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Posted

[b]KANSAS CITY, Mo./NEW YORK[/b] (Reuters) - Enough is enough, say bakery workers at Hostess Brands Inc.

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.

"They're just taking from us," said Kenneth Johnson, 46, of Missouri. He said he earned roughly $35,000 with overtime last year, down from about $45,000 five years ago.

"I really can't afford to not be working, but this is not worth it. I'd rather go work somewhere else or draw unemployment," said Johnson, a worker at Hostess for 23 years.

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.

[url="http://news.yahoo.com/twinkies-bakers-theyd-rather-lose-jobs-pay-cuts-075558559--finance.html"]more[/url]

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Posted

Something wrong in the logic here.

They'll be lucky to find anther bakery to work at.

Only $35,000 a year ? boo hoo ...

Have fun when that unemployment check runs out.
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Posted

I never understood Union mentality...They would rather have nothing than something???

On the other side, I would like to think that the top-dogs have also given up/lost their bonuses and pay raises and they are not looking for consessions only from the workers.

Everyone should be affected equally which is seldom the case..

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Posted

[quote name='V8nside' timestamp='1353598880' post='595342202']
I would like to think that the top-dogs have also given up/lost their bonuses
[/quote]

Probably not. It's sadly common practice in north america for CEO and such to get big bonuse even when the company is losing money,
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Posted

By walking out and forcing liquidation, they still get most of their pensions / retirements as part of contracts and bankruptcy, totaling roughly $2billion. If they just quit, they lose that (and unemployment). If they agreed to further concessions (that they agreed to in 2004 as part of the first bankruptcy), part of the concessions was to lose pensions (which Hostess had stopped contributing to over a year ago).

The company was poorly run and failing anyway. Time to put it out of its misery like a zombie.

@V8 - the top-dogs were caught trying to give themselves raises just before declaring bankruptcy. CEO got a 300% bump, top execs got anywhere from 30-80%.
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Posted

hey id love a job that will pay 35k USD = almost 22k GBP to bake food to make you fat.
even those who work for cadburys dont get that amount.
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Posted

[quote name='LaP' timestamp='1353599126' post='595342218']


Probably not. It's sadly common practice in north america for CEO and such to get big bonuse even when the company is losing money,
[/quote]

The CEO just doubled his raise when they filed for bankruptcy.

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Posted

35K to show up to work at a fully automated bakery.....Good Luck with the Job Search.
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Posted

So you rather make $0 as opposed to $35,000? Trying to find the logic here but I cant find any. The company was poorly run but the workers throwing there jobs away is a boneheaded move.

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Posted

I can understand why the mentality, especially if working overtime and getting that kind of pay. My pay is more than that and I work casual whilst studying (albeit AU$). Sometimes you're better of taking the leap and hope you find a new job. The smarter move would be to keep your job and look for a new one at the same time. Nonetheless, it's a crap feeling when you have to force yourself to work and even worse when you know that you may loose your job.

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Posted

[quote name='soniqstylz' timestamp='1353599290' post='595342226']
By walking out and forcing liquidation, they still get most of their pensions / retirements[/quote]
So either way it breaks down - it's about greed.

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Posted

[quote name='Raa' timestamp='1353639542' post='595343524']
So either way it breaks down - it's about greed.
[/quote]

Funny how that works. Isn't it...

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Posted

Yes, wanting to recoup some of the money they've invested in their pensions must be greed. No other explanation possible! Not like they might be trying to do what's best for themselves and their families. Why hate on poor people? Jesus christ.
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Posted

twinkie not good for brains

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Posted

*reminds me of the British Leyland debacle in some ways*
Very unsteady ground to be treading on specially in this economic climate and this close to Christmas

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Posted

Ok so quit and let others that want to work take the $35k a year. Although I earn more than that in $AU, everything here is more expensive so it's probably relative for their cost of living.

It's a sad day when cakes can't survive in america
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Posted

[quote]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.
[/quote]

Let them be without jobs for a year or so and be hungry a bit and they will change their minds. If not, they can always work at a homeless kitchen or something baking bread for each other.
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Posted

[quote name='Growled' timestamp='1353647500' post='595343706']
Let them be without jobs for a year or so and be hungry a bit and they will change their minds. If not, they can always work at a homeless kitchen or something baking bread for each other.
[/quote]

or twinkies.

