Union shuts down Hostess bakeries

esh_gaNovember 16, 2012

"The Board of Directors authorized the wind down of Hostess Brands to preserve and maximize the value of the estate after one of the company's largest unions, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), initiated a nationwide strike that crippled the company's ability to produce and deliver products at multiple facilities," Hostess said in the statement.

Truly tragic. While I believe that unions serve a valuable purpose, clearly they shot themselves in the foot this time.

In a statement, Hostess said its bakery operations have been suspended at all plants and that it would lay off most of its 18,500 workers to focus on selling its assets. It said it has filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking permission to close its business and sell its assets, including 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers.

The move shuts down one of the nation's oldest and largest producers of baked goods. Founded in 1930, it produces such well-known brands, aside from Twinkies, as Ding-Dongs, Ho Ho's, Sno Balls and Donettes, not to mention Wonder bread, which the company says is the best-selling white bread in the United States.

I expect that another bakery will ask to buy the recipe for some of their products, especially the bread since it is such a winner.

Here is a link that might be useful: source

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Circus Peanut

Gasp! No more Suzie-Q's? Evar?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 9:12AM
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rob333

Ding Dongs were hard enough to find as it was. What a shame

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 9:19AM
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PRO
Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)

If you like that stuff, switch to Little Debbie.

Or, as Nancy and Mom do, bake 'em from scratch. :)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 9:28AM
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esh_ga

Little Debbie does not make Twinkies! But that's ok, I was over them.

Tastykake is still around too if you're on the eastern side of the country.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tastykake

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 9:35AM
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rob333

Yea, but Little Debbie makes some really good stuff. Better than TastyKakes. But that's just an opinion.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 9:48AM
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markjames

Walmart sells Great Value Golden Cream Cakes which look and taste like Twinkies according to some high volume Twinkie eaters we know for about 1/3 less than Twinkies.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:24AM
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chase_gw

Not to worry Weston bakeries here in Canada makes Hostess products for distribution in Canada and they intend to expand production and export to the States

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:39AM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)

Twinkies in China, maybe?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:40AM
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esh_ga

Instead, money that was supposed to be reinvested in the company was diverted to pay private equity fees, interest on the debt that the new owners took on to buy Hostess, and executive salaries and bonuses.

quote from the other thread ... reminds me of Bain Capital. Sounds like the vultures got the twinkies.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:41AM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)

Chase,

We already enjoy Weston's Country Harvest Pita's in central Ohio. :)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:44AM
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duluthinbloomz4

According to Hostess - it takes 45 seconds to explode a Twinkie in a microwave.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 11:03AM
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ohiomom

"Hostess filed for bankruptcy in January, the second time in the last eight years. When the company emerged from bankruptcy the first time, it was able to do so because its union workers agreed to $110 million in concessions and facility closures that cost about half of the unionized workforce their jobs."

After the workers agreed to the concessions, three private equity companies, Ripplewood Holdings, Monarch Alternative Investmenes, and Silver Point Capital, took control of the company and pledged to invest in modernizing the facilities that stayed open and rebranding the company's signature products, Wonder Bread, Twinkies, Hostess Cupcakes, etc.

Instead, money that was supposed to be reinvested in the company was diverted to pay private equity fees, interest on the debt that the new owners took on to buy Hostess, and executive salaries and bonuses."

Yes I can see why the "talking point" of the day would be blame the unions.

Frankly as a foodie I would hardly consider Hostess as "bakery", and yes I bake ... which I guess earns me and others that bake the scorn of some.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 11:26AM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)

NO BAILOUT?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 11:44AM
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blfenton

I'm guessing that Mrs. Obama would kibosh a buy-out of the manufacturer of Twinkies. It's not exactly a nutritious food item.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 12:47PM
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labrea_gw

I tasted a Twinkie at 6 arrrrrrrrrgghhhhhh even then I knew we were doomed!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 12:50PM
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jerzeegirl(9)

OM, it sounds like they got Bained.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 1:03PM
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ohiomom

Yes JZ ... and they are called "job creators" ?

More like "job cremators"

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 1:05PM
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jodik_gw

Ya, Joe, but at least they USED to be filled with something that tasted like real cream filling. Now... gross.

I can't eat stuff like that, anyway. It makes me sick. There's very little I consume that doesn't come from nature. Lab created food "products" are just too fake and chemical filled for me.

