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Old 11-18-2012, 09:54   #76
WarCry
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Here's a brief snippet of what I found regarding why the bakers' union was on strike:

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The Baker's Union went on strike last week at Hostess after both the bakery union and Teamsters refused to agree to cuts in wages and benefits of 27 to 32 percent over the five-year contract, with an immediate wage cut of 8 percent. The company stopped contributing to workers' pensions last year.
It's not just about the actual salary.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:09   #77
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Originally Posted by WarCry View Post
Here's a brief snippet of what I found regarding why the bakers' union was on strike:



It's not just about the actual salary.
And they are always free to find new jobs where the employer is not so unfair.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:24   #78
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And they are always free to find new jobs where the employer is not so unfair.
The Okie Corral


I don't like some of the phrasing used here - like the unnecessary reference to Bain - but the facts are still sound - the unions HAVE given and given and the company was still managed into the ground.

Isn't this what so many people here were ADVOCATING for General Motors?
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:27   #79
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Originally Posted by WarCry View Post
The Okie Corral
Well, that sure seems like an unbiased bit of information.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:37   #80
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Originally Posted by SevenSixtyTwo View Post
Hostess's time has come and gone with or without union employees. Very few people still buy Twinkies and there are far better options for white bread. Who do you folks blame when thousands of non union companies go out of business? Customers?

Not too sure how you arrived at this. 18,000 people had jobs there. Sounds like someone was buying their products.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:41   #81
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We would have GM or Chrysler if 0bama hadn't bought union jobs without money. Greedy bastards
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:42   #82
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Originally Posted by devildog2067 View Post
"Come and gone"? Hostess has six times the revenue of Smith & Wesson.

It loses about a hundred million dollars on almost three billion of revenue. A 10% improvement in operating margin would put it in the black. Since (I imagine) much of its cost structure was tied up in labor, they probably could have made it if the unions had made concessions.
NRA should have sent out flyers and emails stating that if Obama is elected and then re-elected, he's going to outlaw Twinkies and send out the Feds to confiscate any existing Twinkies. Problem solved.

But that doesn't answer my question. Has a non-union company ever gone out of business? Who's to blame?
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:42   #83
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Originally Posted by WarCry View Post
Here's a brief snippet of what I found regarding why the bakers' union was on strike:
1) The 27 to 32 percent figure is simply not true. It's a lie.

2) Even if it were true, a 32% cut would put the bakers' wages in line with national averages.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:47   #84
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Not too sure how you arrived at this. 18,000 people had jobs there. Sounds like someone was buying their products.
Post #78. Year 2003. Apparently someone wasn't buying enough of their products.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:56   #85
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1) The 27 to 32 percent figure is simply not true. It's a lie.

2) Even if it were true, a 32% cut would put the bakers' wages in line with national averages.
I've been a union member with the same company for over 30 years. The company and union have a very good relationship. The company is making great profits even with the 2007 crash catching up to us. Partly due to concessions we've taken and mostly due to strong management delivering a product people actually want. It's well known amongst our union membership that we would take a 50% pay cut to keep our jobs and keep the company alive. But, if management is offering a product or service few or no people want anymore, the ship is sinking union or not. That's not the case with us. It appears to be the case with Hostess. Poor management not keeping up with current trends. Might as well be selling 8-Track players.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:56   #86
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I don't like some of the phrasing used here - like the unnecessary reference to Bain - but the facts are still sound
No, they're not.

The $110M line item in 2004, for instance--it COULDN'T be reinvested into the business. It had to be used to pay outstanding debts. That's why they went into bankruptcy in the first place. And "reinvesting" isn't a simple thing. The snack food cakes market isn't growing.

The 2009 item--yes, Hostess brands is now owned by a collection of hedge funds and private equity firms. What that means is, those funds injected hundreds of millions of dollars of investors' cash into the company--money that they'll never see again.

The 2011 item is odd, because it doesn't support the union side. The company was still losing money, labor costs are a huge portion of their cost structure, and the union refuses to make further concessions. What did they think was going to happen?

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- the unions HAVE given
Yep. No one disputes that. The unions have agreed to cuts in the past few years. That is a fact.

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and the company was still managed into the ground.
This is bull****.

The management team which was brought aboard attempted to bring the company's cost structure in line with their revenues. They simply couldn't afford to keep paying the wages they were paying, and there was no identifiable opportunity to grow the business. Their market is shrinking. The union refuses to see the fact that there simply is no money.

Changing the labor cost structure is the only lever management could pull, and the union wouldn't let them. That's the bottom line.

