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1 Bulworth  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 1:47:40pm

I also think the crowd that wanted to Let Detroit Go Bankrupt shouldn't be now rolling on their fainting couches over the demise of a baked goods company.

2 alinuxguru  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 1:54:01pm

I blame customers of Whole Foods with their Tofurky and Nutella purchases. Those granola crunching, loafer wearing hipsters killed a part of my childhood today.

3 Political Atheist  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 2:15:49pm

Interesting to read elsewhere that the heart of the problem is the same as the US Postal service, the State of California, and California schools.

All have pensions that need a huge infusion of money.

Hostess Brands Shutdown Highlights Looming Pension Crisis
The biggest issue is that Hostess' union pension funds are underfunded by $2 billion. Under its agreements with the unions, Hostess is required to contribute to multi-employer pension plans (MEPPs). MEPPs provide pension benefits to workers within a particular trade, regardless of what company they work for. The concept was that all companies employing workers in a particular trade would contribute to the trade pension fund so that workers would not lose their pension benefits if they changed employers.

Fortune writes, "Trouble with MEPPs is, if some employers go out of business, the remaining companies have to pick up the shortfall in funding benefits. When there are too few employers left standing, the fund is in trouble...A third of the 40 MEPPs to which Hostess contributes are among the most underfunded plans in the country."

With Hostess gone, all of the remaining companies contributing to the MEPPs serving Hostess employees will now have to pick up the slack left by Hostess.

4 Lidane  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 2:26:20pm

re: #3 Daniel Ballard

Interesting to read elsewhere that the heart of the problem is the same as the US Postal service, the State of California, and California schools.

All have pensions that need a huge infusion of money.

Maybe if they didn't burn through a half dozen CEOs in ten years, give management a bunch of raises and go through two bankruptcies in six years, Hostess might have been able to pay their workers.

Just a thought.

5 Destro  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 2:30:07pm

re: #4 Lidane

Maybe if they didn't burn through a half dozen CEOs in ten years, give management a bunch of raises and go through two bankruptcies in six years, Hostess might have been able to pay their workers.

Just a thought.

Here is where I would like some govt interference to get involved where the workers can appeal to this bad business practice by the management owners who are responsible for badly running the company.

6 Destro  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 2:32:42pm

re: #2 alinuxguru

I blame customers of Whole Foods with their Tofurky and Nutella purchases. Those granola crunching, loafer wearing hipsters killed a part of my childhood today.

Your childhood was not buying this crap into adulthood and the managers who ran this company did not do a good job keeping up with the times and updating the brand. There used to be, for example, real bananas in Twinkees before WW2 shortages. That's a healthy way to re-invest earnings in a brand if you are not hell bent on squeezing the last drop out of the piggy bank like management did.

7 CuriousLurker  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 2:52:30pm

Heartless, jackbooted, leftist union thugs crush the life out of helpless, innocent Twinkies. (Photo from this article at RedState.)

Won't someone think of the children?? //

8 Destro  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 2:54:06pm

re: #7 CuriousLurker

Endorsing the cartoon or mocking it?

9 Dark_Falcon  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 2:55:41pm

re: #7 CuriousLurker

Heartless, jackbooted, leftist union thugs crush the life out of helpless, innocent Twinkies. (Photo from this article at RedState.)

Won't someone think of the children?? //

I see little evidence of thuggish behavior by any union. The Teamsters decided to negotiate, but the bakers basically felt they were getting screwed over and decided they'd rather not have their jobs than take what they felt were unacceptable wage and benefit cuts. That not thuggish. Wrong maybe, but not thuggish.

10 Political Atheist  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 2:58:58pm

re: #4 Lidane

If we persist in ignoring the real pension crisis and just blame evil corporations or executive raises we are lying to ourselves like right wing nutcases and Obama phones.

There is a pension crisis. It is a factor in California teacher pensions, and the US Post office. Between the nature of MEPP pensions and guaranteed benefit provisions (fiscal lunacy) we better learn the right lessons. Hostess needed two billion to infuse the pension fund.
Oh and we had a union vs union factor here, very, very unfortunate.