I do feel for the workers, though... avarice will be the downfall of this nation, and the ruination of our planet.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 1:14PM
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chase_gw

Correction Weston Bakeries in Canada makes and distributes Wonder Bread. Saputo Canada has the rights to make and distribute Hostess cakes in Canada.

Both companies say they will continue with the brand and the products and will consider expanding in order to ship Hostess products from Canada into the US.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 1:14PM
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patriciae_gw(07)

You could turn to the Doomers for supplies since Twinkies are 'permafood' surely some of them have been stocking their bunkers with twinkies and cupcakes.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 1:16PM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)

Can we get a picture of the workers?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 1:26PM
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heri_cles

brushwork -NO BAILOUT?

Still spouting off?
The election is ovah!
The people of Ohio and across the nation know that the auto loans were the courageous and correct action to take to save that industry.
Only a few sour grapes like yourself continue to wine.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 1:37PM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

They make wine from sour grapes?

Hyrogenated products promote cardiovascular disease, cancer and irritability.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 2:02PM
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fouquieria(10b)

While I believe that unions serve a valuable purpose, clearly they shot themselves in the foot this time.

Interesting that the article doesn't tell you that the top four executives received 80% raises in 2011. Also in the 2004 bankruptcy, the unions agreed to cuts in compensation and pensions.

Oh well.

-Ron-

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 2:59PM
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ann_t

It seems that it is always the workers/union that are asked to make the sacrifices not the senior management.

Like Ohiomom, I also bake so I don't see any big loss when it comes to Twinkies or Wonder Bread. Just a major loss for the employees.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 5:27PM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

More kicking of the American worker to the curb. Don't need to actually produce anything useful to the general population in order to rake in the money, why bother?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 5:48PM
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chisue

Curious to know first example of this corporate game plan to buy, suck dry, then dump, blaming some union.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 11:07AM
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jodik_gw

I'm not sure I want to eat a food item that is so preserved, it can practically last an eternity on a shelf...

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 11:11AM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Yes, they're hyrogenated (see my above comment). Jay Leno recently bought a Twinkie over the internet that dated from the 1990s, tried it on the air and said it tasted the same as if new.

The labels of any and all products that may contain hydrogenated ingredients should be read before purchase, passed over if they do. Anything like frosted baked goods, candies or processed cheeses that contain cement-like or otherwise finely textured components are highly likely to be hydrogenated. But I find hydrogenated oils listed in a high number of so-called foods, not always just obvious suspects.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 2:36PM
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frank_il

Zingers are better than Twinkies.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 7:56PM
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carol_in_california

I would rather hit myself in the head than buy at Walmart.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 9:47PM
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elvis

Checked the grocery store today--Twinkies, Cupcakes, Snowballs, sold out. I wouldn't normally touch the stuff, but I want a Snowball NOW, :D

"I would rather hit myself in the head than buy at Walmart"

Best price around for organic almond "milk". A buck's a buck.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 10:02PM
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Circus Peanut

Me too, Carol, although I generally use the "rather stick a fork in my own eye" reference. :-) Walmart has heinous employment practices and an even more corrupt supply chain. Mostly, though, I simply cannot fathom buying actual food in a place that reeks of PCBs and cheap air deodorizers. Blechh.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 10:38PM
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terriks

Never was a Twinkie fan - I'm a chocolate lover, but I did like Chocodiles, basically Twinkies with a chocolate coating

And I love the chocolate Donettes.


pics on Sodahead

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 11:22PM
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elvis

There were a couple bags of those Donettes at the grocery store. You want me to go to town tomorrow and get them for you?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 11:34PM
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terriks

Yes, and send them to....

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 11:58PM
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elvis

Really? I don't mind. I can conduct a thorough search for Snowballs while I'm at it ;D

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 12:06AM
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terriks

Yummmm. Snowballs. I can't remember the last time I had one...

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 12:56AM
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elvis

Me neither. Now that I hear they're to be dear to come by, I must have one.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 1:12AM
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jodik_gw

Good riddance to a fake, unhealthy product with no nutritional value... however, that's a lot of employment to throw out the door in the name of vulture capitalism. Ain't America grand... when you can make a fortune by purposely losing money and gaming the system...

