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Old Nov 16, 2012, 11:44 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by brentmore View Post
Outstanding thread title . It took all of 15 seconds to find that Hostess started having these issues in 2004.
Right. I remember hearing something about this last year sometime. It isn't a new thing.

Also, **** Twinkies. It's all about Hostess Apple Pies (or was ).
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 11:49 AM   #27
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Union workers had already accepted a new contract with significant concessions back in January, at the same time that the CEO and other executive level personnel gave themselves millions of dollars in raises (most over 75%, the CEO went from 750,000 dollars per year to 2.55 million dollars per year). The brand was tanking anyway and would have been liquidated either way, but the rank and file gave and the executuves took.

"BCTGM members are well aware that as the company was preparing to file for bankruptcy earlier this year, the then CEO of Hostess was awarded a 300 percent raise (from approximately $750,000 to $2,550,000) and at least nine other top executives of the company received massive pay raises. One such executive received a pay increase from $500,000 to $900,000 and another received one taking his salary from $375,000 to $656,256."

That having been said, the Teamsters recommended taking the deal, yet some local unions torpedoed the latest deal, ruining it for all.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 11:49 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by eric/ View Post
That's a bad analogy.

This isn't workers vs management. It's the union vs the corporation. So when the union is unwilling to take reductions in liabilities or to see workers go because of binding contracts in order to preserve a company, good or bad businesses decisions being irrelevant here, than it's certainly the unions fault. And now, ALL of those individuals are out of work instead of just some, because of the union failing to compromise. So now the big execs walk away just fine, the union boss walks away just fine, and the workers lose their pensions and jobs.

This is an example of needing to be pragmatic. Now nobody has jobs. Way to go Hostess union!

Your post is another example of you ignoring facts in a thread and posting your dogma.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 11:53 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by thekev View Post
I figured the article would mention something like this. There are a lot of snacks which are spun as health food while still being kind of bad, but did anyone really expect them to stay afloat selling things like twinkies in the current decade? Cultural trends in the US seem to be against such products, and I don't know how their international sales look.
what international sales ?

A fact which is simply puzzling me, to be honest. Twinkies for example are very often mentioned on US TV shows/Movies etc. Since most of them are sold worldwide they got a rather big exposure.

i'm sitting here in central europe, where they were never sold nor did i ever see a Twinkie ad, and still i know what it is.
One would think that the parent company would try to capitalize on that and searches for partners who produce them as a license product and sell them under the same brand in other countries

and once you have one foot in the market with one brand you can follow up and try other products
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 12:09 PM   #30
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what international sales ?

A fact which is simply puzzling me, to be honest. Twinkies for example are very often mentioned on US TV shows/Movies etc. Since most of them are sold worldwide they got a rather big exposure.

I didn't want to rule out the possibility simply because I couldn't find evidence one way or the other. I've never seen them in other countries. Their site is currently down, so there isn't any investor data present to verify one way or the other.

As for their products, they are loaded with preservatives and don't require constant refrigeration, so I figured it was possible to ship internationally. If they were licensed, they would still rely on a cost effective area for production. To me they're just low end junk food. You find them given less than ideal shelving placement within either the grains or junk food aisle of some chain grocery stores. They're also commonly found at gas stations. They're basically cheap snack food that that doesn't decompose quickly under normal circumstances. You really aren't missing anything.


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i'm sitting here in central europe, where they were never sold nor did i ever see a Twinkie ad, and still i know what it is.
One would think that the parent company would try to capitalize on that and searches for partners who produce them as a license product and sell them under the same brand in other countries

and once you have one foot in the market with one brand you can follow up and try other products
I could have seen that a number of years ago. I'm not sure how well they'd take off there today. To me it just looks like management sitting on a sinking ship. They take as much as they can to ensure they have adequate funds to maintain their present lifestyles while looking for new jobs. Most of these food items (and I use that term loosely) are not really new at all. They've probably existed largely in their present forms at least since the 70s, although I would imagine inflation pushed them to cut the cost of ingredients.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 12:13 PM   #31
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Market forces at work. Twinkies are about as relevant today as celluloid film.
They actually sell pretty well, they will find a buyer for that brand.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 12:32 PM   #32
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You'd think Hostess would be doing quite well with the legalization of pot in two states
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 12:53 PM   #33
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Could it be that people just aren't buying as many twinkles as they did before ?
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 12:58 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by jnpy!$4g3cwk View Post
Agree 100%.