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Posted

[quote name='remixedcat' timestamp='1353642319' post='595343578']
twinkie not good for brains
[/quote]
Thanks for the show and tell... :p

[i]Glassed Silver:ios[/i]
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Posted

[quote name='Growled' timestamp='1353647500' post='595343706']
Let them be without jobs for a year or so and be hungry a bit and they will change their minds. If not, they can always work at a homeless kitchen or something baking bread for each other.
[/quote]

So let me get this straight, not one, not two or three troublesome or whiny workers, but the ENTIRE workforce goes on strike, meaning, there's probably good reason. If Hostess handled daily operations like they've handled the bankruptcy (more more more for the execs, workers pensions gone), then it's pretty believable. You likely already have workers that are unskilled and low paid, so you **** on them even more by lowering pay more and lowering benefits when they could barely feed their family in the first place, thinking they've got no choice but to just accept it and keep working. Then they all finally get fed up with it, and your opinion is "Well, they should just starve" since they aren't willing to bend over and take it from a corrupt management? So far all of the information to come out has painted a picture of massive corporate greed on management's part (what's new?). I know there's only so much of my pay you could take away before I'd say screw you and leave. What would you rather have? Slavery where people aren't allowed to complain and get paid whatever the company feels like paying them?

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Posted

Keep in mind hostess was shutting down 3 bakeries even if they agreed to a contract. Also keep in mind the union will help them find jobs. Its one of the benefits of being in a union.

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Posted

[quote name='AJerman' timestamp='1353675615' post='595344164']
So let me get this straight, not one, not two or three troublesome or whiny workers, but the ENTIRE workforce goes on strike, meaning, there's probably good reason. If Hostess handled daily operations like they've handled the bankruptcy (more more more for the execs, workers pensions gone), then it's pretty believable. You likely already have workers that are unskilled and low paid, so you **** on them even more by lowering pay more and lowering benefits when they could barely feed their family in the first place, thinking they've got no choice but to just accept it and keep working. Then they all finally get fed up with it, and your opinion is "Well, they should just starve" since they aren't willing to bend over and take it from a corrupt management? So far all of the information to come out has painted a picture of massive corporate greed on management's part (what's new?). I know there's only so much of my pay you could take away before I'd say screw you and leave. What would you rather have? Slavery where people aren't allowed to complain and get paid whatever the company feels like paying them?
[/quote]
If you ever worked in a Union you'd know it doesn't take many, especially when the votes to strike/return are not done by secret ballot. If you go against the unions wishes in these things they will make you life hell, and try to get you fired.

In many cases where they have done a public vote, and then a secret ballot, you will see vast differences in the results.. it's easier to vote the way you want when no one can punish you for it.
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Posted

[quote name='Ryoken' timestamp='1353675966' post='595344174']
If you ever worked in a Union you'd know it doesn't take many, especially when the votes to strike/return are not done by secret ballot. If you go against the unions wishes in these things they will make you life hell, and try to get you fired.

In many cases where they have done a public vote, and then a secret ballot, you will see vast differences in the results.. it's easier to vote the way you want when no one can punish you for it.
[/quote]

Which, since when you interview a number of workers and they all say they'd rather lose their jobs than keep working there, probably isn't the case. No one can punish you once you already lost your jobs. As soon as the company said they were going to close down, people would have started coming out all over saying "Hey, we didn't want this", if that were the case.

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Posted

[quote name='Ryoken' timestamp='1353675966' post='595344174']
If you ever worked in a Union you'd know it doesn't take many, especially when the votes to strike/return are not done by secret ballot. If you go against the unions wishes in these things they will make you life hell, and try to get you fired.

In many cases where they have done a public vote, and then a secret ballot, you will see vast differences in the results.. it's easier to vote the way you want when no one can punish you for it.
[/quote]

I am in a union. IF you vote against the union they can make it so you will never again get a job in a company that has that specific union. Sometime any job that is in a company with any union because many unions work together.
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Posted

[quote name='majortom1981' timestamp='1353675941' post='595344170']
Keep in mind hostess was shutting down 3 bakeries even if they agreed to a contract. Also keep in mind the union will help them find jobs. Its one of the benefits of being in a union.
[/quote]

Yeah, much like the union for electricians....of which many, many union members have been on a list for 3-4 years now, waiting for a job opening. And, when the union worker finally makes it to the top of the list, if they work over 2 weeks on a small job they are sent back to the bottom of the list. So, they either find that lucky, rare, long-term position or work very sporadically and maintain position on the union list, or not work at all. I'm sure though that the baking industry has openings just popping up everywhere and they won't have similar problems....yeah, right.

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