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Old 11-18-2012, 10:59   #87
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But, if management is offering a product or service few or no people want anymore, the ship is sinking union or not.
Hostess still managed to sell almost three BILLION dollars worth of snack cakes last year. The market is shrinking, but there's still plenty of room to make money for a long time.
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That's not the case with us. It appears to be the case with Hostess. Poor management not keeping up with current trends.
You seriously expect management to magically transform Hostess into a company that sells... not snack cakes? Why would they do that?
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:06   #88
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Originally Posted by devildog2067 View Post
Hostess still managed to sell almost three BILLION dollars worth of snack cakes last year. The market is shrinking, but there's still plenty of room to make money for a long time.


You seriously expect management to magically transform Hostess into a company that sells... not snack cakes? Why would they do that?
Yes. No different than we expect Sony to forgo the cassette player and evolve into current forms of media devices. Snack foods are very popular. Hostess hasn't kept up or they've failed to market their products effectively. That's management's job. No one suggested leaving the snack food market but you.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:16   #89
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Yes. No different than we expect Sony to forgo the cassette player and evolve into current forms of media devices. Snack foods are very popular. Hostess hasn't kept up or they've failed to market their products effectively. That's management's job.
The company has been largely treading water since the early 2000's, but the have launched a number of new brands including Nature's Pride (all natural line of bread products) to try and capitalize on the whole/natural foods movement.

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No one suggested leaving the snack food market but you.
I didn't suggest that either. Try reading more closely. "Snack cakes" is a subset of snack foods.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:17   #90
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The primary reason the company went under is it has a BILLION dollars in debt, most of which was acquired by management buying up other businesses. The company has excellent sales and profit margins, but a staggering debt load.

In the past decade, the company has shed almost half it's workforce, going from 35,000 to 18,000 people. There have been significant concessions by the three unions that work there.

The current pay structure is $22,500 to $28,500 for a baker. The insurance is about $250/month for crappy health insurance with a $1500 deductible and large co-pays.

While demanding an 8% pay cut and an eventual 30% give-back on benefits, the CEO pay went from $750k to $2.5 million. Hardly the kind of thing to inspire solidarity in "shared sacrifice" with your workforce.)

Twinkees will be back, probably made by non-union illegal immigrants, (who get their benefits paid for by Uncle Sugar) on the very same machines the "high-paid union scum" used to run for modest wages.

This country used to pay people to make great products and build great companies. Today we destroy companies.

All of you "free market capitalists" who want to deride union workers, please ask yourselves if you would take a 1/3 pay cut and not say a word besides "Gee, that's just spiffy boss."

Those of you who said "yes", please remember that when we become a third-world country and there are no more boots to lick. (The people you are criticizing are more like you than the Wall Street wizards who destroyed this company.)

We are approaching the day where nothing but excuses will be made in America.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:26   #91
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Originally Posted by Electrikkoolaid View Post
The primary reason the company went under is it has a BILLION dollars in debt,
Yes, the striking union's "fact sheet" is an excellent place to get facts about the business's financial structure.

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most of which was acquired by management buying up other businesses.
Yes--there has been a serious attempt to diversify the business away from the anemic snack cakes product line. Acquisition is an excellent way to do so.

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The company has excellent sales
Nope. Revenues have been declining at ~4-5% (negative) CAGR since before the first bankruptcy.

The Okie Corral

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The current pay structure is $22,500 to $28,500 for a baker.
How much should a baker make? To the best of my understanding, it's not a job that requires a lot of skills.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:27   #92
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My wife's family is going on fourth generation sheet metal union. I've never done it. I understand both sides.

Why did the union guys in N.J. cuss the guys from the other states that came to fix the power grid?

Some things I don't understand.

I think the union just makes money for the Big Shots. Which is what most of the union guys hate the most.

?
You're partially right. The other portion of union dues goes sgraight into the pockets of any polititian with a D behi d their name. Unions are 100 percent b.s., and their members are brainwashed. Flame away, I dont care.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:30   #93
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I am convinced!!

Where can I sign up for a union so I can stick it to the man??
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:33   #94
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While demanding an 8% pay cut and an eventual 30% give-back on benefits, the CEO pay went from $750k to $2.5 million. Hardly the kind of thing to inspire solidarity in "shared sacrifice" with your workforce.)
First of all, that $2.5M isn't cash. A lot of it is tied up in performance-based incentives that won't be paid out now that the company is going into liquidation. By CEO standards, the pay of the Hostess Brands CEO was on the low side.

Secondly, what do you think it costs to get top management talent to come to a company that is circling the drain, and try to turn it around? If you were running a F500 company that had strong, growing revenues, why would you go to a company like Hostess Brands? Top talent costs money, and a company that's going under is in desperate need of top talent.

Third--even if it was $2.5M in cash, it wouldn't have made a bit of difference. Taking the pay package back down to $750k from $2.5M would have saved less than $100 per worker per year. You think if the unions had been offered an extra $95/year they would have gone back to work?

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This country used to pay people to make great products and build great companies.
And we still do. America makes most of the world's high tech stuff. We're the world's #2 manufacturer (just edged out by China last year).