My experience with Ford trucks is that they have been very reliable. Gas mileage mediocre, but, reliable. You should look around for a different example.
I'm sure there are tons of people who are satisfied with their Ford. I only picked it because I saw the 2012 Consumer reports reliability ratings a couple of weeks ago and Ford (and specifically the Explorer) came in dead last.

You can take out brands altogether but the analogy stays the same. If you buy something that doesn't work because of a faulty design, you blame the designer, not the guy who just assembled it following the designer's instructions.

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That's a bad analogy.

This isn't workers vs management. It's the union vs the corporation.
So essentially the same thing. The union represents the workers.

Quote:
So when the union is unwilling to take reductions in liabilities or to see workers go because of binding contracts in order to preserve a company, good or bad businesses decisions being irrelevant here, than it's certainly the unions fault. And now, ALL of those individuals are out of work instead of just some, because of the union failing to compromise. So now the big execs walk away just fine, the union boss walks away just fine, and the workers lose their pensions and jobs.
It seems like you just want to blame the unions for everything while ignoring the fact that there are two sides to every negotiation.

Why are they even in this mess to begin with? Bad business decisions by upper management.

Now they expect the employees to take cuts to bail them out?

Quote:
This is an example of needing to be pragmatic. Now nobody has jobs. Way to go Hostess union!
The union is there to represent ALL of the employees. They aren't going to compromise and say "well, we will let you get rid of half the workforce but keep the other half."

Last edited by SandboxGeneral; Nov 20, 2012 at 11:45 AM. Reason: Clean up of quoted text
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 01:21 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by robanga View Post
Someone will buy their brands and continue to produce their most popular products. Twinkies and Hoho's aside, they have some pretty strange products that i am guessing do not have a lot of sales volume.

In order to continue to be in business you have to have a business model that works and products that people want.
Yeah or when failing that, then just keep going back to the vulture capital dudes to allow them to bypass union issues by just issuing any required notice and then lay off some more staff, recycle what's left of the assets, price it for quick sale, load it up with debt and high priced management one more time, what's not to like if you're on the top end of the org charts. The workers definitely get shafted each time, and once a company gets into the clutches of serial reorganization, it's the lucky laborer who does not find himself with pink slip in hand, even before the last round like now when they just close it and auction off whatever's left standing after they get done blaming labor costs for their demise.

Ah but these guys are job creators, right? Bah. They're serial re-namers, makers of newer smaller golden parachutes, job killers.

As for the product line, I'm not a fan of anything made with enough preservatives to keep it from molding or rotting for weeks on end.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 01:24 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by thewitt View Post
Driven in part by competition in the snack market and a union that refuses to recognize that higher costs of doing business are a reality today requiring concessions to continue employment, iconic Hostess will soon be no more.

http://usat.ly/ZGs6jI
I don't know why we all waste our time and energy responding to this guy, when all he does is drive by post his usual biased, divisive, UHMERRIKA drivel. Actual intelligent discussion with him is impossible, for a number of reasons.

Interesting to note that Hostess asked it's employees to accept a 30% pay cut before the strike, while executives received pay raises per usual. That sure sounds like equally shouldering the extra costs, no?
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 01:43 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by kavika411 View Post
I don't want to derail the thread, but I'm curious. Is this the consensus here - that companies exist to employ people? Put another way - the success/failure of a company can be measured by its payroll?
Companies exist for any number of reasons. Boiling it down to one is silly, I expect better from you.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 01:45 PM   #38
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Companies exist for any number of reasons. Boiling it down to one is silly, I expect better from you.
I asked a question. I didn't boil anything, much less boil down to one.

