both of which the court had approved.

Now a moot point and down the drain.

But, 18,000 new members of the Unemployed.

And I am not certain, giving the walk off that they will be eligible for unemployment benefits.

But like the Leader sais on 11/06, "The best is yet to come".