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Businesses Idle

Hostess To Close; No More Twinkies 674

Posted by Soulskill
from the a-true-tragedy-of-our-time dept.
RenderSeven writes "In a press release issued today, baker Hostess Brands asked a bankruptcy court for permission to close all of its plants and sell off their assets, immediately laying off 18,500 workers. Citing high labor and rising health care costs, increasing competition and growing consumer awareness of healthy foods, Hostess says it can no longer operate without union concessions. A crippling strike has already shut down operations at all facilities, and while the Teamsters Union has ratified a new contract to keep Hostess in business, the Bakers Union has refused saying they would rather see the company closed than accept pension cuts. The Teamsters union is urging the bakers union to hold a secret ballot on whether to continue striking; citing its financial experts who had access to the company's books, the Teamsters say that Hostess' warning of liquidation is 'not an empty threat or a negotiating tactic' but a certain outcome if workers keep striking. If your late-night programming is fueled by Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Zingers, better stock up now." [Editor's note: A whole bunch of users submitted this news. I worry about our readership's cholesterol levels.]
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Hostess To Close; No More Twinkies

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  • by j_presper_eckert (617907) on Friday November 16, 2012 @03:18PM (#42004253)
    Way to go, Hostess management. Don't let the door hit you in your partially hydrogenated ass on the way out!
    Considering that their product has a shelf life best measured in geologic terms, and is often functionally identical to substances used in ancient Egyptian mummification practices, I think that nothing of value was lost.
    Except the jobs themselves, that is. It's going to be *such* a merry Christmas for their workforce this year.
  • Re:GO UNIONS! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 16, 2012 @03:34PM (#42004503)

    They were thinking that they don't care if they kill a company, because making any concessions at all means that they're in a weaker bargaining position with any other companies.

    The lesson is clear: if you want to run a business, do it in a right-to-work state, or offshore. Hostess would probably be doing fine if they'd moved all production to Mexico ten years ago and trucked the product in.

  • Re:And... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by guttentag (313541) on Friday November 16, 2012 @04:36PM (#42005425) Journal
    To put things in perspective... Bimbo is the world's largest baking company you've probably never heard of, but probably buy products from. They've been buying up established regional brands for years. Arnold, Boboli, Entenmann's, Orowheat, Sara Lee, Thomas (the English muffin brand), Wonder and a lot of others.

    They have a lot of bakery outlet shops,where you can buy these brands of baked goods for next to nothing about a week before their expiration date. When I first became aware of them I was a little surprised by the name ("Really? Someone in marketing thought this was a good name for a company that makes bread and cookies?"), but it turns out the word does not have the offensive connotation in Spanish that it does in English. from Wikipedia:

    The name "Bimbo" has no specific meaning in Spanish; thus, the name has not caused significant uproar as it would in the United States, where the word "bimbo" has a negative connotation. The official theory believes that the name Bimbo, coined in 1945 when the company was rebranded from its previous name, Super Pan S.A., is the mixing of the words "bingo" and "Bambi".[4] In addition, the innocent, childlike name went well with the brand image they wanted to build.

  • Re:Run on Twinkies? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by swilly (24960) on Friday November 16, 2012 @04:45PM (#42005553)

    The first result in Google for camradery is http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/comradery [merriam-webster.com]. The first definition is camaraderie, so it looks like we have two valid spellings of the same word.

    It's also currently in the top 1% of lookups on the site, so the slashdot effect is still alive and well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 16, 2012 @05:01PM (#42005759)

    If they had better management, perhaps the workers might actually not want to strike...

    If you hold all variables to be constant but allow one variable to change you can end up with a different result. But that doesn't mean that it was the only variable that can be changed to arive at the desired result.

  • Re:Zombieland... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jackjumper (307961) on Friday November 16, 2012 @05:26PM (#42006145)
    But Hostess' CEO got a 300% raise, so it's all good, right?
  • Re:GO UNIONS! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SecurityTheatre (2427858) on Friday November 16, 2012 @05:44PM (#42006393)

    It may not benefit them, but they STILL MAKE 7-figure salaries, even when they perform dismally poorly.

    So if one regards millions of dollars as sufficient, it really doesn't matter WHAT they do. They could (if they wanted to) simply use their job to carry out a bunch of personal vendettas, or political aims (like utterly destroying a local union). Especially if they don't feel like there is much of a chance to meet a specific performance bonus target, due to long-term structural or economic problems, there seems little incentive for them not to just shrug and move on.

    Now this CEO has a reputation as a Union-buster and is likely to be hired again by a company seeking to prevent unions from having control, even if he did nothing his entire tenure but thumb his nose at the unions. Unions at companies he runs in the future will be forced to respect him because he's clearly willing to sack the whole company, close hundreds of facilities and put entire towns into recession to prove a point about corporate economics.

    meh... CEOs are totally treated fairly... heh

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