Damn, Damn, Damn!
After filing for Chapter 11 in January and dealing with a huge strike by two of the bakers’ union, Hostess finally made the decision on Thursday evening to shut its doors. The CEO of the company, Greg Rayburn said in a statement that while he regrets the outcome, they could not afford an even more extended strike. This move will no doubt some hurt pockets as 18,500 people are expected to lose their jobs. All stores will close within the next week. This also signals the end of Twinkies, the chocolate and lemon cupcakes, Ding Dongs and Wonder bread. This is just tragic.
This isn’t the first time Hostess had to file Chapter 11. They had some troubles in 2004 that resulted in the filing; after restructuring in 2009, they were back in action. But since January, the new owners – a group of investment firms, – and two of the company’s biggest unions have been in a huge dispute over various points in the contract. The new contract, in which the Teamsters Union actually agreed to in September, cut salaries across the board by 8 percent and slowing come back up to four percent over the years following. However, The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union shot it down. Their representative, Frank Hurt said that union members decided they’d had enough of the back and forth “negotiating” that was going nowhere and that those in charge at the top were the reason for the company’s financial problems. They knew they would face the company being shut down by last Thursday at 5pm if they didn’t agree. Apparently, what they thought was right was more important.
So what does that mean for all their baked goods? Well, it is likely that once the company sells its assets to the highest bidder, some of the more popular goods will be saved. I guess for those of us not involved with the company, that is an upside. But no, none of the Hostess employees would be getting their jobs back.
Here’s my question: Would you have crossed the picket line to save your job? Did the bakers’ union go too far knowing they would lose their jobs if they didn’t agree to the new contract?