I'll put you down for as a "non-answer."
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 01:53 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by eawmp1 View Post
Union workers had already accepted a new contract with significant concessions back in January, at the same time that the CEO and other executive level personnel gave themselves millions of dollars in raises (most over 75%, the CEO went from 750,000 dollars per year to 2.55 million dollars per year). The brand was tanking anyway and would have been liquidated either way, but the rank and file gave and the executuves took...
It's clear that the CEOs were negotiating in bad faith.

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Originally Posted by Queen of Spades View Post
I don't know why we all waste our time and energy responding to this guy, when all he does is drive by post his usual biased, divisive, UHMERRIKA drivel. Actual intelligent discussion with him is impossible, for a number of reasons.

Interesting to note that Hostess asked it's employees to accept a 30% pay cut before the strike, while executives received pay raises per usual. That sure sounds like equally shouldering the extra costs, no?
Quote:
Originally Posted by kavika411 View Post
I don't want to derail the thread, but I'm curious. Is this the consensus here - that companies exist to employ people? Put another way - the success/failure of a company can be measured by its payroll?
Well, no. Companies doesn't exist to "save jobs" nor do they exist solely to create profits: notice how few companies are called "Make a ****-ton of money for me and my friends."

A company that fires all of its employees could have a great financial quarter, but is doomed the next. A company that has thousands of employees but no profits is short-lived.

In reality, employees are a valuable resource that good companies use to make a good product, whether that be artisanal coffee or spark-plugs for F150s.
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Last edited by SandboxGeneral; Nov 20, 2012 at 11:46 AM. Reason: Clean up of quoted text
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 02:25 PM   #40
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So essentially the same thing. The union represents the workers.
No it's different, because the workers are unionized. It's not management vs a few workers or anything like that.
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Originally Posted by zioxide View Post
It seems like you just want to blame the unions for everything while ignoring the fact that there are two sides to every negotiation.
No, I just blame them for their poor decision.

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Originally Posted by zioxide View Post
Why are they even in this mess to begin with? Bad business decisions by upper management.
Correct.

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Originally Posted by zioxide View Post
Now they expect the employees to take cuts to bail them out?
Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by zioxide View Post
The union is there to represent ALL of the employees. They aren't going to compromise and say "well, we will let you get rid of half the workforce but keep the other half."
And now none of them have jobs or pension plans. That worked out great.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 02:32 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by thewitt View Post
Driven in part by competition in the snack market and a union that refuses to recognize that higher costs of doing business are a reality today requiring concessions to continue employment, iconic Hostess will soon be no more.

http://usat.ly/ZGs6jI
Of course it's the unions fault. Those money grubbing fiends are determined to destroy themselves and their company simultaneously. Management never makes any mistakes.

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Poor dear thewitt, you got it wrong, as usual. I know how unions cause chafing to your inner thighs but Hostess declared bankruptcy and re-organized in 2009 under a heavy debt burden only to go into bankruptcy again in January 2012 citing a heavy debt load and rising labor costs. Perhaps these so-called job creators shouldn't have leveraged the **** out of their company.
Was Bain Capital involved?
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 02:36 PM   #42
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...

And now none of them have jobs or pension plans. That worked out great.
In any mutually assured destruction, it's possible that someone will launch and everyone dies. The union could have decided to stand down, the company could have renegotiated in good faith (cuts to executive salaries, etc.). Neither did, so yes, this is a failure but you can't hang it around the union only.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 02:45 PM   #43
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In any mutually assured destruction, it's possible that someone will launch and everyone dies. The union could have decided to stand down, the company could have renegotiated in good faith (cuts to executive salaries, etc.). Neither did, so yes, this is a failure but you can't hang it around the union only.
The union failing to compromise, even if it means not getting what they wanted, is the unions fault.

Now none of those people have jobs, and the executives who make millions, just move on to other businesses.

The workers completely lose, while the management comes out relatively unscathed.

So from a pragmatic point of view, this is the unions fault. You deal with the situation as is and keep people at work.

Also, how do we know for sure that what the union wants/wanted was in the best interest of the company?
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 03:02 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by eric/ View Post
The union failing to compromise, even if it means not getting what they wanted, is the unions fault.

Now none of those people have jobs, and the executives who make millions, just move on to other businesses.

The workers completely lose, while the management comes out relatively unscathed.

