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Wednesday, 11/21/2012 - 09:19 am EST

Can Someone Please Help Me Understand This?

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So, according to this, the last hope that Hostess would continue to exist was dashed Tuesday night, when they announced that even with a mediator, they were unable to reach a new labor agreement with the Bakery Workers Union.

A judge had put the pressure on the union and Hostess to use a mediator to try to salvage the 82 year old company which has given us irreplaceable Ho Ho’s and Twinkies over the past 8 decades.  The Teamsters, a union representing almost 7000 workers at Hostess, agreed to a new labor contract.  Because apparently the Teamsters (even though they are a union and I generally think unions suck monkeyballs) at LEAST had the common sense to realize, “If we don’t accept the terms, then we will not have jobs to negotiate over. Hello.” 

But the Bakery Workers Union?  Yeah.  Totally different story.  They were all, “No way.  All that’ll happen is that we’ll get lower pay and benefits, and then Hostess will just keep going down the tubes and will eventually file for bankruptcy anyway.  So we’ll be over here stamping our feet and pouting and costing the company (and the country) 18,000 jobs, and denying everyone the delectable deliciousness that is Twinkies and Ho Ho’s.” <--(not a direct quote) The head of the Bakery Workers Union (which represents 5600 workers at Hostess, claimed that agreeing to the new labor contract would drag down wages and benefits throughout the bakery industry, and blamed everything on private equity firms who he called “vulture capitalists.” I'm pretty sure he is going to blame Bush next.

So here’s what I don’t get.  If the alternative to having lower wages was having no wages whatsoever, then why not just AGREE to the lower wages, and keep Hostess in business, and save 18,000 jobs, and keep the flow of tasty treats going across the country, and then FREAKING JUST QUIT THE JOBS if they didn’t find the wages/benefits acceptable?  I mean, how would that have hurt anyone?  Picture this.  The union bosses use their brains (just for a second because I know it hurts them) and agree to the new labor contract.  The workers who are super happy to keep their jobs keep their jobs.  The workers who think they’re paid too little and think the benefits suck quit to find better employment, but they do so on their own terms, instead of having their jobs being eliminated due to no contract being agreed to.  Workers currently OUT of work snatch up those jobs that the dissatisfied union people just left, and we consumers get to continue to enjoy the tasty goodness of Hostess products.

Can someone please explain to me why in the holy hell that would have been a bad idea?  Because I don’t get it.

Look.  I’m not arguing the fact that Hostess management had a hand in its demise.  It sounds like they had really crappy management, and were as wise about fiscal issues as Obama is.  Which is to say NOT AT ALL WISE.  But the fact of the matter remains that if the Bakery Workers Union had simply agreed to the latest contract, even if it was the crappiest contract of all time, EVERYONE would still be in better shape, INCLUDING THEM.  They’ve basically done the union equivalent of flipping the Monopoly board over because they lost already, even though all of the other players are still in the game.

If you’re a union defender, particularly in this case, then you know what?  You’ve completely lost every shred of common sense that you may have ever possessed.  This is positively indefensible.

The only beacon of sunshine in this dark and dreary tale is that Grupo Bimbo, the world’s largest bread making company, is considering buying up what’s left of Hostess, which means that maybe, just maybe, we’ll all be munching on tasty treats after all.  Only with a new name.  I recommend Bimbo Ho’s.

Bimbo Ho’s, B*tches!

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