Hostess Liquidation: Teamsters Seen As Collateral Damage In Bakers Union Strike

Ken Hall, the Teamsters secretary-treasurer, said his union didn't doubt Hostess' claims after seeing its books.

"I think it's obvious there was no bluff," said Hall. "Our financial advisers had looked at their books, they had total access. We pushed them in negotiations to where we thought it was the absolute limit, that we would get the most for our members and [still] have a pathway back to prosperity for the company. The bakers' union disagreed with that."

And we have this

Fortune writes, "Trouble with MEPPs is, if some employers go out of business, the remaining companies have to pick up the shortfall in funding benefits. When there are too few employers left standing, the fund is in trouble...A third of the 40 MEPPs to which Hostess contributes are among the most underfunded plans in the country."

With Hostess gone, all of the remaining companies contributing to the MEPPs serving Hostess employees will now have to pick up the slack left by Hostess.

This legacy of the go-go years of the 1950s and 1960s is something that will have to be dealt with on a national level. There is massive underfunding of MEPPs in general and the situation only gets worse as individual companies go out of business.

11 CuriousLurker  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 2:59:02pm

re: #8 Destro

Endorsing the cartoon or mocking it?

You can't tell? Seriously?

12 shecky  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 3:00:53pm

Hostess was clearly in deep trouble for a long time. What gets me is how the BCTGM seemed willing to be the patsy here. The Teamsters had looked at the books and confirmed that they weren't bullshitting about how far gone the company was. But the BCTGM chose to play hardball anyways, for whatever reasons they had. Now, it's pretty easy to lay blame on union inflexibility, even if the company was on its last leg regardless.

13 Political Atheist  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 3:02:28pm

re: #11 CuriousLurker

You can't tell? Seriously?

Methinks emotions are running high enough that it's all knee jerk. Too many assumptions and oversimplifications swirling around this topic.

14 Decatur Deb  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 3:04:08pm

re: #12 shecky

Hostess was clearly in deep trouble for a long time. What gets me is how the BCTGM seemed willing to be the patsy here. The Teamsters had looked at the books and confirmed that they weren't bullshitting about how far gone the company was. But the BCTGM chose to play hardball anyways, for whatever reasons they had. Now, it's pretty easy to lay blame on union inflexibility, even if the company was on its last leg regardless.

Because other unions don't trust the Teamsters, with good reason. They can be the sweetest of sweet sisters.

15 Dark_Falcon  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 3:04:36pm

re: #12 shecky

Hostess was clearly in deep trouble for a long time. What gets me is how the BCTGM seemed willing to be the patsy here. The Teamsters had looked at the books and confirmed that they weren't bullshitting about how far gone the company was. But the BCTGM chose to play hardball anyways, for whatever reasons they had. Now, it's pretty easy to lay blame on union inflexibility, even if the company was on its last leg regardless.

They may have decided that it was better to just let Hostess sink than to keep trying to prop up the company only to see yet more damage via poor management. Sometimes, you just stop trying because the other guy's FAIL is just too great.

But make no mistake, BCTGM chose not to accept a new contract, so they did assume the risk that this collapse would occur.

16 Dark_Falcon  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 3:05:36pm

re: #14 Decatur Deb

Because other unions don't trust the Teamsters, with good reason. They can be the sweetest of sweet sisters.

Please explain the meaning of "sweet sisters".

17 Political Atheist  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 3:07:09pm

re: #3 Daniel Ballard

Interesting to read elsewhere that the heart of the problem is the same as the US Postal service, the State of California, and California schools.

All have pensions that need a huge infusion of money.

This gets downdinged?

Okay but why?

18 Decatur Deb  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 3:07:43pm

re: #16 Dark_Falcon

Please explain the meaning of "sweet sisters".

A sell-out contract between a corrupt union leadership and the bosses.

19 CuriousLurker  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 3:16:56pm

re: #13 Daniel Ballard

Methinks emotions are running high enough that it's all knee jerk. Too many assumptions and oversimplifications swirling around this topic.

To be honest, I haven't even been following this story. I realize it's most assuredly not just about Twinkies, but the very mention of them makes me want to giggle, as does the idea of people getting emotional over their puffy, cream-filled demise.

