Hostess: Union Rules were Harder to Digest than Twinkies
Harder to Digest Than Twinkies
Myth: Twinkies have a shelf-life of forever. They don’t; they stay fresh for about 25 days.
Did union workers simply get their ‘Just Desserts’ for backing Hostess into a corner with too many unreasonable demands? Consider the evidence.
Union workers have now completed their mission. 18,500 jobs are gone forever.
The national labor bosses stood firm. Labor leaders are proud they stood up to those nasty ‘suits’ [see Entourage for definition] who refused to run a money-losing business simply to continue paying salaries and benefits.
Hostess posted a $341 million loss in 2011 on revenues of about $2.5 billion. Contributing to those 2011 losses:
$52 million in Workers’ Comp Claims
Dealing with 372 Distinct Collective-Bargaining Contracts
Administration of 80 Separate Health and Benefits Plans
Funding and Tending to 40 Discrete Pension Plans
$31 million in year-over-year increases in wages and health care benefits for 2012 v. 2011
Uncounted in the above numbers were the outrageous union-imposed rules that made for a too-high-to-bear cost of sales:
No truck could carry both bread and snacks even when going to the same location
Drivers were not permitted to load their own trucks
Workers who loaded bread were not allowed to also load snacks
Bringing products from back rooms to shelves required another set of union employees
Multi-Employer pension obligations made Hostess liable for other, previously bankrupted, retirement plan contributions from employees that never worked for Hostess at all
And this: Hostess’s failure was compounded by having six CEO’s in 8 years who had no experience in the bread or cake baking industry, and despite their financial woes, the company’s CEO got a 300% salary increase from $750,000 to $2,250,000, and other top executives received raises worth hundreds-of-thousands of dollars; all while the company was struggling. Instead of acknowledging the lack of competent leadership and exorbitant executive salaries as contributing to the company’s decision to close its doors, CEO Gregory Rayburn issued a statement saying, ‘We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike.’ However, Rayburn and Hostess management claimed the strike would be responsible for closing plants even before there was a strike, and they had made plans to close plants whether or not workers accepted the Draconian wage and benefit cuts the company offered, or if they went on strike.