We make airplanes. We make trains. We make gas turbines and compressors and industrial pumps and computers and software and electronics and fabricated metal products.

We don't make many t-shirts anymore, and we probably won't be making snack cakes much longer. And that's ok.

Quote:
All of you "free market capitalists" who want to deride union workers, please ask yourselves if you would take a 1/3 pay cut and not say a word besides "Gee, that's just spiffy boss."
I'd try to find a way to not have to. I'd try to find a way to make myself a more valuable employee.

I'd go back to school and learn a skill, or learn a trade, and find a way to JUSTIFY the wages I wanted to earn. Not simply try to extort them.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:34   #95
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How much should a baker make? To the best of my understanding, it's not a job that requires a lot of skills.
That is just rude. The local bakers here in B-W make some very good bread. I think good bread actually takes some skill. The crust needs to be just right. Center must be cooked just right. With a nice little roll, I after 3 or 4 hours they are no good as the crust isnt crispy anymore so they need to kick out the days quantity all day long. A nice croissant also seems pretty hard to make right.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:36   #96
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and we probably won't be making snack cakes much longer. And that's ok.
Probably for the better..we really dont need to be eating those things.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:36   #97
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I have never been pro-union, generally. My current job is the first union job I've held. I do believe that, Caterpillar where my brother worked for example, would pay its workers as little as it could, if it could.

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Originally Posted by Roger1079 View Post
Then again these people were stupid enough to join a union in the first place so I can see how basic math may have been too complicated for them. Lets use your numbers as a reference point.

Paycheck - 5% > 0
Paycheck - 7% > 0
Paycheck - 8% > 0
Paycheck - 10% > 0

Seems fairly simple to me. I guess the bakers union doesn't provide intelligence as part of the contract.
Not sure about Hostess but where I work, one only has the choice of joining the union and paying the dues, or not joining the union and dues are still deducted. There are many where I work who are in the union, but do not like and support it

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i mean werent these guys makeing like $30+ a hour???? they deserved to lose thier jobs if you cant live off of that.. i only make $14 a hour and i own a house and a nice car and have never wanted for anything...well that one chic at olive garden but im working on that.
I'm quite sure it is much less expensive living in N. Carolina than in New Jersey, or a hundred other places. My uncle sold a house in Strandberg, SD for $5k.

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If you don't make enough money, find a better paying job or employer! If you can't you aren't worth what you think you are!
If my shop went union I'd quit! I couldn't afford the pay cut.
I too live in the LA area of Kalifornia. Generally, when a shop goes Union, the wages go up. Would you really quit if this happened?

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Anyone have an idea why teamsters didn't tell its members to cross the picket line and try to keep the jobs. Teamsters had an obligation to its members, not bakers union scum.
If I read your question correctly, then wouldn't the Union telling its members to cross the picket line be like the Union stepping on its d*ck?

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From my experience, they are lazy people with some type of addiction. Whether it’s alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription pain killers.
In a big (even unionized) company there are all kinds. I'm betting there were probably some good folks in your shop as well.

When I was a youngster long ago, Hostess was the only game in town. Now there are many more brands competing in the game. It could be argued that Hostess was the best, but it certainly cost the most. A Hostess Cherry pie for $1.75 vs the (can't remember the name) cherry pies @3 for $1?
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:36   #98
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I have not eaten not bought a twinkie in probably 10 years.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:37   #99
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That is just rude. The local bakers here in B-W make some very good bread. I think good bread actually takes some skill. The crust needs to be just right. Center must be cooked just right. With a nice little roll, I after 3 or 4 hours they are no good as the crust isnt crispy anymore so they need to kick out the days quantity all day long. A nice croissant also seems pretty hard to make right.
You, sir, are absolutely correct. My apologies. Baking well is an art form that requires years to perfect. Allow me to rephrase:

How much should a factory worker who puts ingredients in an industrial cake making machine and pushes the button to turn it on make? To the best of my understanding, it's not a job that requires a lot of skills.

(Also, I'd kill to find a good French croissant in the US. Every one I've ever found was too big and tasted like greasy air.)
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:42   #100
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Originally Posted by WarCry View Post
The Okie Corral


I don't like some of the phrasing used here - like the unnecessary reference to Bain - but the facts are still sound - the unions HAVE given and given and the company was still managed into the ground.

Isn't this what so many people here were ADVOCATING for General Motors?
How about the horsepoop about "saving" them 110 million that "was not reinvested"

Who says that savings is instant cash? Saving them from spending money doesn't mean they have it in cash, they're just spared having to come up with it in the first place to pay bills. It's not like they have 110 mill under the pillow and are refusing to hand it out.

This is the arrogance of unions. Throw in the Bain as pejorative meme and you can see its just an empty political rant not much related to reality.

As far as the OP's original question, helping someone understand something means dealing with someone rational.

Unions generally are just greedy thugs so there's not gonna be much of that.
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