Friday, November 16, 2012

I Don't Care So Much For Twinkies...

But I have a thing for Ding-Dongs for sure, even though I haven't eaten one in years.

Twinkies Maker Hostess Going Out of Business, CEO Blames Union Strike
Hostess, the makers of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, is going out of business after striking workers failed to heed a Thursday deadline to return to work, the company said.

“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” Hostess CEO Gregory F. Rayburn said in announcing that the firm had filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to shutter its business. “Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.”

Hostess Brands Inc. had earlier warned employees that it would file to unwind its business and sell off assets if plant operations didn't return to normal levels by 5 p.m. Thursday. In announcing its decision, Hostess said its wind down would mean the closure of 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers, approximately 5,500 delivery routes and 570 bakery outlet stores in the United States.
Unlike many in on the right, I generally support the right of workers to form unions and organize to fight for better pay, work conditions or whatever (except for public employees, but that's for another rant).  I also support rich peoples rights to band together in PACs to spend their money to effect political policies beneficial to them.  Maybe it's my dad's fault, being the President of the local teacher's union, and being raised to sing "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night" (video below the jump) around the piano, but I like to think it's the result of a consistent libertarian philosophy.

However, that philosophy also leads me to the conclusion that the union can't cry foul when they push too hard, and a business finds itself in a position where it pays to fold rather than continue to operate, and for it to happen now and then is a control against unnecessary zeal on the part of the union. No point in begging to the President to bail out Hostess for the unions sake; can you imagine Hostess with Michelle Obama as spokeswoman "Eat your damn Ho Ho for your countries sake!"  No point in blaming Bain or other corporate vultures for failing to save the company; they already tried, and it got sunk again.  Nope, somewhere between the labor and material costs, the regulations and the taxes, it simply became unprofitable to keep making and selling Twinkies, and they quit. Life goes on, without Ding Dongs; or not...  A friend in a position to know suggests:
The top stock holders will sell off the parts in bankruptcy and do fine. If arnold buys them they will close the bakeries in non right to work states and build new bakeries in right to work states only.

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