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 2:35AM
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maddie_athome

Yep, Bained they were.

I'm sure you could alter the recipes, to make their stuff way less gross.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 2:43AM
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markjames

As long as demand still exists, which it should due to a growing population of Americans that love their sweets and convenience, jobs don't disappear, they're just redistributed.

Someone will still manufacture and distribute these products, or numerous similar alternatives.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:28AM
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Circus Peanut

The NYT had a Hostess cupcake recipe a while back:

Here is a link that might be useful: It's Not Junk Food if I Made It

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:39AM
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ohiomom

Yes they were "Bained", but this and all the stories on the web already have the talking point in motion that the big bad union shut them down. Not one article I found even mentions the venture vampire capitalists that sucked the life out of the twinkie.

In fact the comments after the articles are savage towards the employees that lost their jobs, pensions and probly' their homes etal next.

SMH

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:40AM
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chase_gw

Weston Bakeries and Saputo have announced they will continue manufacturing (notice I didn't say baking!) the products here in Canada.

Weston's have said they are not interested in buying the rights for Wonder Bread in the US but Saputo has said it may look at buying the name and some assets in the States for the cake goods.

One way or another anyone who wants a Twinkie will still be able to get one.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:40AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Don't unions decide things by vote? I've never been involved in one, have no opinion of them one way or another but thought they operated by majority rule.

After thinking about this for a few days, it's hard to believe the surface story, that a huge conglomerate like this is such a house of cards. Twinkies or Wonder Bread having a problem with a baking union should not affect the whole parent company. Isn't that why they make divisions? Did all of the divisions use the same union? Are there no competing unions? The cliche about putting all of one's eggs in one basket seems to have been ignored if this is really what brought them down. Plenty of people would happily bake Twinkies and bread for minimum wage, especially in places where the cost of living is not so high.

Totally agree, Ohiomom. The disparity in wages for the average workers who actually do all of the work vs. the corporate positions in their companies is atrocious. How do these companies expect people to patronize them if they can't earn enough to pay their bills after working all week?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 5:05PM
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ohiomom

Not to worry .. "twinkie" is for sale.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 5:07PM
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duluthinbloomz4

I read ConAgra expressed an interest. So too did Mexican mega bread maker El Grupo Bimbo. I wouldn't be paying big bucks for a pack of Twinkies on Ebay just yet.

I never liked them; I put them in the same category as Peeps. Unsatisfying and to be avoided at any price. I did however, like the chocolate cupcakes if I remember that last one I had sometime in the 50's.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 5:18PM
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citywoman2012

"Ode to a Twinkie"

Oh, Twinkie with your golden hue,
You have delicious goop in you.
There you are! Were you waiting long,
Between Sno-balls and stale Ding Dong?
...
My friends all think I'm kinda kinky
Cause my role model is a twinkie.
But they don't know what we've been through.
Dear Twinkie, I can count on you.

I tell my troubles as I bite.
You never tell me, "That's not right."
You listen to each foolish fear,
Then slowly, deliciously disappear.

I hold you close when we're alone
And think the thoughts that are my own.
Then turn to you, my dear sweet yummie.
You clear my mind, tickle my tummie.

Your outside is a little plain,
But inside you are "mellow lane."
I like you better than these folks,
Who look at me and then make jokes.

People should be more like you.
You don't judge the things folks do.
Inside is where your beauty lies.
Within the plain, there's sweet surprise.
�Grandpa Tucker

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:25PM
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jillinnj

Hostess To Pay $1.75 Million In Executive Bonuses After Blaming Unions For Bankruptcy

Story at link.

Yup, all the unions fault, of course.

Here is a link that might be useful: Big $$$ for Execs

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:36PM
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ohiomom

From above link...

Even as it blamed unions for the bankruptcy and the 18,500 job losses that will ensue, Hostess already gave its executives pay raises earlier this year. The salary of the companys chief executive tripled from $750,000 to roughly $2.5 million, and at least nine other executives received pay raises ranging from $90,000 to $400,000. Those raises came just months after Hostess originally filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:44PM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Backslapping and cigars for everyone.

In the board room.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:49PM
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esh_ga

Bained.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:18PM
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littleonefb

Is this an example of the GOP "personal responsibility" stuff?

You know, unions give it up and take "personal responsibility for yourselves", stop the demands of the corporate, cause we need the money not you?

