After several years of costly concessions, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM) authorized a walk-out earlier this month after Hostess received bankruptcy court approval to implement a wage cut that was not included in its contract.
With operations stalled, the company that makes Twinkies and other famous U.S. brands said last week that liquidating its business was the best way to preserve its dwindling cash. It won court approval on Wednesday to start winding down in a process expected to claim 15,000 jobs immediately and over 3,000 more after about four months.
Interviews with more than a dozen workers showed there was little sign of regret from employees who voted for the strike. They said they would rather lose their jobs than put up with lower wages and poorer benefits.
This is the type of garbage management had to put up with it to get product to the stores.
With 18,500 workers, Hostess has 12 different unions including the BCTGM, which has about 5,600 members on the bread and snack item production lines, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents about 7,500 route sales representatives, drivers and other employees.
Unlike some non-unionized rivals, the maker of Wonder Bread and Drake's cakes had to navigate more than 300 labor contracts, with terms that often strained efficiency and competitiveness, Hostess officials have said. In some extreme cases, contract provisions required different products to be delivered on different trucks even when headed to the same place.
Someone in the article comments posted more on this and it fits what I have heard about the unions.
Hostess posted a $341 million loss in 2011 on revenues of about $2.5 billion. Contributing to those 2011 losses:
- $52 million in Workers’ Comp Claims
- Dealing with 372 Distinct Collective-Bargaining Contracts
- Administration of 80 Separate Health and Benefits Plans
- Funding and Tending to 40 Discrete Pension Plans
- $31 million in year-over-year increases in wages and health care benefits for 2012 v. 2011
Uncounted in the above numbers were the outrageous union-imposed rules that made for a
too-high-to-bear cost of sales:
- No truck could carry both bread and snacks even when going to the same location
- Drivers were not permitted to load their own trucks
- Workers who loaded bread were not allowed to also load snacks
- Bringing products from back rooms to shelves required another set of union employees
- Multi-Employer pension obligations made Hostess liable for other, previously bankrupted,
retirement plan contributions from employees that never worked for Hostess at all
But the workers rather lose their jobs and go on the taxpayers dole getting undeserved unemployment benefits from the rest of us who are still working. Good job losers.