So from a pragmatic point of view, this is the unions fault. You deal with the situation as is and keep people at work.

Also, how do we know for sure that what the union wants/wanted was in the best interest of the company?
Hostess was already in serious trouble - after two recent bankruptcy filings, they were headed for a third. They used the timing of the strike to create the perfect spin of the workers' strike being the reason for closing, and not the repeated and prolonged mismanagement of the company by its executives. Clearly the spin has worked.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 03:09 PM   #45
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Why did hostess offer people who watch machines churn out twinkies a pension plan?
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 03:19 PM   #46
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Why did hostess offer people who watch machines churn out twinkies a pension plan?
Probably figured if they were eating on the job everyday, they would never live to cash em in.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 03:20 PM   #47
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The union failing to compromise, even if it means not getting what they wanted, is the unions fault.

Now none of those people have jobs, and the executives who make millions, just move on to other businesses.

The workers completely lose, while the management comes out relatively unscathed.

So from a pragmatic point of view, this is the unions fault. You deal with the situation as is and keep people at work.

Also, how do we know for sure that what the union wants/wanted was in the best interest of the company?
There are many factors involved including pride, pride not limited to workers, but the entire spectrum of people from one end of the company to the other.
I am happy to belong to a union who can see the lay of the land and can adjust realistic expectations based on the economic landscape. That is ALPA. Not all unions are that gifted. I've seen them walk off a cliff like the NWA mechanics did 10 years ago. They are people. People make bad decisions and they just are not limited to unions. Management makes plenty of cynical, self serving, and just plan bad decisions. That is a people character issue, not a union character issue. However there are times in negotiations where you have to call the other sides bluff. Hopefully you know when to do that...
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 03:25 PM   #48
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This is yet another example of the need to evolve or die out if you don't. Same thing as the Republican party is facing now. Same thing as all businesses face at some point. You either change with the times and keep yourself current and contemporary, or your business dies. There's not another option.

When is the last time you saw someone you know with a Twinkie or Ho Ho in their hand? A good example of that problem is a friend I have who is so upset over this that she wants to run out and buy a bunch of them today. But was she buying them all these years? NO. So if even a fan of the product isn't buying them anymore, and only wants to buy them now because they are going away, that demonstrates a fundamental problem with the brand itself.

Last edited by SandboxGeneral; Nov 20, 2012 at 11:47 AM. Reason: Clean up of quoted text
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 03:38 PM   #49
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Oh noes! Obese children will now be weeping all the way to the fruit stand.

Seriously, are all these companies made of candy glass or something? A faint gust of wind and they crumble. Unions! *crash* Healthcare! *crash* Gas prices up! *crash* Someone farted! *crash* It tells me that they're so weak to begin with that advocates of social Darwinism should be celebrating the deaths of these substandard specimen.

I'll tell you what's killing companies, clusters of nonproductive parasites (execs and shareholders) with such insane demands for profits that nobody dares hire or invest, even laying off people in spite of making a profit, because the profit just wasn't as epic as the precious market expected.

Back when Apple released the iPhone 3G my first thought was err, why are they naming it after something blatantly ubiquitous, isn't that like calling a new car model the Chevrolet Gasoline? Only then did I realize that in the US, 3G hadn't been ubiquitous for years, they were only now starting to catch up. And once it was released there were all these complaints about lousy coverage. Plus the prices for those plans were insanely high. After comparing US and EU providers I located the problem: While in the EU they had modest profits and invested heavily in infrastructure, AT&T was just hoarding profits, guarding them jealously and only investing in infrastructure at gunpoint. But wait, isn't free market capitalism supposed to DRIVE innovation and technological evolution, rather than encourage companies to scrape by on 5 year old tech in order to maximize profits?
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 03:49 PM   #50
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Hostess was already in serious trouble - after two recent bankruptcy filings, they were headed for a third. They used the timing of the strike to create the perfect spin of the workers' strike being the reason for closing, and not the repeated and prolonged mismanagement of the company by its executives. Clearly the spin has worked.
Even if that's true, it still doesn't help the workers to all be fired instead of perhaps some of them losing jobs.
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