Must be some kind of GOP thing, the head honchos take all the money, throw the employees to the street and blame the employees cause the business failed because of the union demands.

Sick, Sick, Sick.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:40PM
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thegreatcob

hostess is not over yet the bankruptcy judge has sent both sides the union and company to Mediation.
The judge has put hold any liquidation on hold.
so who know is they both play nice Twinkies could be back in week or to.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 9:23PM
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susanilz5(z5 IL)

Very bad management is not the workers fault.

This is 2012, we watch what we eat, Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Ho's are no longer a normal part of the American lunch box diet. Most companies change with the times but this company did not.

Instead they pulled a Bain, added dept and instead of moving forward with good management and new products the employees will take a major hit and the very bad managers who couldn't lead the company into the future will get raises and great severence packages. There needs to be laws to keep this from happening over and over again. You should not be able to go bankrupt after paying inflated wages and bonuses to your management while your labor force is screwed.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 12:57AM
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haydayhayday

I'm not wasting too much time reading this thread...I get the idea. I don't even have to read it to know what's being said.

But,...

If I own something, you'd think I'd be the one who gets to decide about its future? No?

If I owned something, I'd like to be able to decide if I can make more money by liquidating it or continuing to operate it as a business. No?

Somewhere in the USA, there's a bakery ready to produce tomorrow's Twinkies if the demand is there. They'll be hiring.

Hay

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:11AM
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demifloyd(8)

I don't see the big deal.

Businesses succeed and businesses fail.

That's how it is supposed to work.

Sometimes businesses that succeed are closed down.
That's entirely at the discretion of the owners.

If people lose jobs, there are plenty more, right?
I mean, we were told there would be.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:13AM
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batyabeth

Does this mean no more Twinkie defense in court?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:17AM
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markjames

The demand for snacks is incredible, but many are opting for much lower priced on-sale, store brand and non mainstream brand alternatives which are subjectively almost as good, as good, or better.

Just the sheer number of different brands and varieties of snacks makes it an extremely competitive market.

The same applies to bread. The variety and competition is incredibe. More and more people are also shopping for price. Locally, Friehoffers and store brand white bread outsell Wonderbread by large margins, plus they have more frequent sales and promotions.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:17AM
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jillinnj

I don't see the big deal.
Businesses succeed and businesses fail.

That's how it is supposed to work.

Sometimes businesses that succeed are closed down.
That's entirely at the discretion of the owners.

Then why blame the union? If it was a successful business that they don't want to run anymore, why blame the union for causing its failure?

If it's not successful because they haven't kept up with what the consumer wants, why blame the union?

The union already agreed to concessions the 1st time they went through bankruptcy. Yet the executives gave themselves huge raises. Now they are taking big bonuses while they shut it all down. I know, you don't see the problem with that. A lot of people do see the problem with that.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:45AM
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haydayhayday

We should never have closed down those buggy whip manufacturers!!!!

I keep pondering this "job creating" meme.

Jobs need to be destroyed!!!! Isn't that what we really want?

Humankind's progress is measured by how much more we can produce with fewer and fewer workers. How much we can produce with cheaper and cheaper methods. That's what we want, you fools!

Getting there means we're going to have to constantly be reinventing ourselves. Learn new skills, that sort of thing.

We will NEVER run out of work to do. (Take a look at my house.)

I always want more. And that's not greed. You want to grub around the woods for your daily food, go for it. Not me, I want it on a silver platter!!!

Hay

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:48AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

"If it's not successful because they haven't kept up with what the consumer wants, why blame the union?

The union already agreed to concessions the 1st time they went through bankruptcy. Yet the executives gave themselves huge raises. Now they are taking big bonuses while they shut it all down. I know, you don't see the problem with that. A lot of people do see the problem with that."

Well said!

You can't tell me Twinkies weren't making a profit, for everybody but the people actually baking them. A lot of people eat a lot of Twinkies, no matter what the general consensus may be. A profitable company going out of business is definitely a curiosity worth investigating.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 1:01PM
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maddie_athome

Hostess Steals From Employees Then Turns Around And Blames Employees for Company's Demise:

The bankrupt baker told The Wall Street Journal that money taken out of workers' paychecks, intended for their retirement funds, was used for company operations instead. Hostess, which was under different management at the time the diversions began in August 2011, said it does not know how much money it took.

