Union intransigence and unrealistic expectations at Hostess Brands have forced the bakery to shut its doors permanently and throw 18,500 people out of work. So much for Big Labor caring about the little guy.
A down economy and two restructurings in three years left Hostess, maker of Twinkies and Sno Balls, in dire fiscal straits. The company warned its workers, union and nonunion, to make concessions or everyone would go down in a liquidation.
Instead, one union, the AFL-CIO-affiliated Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International (BCTGM), imagined the company was bluffing and went on strike.
That didn’t matter to the striking union, whose 5,000 members pull in as much as $22 an hour plus medical benefits, get nine weeks of paid leave and a company pension. It ignored the warning and Nov. 15 deadline and now will take 100% losses on salaries and benefits instead of the 8% requested by management. Some union brotherhood — the bakers’ action took their fellow workers down with them.
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