It's like, "ZOMG, the Twinkies! What's next—baseball, apple pie? How long before they come for dear old mom??" // *collapses in fit of giggles*

20 Political Atheist  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 3:24:42pm

re: #19 CuriousLurker

It's like, "ZOMG, the Twinkies! What's next—baseball, apple pie? How long before they come for dear old mom??" // *collapses in fit of giggles*

Twinkies, the stoner classic!
It's amazing how many real world factors are being ignored by the RW "it's the eeeebilll uuunionnn" crowd and the left leaning anti capitalists. Sheesh I had hoped for a bit of relief from these high caffeine content emotional self delusions after the election.

It's time we started setting polemics aside and look at the facts. I suspect the decline in market share came from a host of factors. (oops)

I'm sure management made plenty of mistakes, and those stupid raises surely poisoned negotiations. Union on Union fratricide? Screw them, I'm feeling for a bunch of soon to be unemployed people. And now other bakers pensions are going to be stressed.

But if we don't get to the far larger pension issue, well it's gonna pay to die young.

21 CuriousLurker  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 3:32:00pm

re: #20 Daniel Ballard

Twinkies, the stoner classic!
It's amazing how many real world factors are being ignored by the RW "it's the eeeebilll uuunionnn" crowd and the left leaning anti capitalists. Sheesh I had hoped for a bit of relief from these high caffeine content emotional self delusions after the election.

LOL. Y'know, I'm beginning to think that after the past four years of hysteria we've developed a case of national, collective PTSD or something. It's just too much after a while. I'm too exhausted to do anything but giggle hysterically.

22 Decatur Deb  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 3:42:56pm

re: #21 CuriousLurker

LOL. Y'know, I'm beginning to think that after the past four years of hysteria we've developed a case of national, collective PTSD or something. It's just too much after a while. I'm too exhausted to do anything but giggle hysterically.

That's how you're expected to feel.

Never let them fool you or take you by suprise,
The dirty smell of the politician, the man with the greed in his eyes.
One big union, that's our plan!
And the IWW is your only man,
The flames of discontent we'll fan for the cause that never dies.

23 Dark_Falcon  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 3:47:26pm

re: #20 Daniel Ballard

Twinkies, the stoner classic!
It's amazing how many real world factors are being ignored by the RW "it's the eeeebilll uuunionnn" crowd and the left leaning anti capitalists. Sheesh I had hoped for a bit of relief from these high caffeine content emotional self delusions after the election.

It's time we started setting polemics aside and look at the facts. I suspect the decline in market share came from a host of factors. (oops)

I'm sure management made plenty of mistakes, and those stupid raises surely poisoned negotiations. Union on Union fratricide? Screw them, I'm feeling for a bunch of soon to be unemployed people. And now other bakers pensions are going to be stressed.

But if we don't get to the far larger pension issue, well it's gonna pay to die young.

The problem remains the same as ever: Dispassionate analysis doesn't sell very well. Hardcore partisans especially tend to dislike it, since it reveals that their side is not the Army of God and the other side is not the Band of the Damned. Hence politicians and pundits trot out their talking points instead, working to keep their target audience in the desired emotional state.

24 Lidane  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 4:12:48pm

re: #10 Daniel Ballard

I'm aware there are issues with pensions. However it's not as simple as putting all the blame on unions and union contracts. That's the point.

Hostess was clearly being managed by idiots for a long time and there was a lot of turnover and chaos at the top, coupled with high pay raises and compensation packages for management, even after bankruptcy. They were making billions annually and still ended up here. That's not solely the fault of a pension plan or the unions.

25 Dark_Falcon  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 4:20:36pm

re: #24 Lidane

I'm aware there are issues with pensions. However it's not as simple as putting all the blame on unions and union contracts. That's the point.

Hostess was clearly being managed by idiots for a long time and there was a lot of turnover and chaos at the top, coupled with high pay raises and compensation packages for management, even after bankruptcy. They were making billions annually and still ended up here. That's not solely the fault of a pension plan or the unions.