Hostess executives have spent the last several weeks crusading for the right to cut employee pensions while also divvying up retention bonuses for company executives who will oversee the company's liquidation.

Now it turns out some of those pensions have already been diverted to cover other costs.

More thieves, who think that everything they steal is rightfully theirs.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 5:54AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Can't switch to Lttle Debbie who has a treat for me, might get arrested...

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 6:03AM
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PRO
Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)

Look around folks, we don't NEED Twinkies!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 6:59AM
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maddie_athome

The subject isn't Twinkies or no Twinkies. Got anything to say on Hostess stealing from and Baining people?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 7:17AM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)

It's wrong, and it was done at the end of business.

Good riddance to twinkies.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 8:28AM
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haydayhayday

"The bankrupt baker told The Wall Street Journal that money taken out of workers' paychecks, intended for their retirement funds, was used for company operations instead."

Sounds an awful lot like what our dear "progressive" government is doing with the Social Security money that they took out of my paycheck for the past 50 years or so.

With pretty much the same result. Diverted all that money to their own interests and left us bankrupt.

Moral: if you want to have any hope of keeping your hard earned money, don't give it to ANYBODY to hold for you. NOBODY can watch after my money better than ME. Certainly not you and your elected officials.

When does Obama leave for his Hawaii vacation? Dodd and Frank, they're doing OK with their retirement? Bill Clinton still being driven back and forth in a chauffeured car between his office and his nice home in that wealthy enclave in New York?

I'll still take my chances in the stock market. Overall, it does better than the alternative.

Hay

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 10:07AM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

I'll still take my chances in the stock market. Overall, it does better than the alternative.

Dunno about that, Hay.

If the alternative is being a politician and living that guaranteed, chauffeured, extremely comfortable retirement... seems like their retirement plan is much better protected than the stock market OR the average shmoe's pension. They ain't hurtin', if you know what I mean.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 10:20AM
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demifloyd(8)

Moral: if you want to have any hope of keeping your hard earned money, don't give it to ANYBODY to hold for you. NOBODY can watch after my money better than ME. Certainly not you and your elected officials.

*

Amen.
Amen.
Amen.

Unfortunately, FDR believed that the the government was smarter, more disciplined and more responsible than citizens were, and so we have had confiscated earnings with the promise of getting it back in our old age.

Decades of Democrats, and some Republicans, have agreed with this takeover of our individual responsibilities to care for and provide for our own retirements.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard older people complain that they just can't make it on social security.
DUH.

It wasn't meant to provide for every need in retirement.
Unfortunately, that's how the government sees so many social programs.

Personal responsibility has become a dirty word--and because it has, now look where we are.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 11:03AM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

Unfortunately, that's how the government sees so many social programs.

First and foremost, that's how the government sees their OWN social programs...golden pensions, golden healthcare packages, golden expense accounts.

And that's probably the only thing they are nonpartisan about.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 11:07AM
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demifloyd(8)

First and foremost, that's how the government sees their OWN social programs...golden pensions, golden healthcare packages, golden expense accounts.

And that's probably the only thing they are nonpartisan about.

*

Touche, HG.

Very telling who is exempt from Obamacare, isn't it?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 11:26AM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

Very telling who is exempt from Obamacare, isn't it?

Are they exempt from Obamacare? or is it that they have proof of their own coverage already?

Is that all of Obamacare? For example, can they be refused coverage due to pre-existing conditions or are they covered by that?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 11:37AM
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demifloyd(8)

From my understanding, Congress and the President, etc. will be required to have an approved plan under Obamacare.

I'm referring to the companies that have been favored with exemptions--and perhaps individuals, as well, based on religious objections.

That all remains to be seen in practice but it's already on the table, and there is an entire list of companies that have been given exemptions, so Obamacare does not apply to everyone.

What a payoff.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 12:37PM
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fouquieria(10b)

Corporate raiders creating jobs...or maybe just passing the corporation off to other corporate raiders after the carcass has been partially consumed.

-Ron-

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 2:44PM
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Makes you wonder why they keep trying. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/23/1366371/-Idaho-Republican-to-doctor-Can-a-woman-swallow-a-camera-for-a-pregnancy-exam-w-audio...
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