The problem is that the truth you just articulated isn't getting out enough. It's getting spun too hard to fit existing agendas.

26 Destro  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 4:33:11pm

re: #11 CuriousLurker

I can't open it.

27 Destro  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 4:37:28pm

re: #17 Daniel Ballard

This gets downdinged?

Okay but why?

I apologize, LGF sometimes is glitchy on my smart phone and my finger clicks the wrong button.

28 wheat-dogghazi  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 5:13:35pm

Hostess goes the way of buggy whips, blames union intransigence. Film at 11.

29 Cap'n Magic  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 5:50:52pm

Anybody who honestly believes that the unions failing to cave to the execs are the reason that Hostess is liquidating picked the wrong day to start sniffing glue. Someone in the exec ranks they realized that the breakup value of Hostess was worth more than Hostess as an ongoing concern. As Gekko once opined: 'Because it's wreckable!'

Then, of course, you got the mental masturbators of CATO proclaiming that the big bad government had a hand in Hostess's demise by legally enforceable collective bargaining agreements and the sugar lobby artificially keeping sugar prices high; conveniently ignoring the fact that the so-called investors knew these issues existed day one, yet plowed ahead anyway. Since we're already in a recession, perhaps these whizbangs will come to a rather stark realization that those who could buy the brands will sit on the sidelines, biding their time until those who caused such a bleeding will be bled themselves-after all, those who have the means to buy you out probably have a much better cost structure to continue to let your assets erode until they can slit your throat the way you slit the throats of those who put you into such a 'untentable position'.

30 PhillyPretzel  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 6:25:47pm

Hostess is not very big in Philly. TastyKake is big and it is growing. "Nobody bakes a cake as tasty as a Tastykake" was their theme song for many years. Here is their website: [Link: www.tastykake.com...]

31 Lidane  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 6:31:51pm

Heh.

32 freetoken  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 6:59:47pm

Today, in honor of the passing of Hostess, I went to the store and bought some Hostess Fruit Cake, which makes its annual appearance around this time of year.

I figure it will be the last year available, and if kept under refrigeration ought to be kept in its present state for use as a museum exhibit in 2350.

33 Lidane  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 7:21:08pm
34 Shiplord Kirel  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 8:27:23pm

re: #31 Lidane

[Embedded content]

Pot legalized in two states, and the maker of Twinkies shutters its doors? Now that's IRONY.

Heh.

That new brownie product they were planning was too late to save them.

35 SanFranciscoZionist  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 9:42:00pm

re: #11 CuriousLurker

You can't tell? Seriously?

He's not great in the humor and subtlety department.

36 Eclectic Infidel  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 9:45:42pm

I know the Hostess treats are awful for you, sugar notwithstanding, but I will miss the lil' Twinkie treats if they disappear from shelves. Sometimes I just get that urge to put a chemically treated, fake cake and cream thing in my stomach, feel the artificial flavor swirl around in my mouth only to feel not so great about that decision afterwards.

37 SanFranciscoZionist  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 9:49:39pm

Years ago, when I was first dating my husband, we had a birth control failure. We were both feeling pretty shaky afterward, so we went out, and he (nondrinker) bought Hostess snowballs, and we went to the local pub and I got a Guinness. We sat in a booth and soothed our nerves in our respective ways.

38 Destro  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 10:10:57pm

re: #37 SanFranciscoZionist

TMI....

39 Eclectic Infidel  Fri, Nov 16, 2012 11:06:09pm

re: #37 SanFranciscoZionist

Years ago, when I was first dating my husband, we had a birth control failure. We were both feeling pretty shaky afterward, so we went out, and he (nondrinker) bought Hostess snowballs, and we went to the local pub and I got a Guinness. We sat in a booth and soothed our nerves in our respective ways.

Yes, that does rattle the nerves. Experience can be spooky.

40 Cap'n Magic  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 7:15:31am

re: #38 Destro

More like where's SFZ's "...the rest of the story".

41 Destro  Sat, Nov 17, 2012 10:26:30am

re: #40 Cap'n Magic

I was disturbed by the notion a man was a nondrinker who prefers a Hostess snowballs to a beer.


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