The Bell Tolls For the Twinkie - UPDATED

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Baresark:
Useless ass unions. Ayn Rand called situations like this. In Atlas Shrugged, things get hard, people are losing money left and right, everyone is suffering, and Unions are all demanding raises and more, when there isn't more to give. The unions fail to negotiate and they have a stranglehold on the company.

Also, for the people attacking the CEO's for getting raises, that is a straw man argument. We are talking about money saved from thousands of workers. A few CEO's getting more money, even a significant increase doesn't even rate on the radar of money that Hostess dealt with. I'm not saying I agree with it, I'm simply doesn't matter. In terms of classic economics, people lose sight of the situation. You can take less money, have a job, have some benefits still or you can have no money, no benefits. I know what I would choose, and then just look for a better job.

In psychological terms, people like to blame one or a few people for a problem. It's not ever 1 or 10 people who are causing the problem, it's is everyone cheating a little bit. As Dan Ariely wrote, it's everyone lying, cheating and stealing just little enough that they still feel honest.

It's not a straw man argument by any means. The basic attitude is "If you are asking me to work more for less money, you'd better damned well be doing the same yourself". You don't take money away from your employees at the same time you give yourself and your executives a raise, that just won't fly. It doesn't matter if the actual money amounts are significant to the company as a whole, it's more an issue of fairness and not asking your people to do something you aren't willing to do yourself.

The money amounts don't matter, I'd be pissed off enough to consider striking myself. Besides, let's face it, Hostess was going down regardless, the strike just accelerated the process by a year or so.

When I went to the US on a holiday, I made a point of trying all those strange brands of food that I only ever get to see in movies, like Twinkies.

It wasn't worth it. You know that stuff in the middle, what you call cream? That is not cream. That is some questionable, artificial thing between some disgusting hard sponge.

Also, orange plastic cheese slices are not cheese either. Same goes for that questionable beef.

Then again, I live in New Zealand, so I might be being unfair. The one good thing about the food in America is that you get heaps for your money. A McFlurry here, for example, costs $3.20 and is in a small pottle - over there, I got one the size of a large drink, filled to the brim, for half as much money.

Royas:

Baresark:
snip

It's not a straw man argument by any means. The basic attitude is "If you are asking me to work more for less money, you'd better damned well be doing the same yourself". You don't take money away from your employees at the same time you give yourself and your executives a raise, that just won't fly. It doesn't matter if the actual money amounts are significant to the company as a whole, it's more an issue of fairness and not asking your people to do something you aren't willing to do yourself.

The money amounts don't matter, I'd be pissed off enough to consider striking myself. Besides, let's face it, Hostess was going down regardless, the strike just accelerated the process by a year or so.

I can't disagree that Hostess was probably going down, and the Unions expedited the process. I mean, they did have Execs that worked for $1 for the year until January. But in regards to what you were saying about salaries: in a fair society, it should certainly be the case that everyone gets hit. Society is not by any means fair though. The expectation that a everyone takes a pay cut isn't realistic. But when it comes down to money issues, it's just completely inconsequential that a few people get raises when others are taking a hit. I mean inconsequential on an economic level, not on a social level.

It comes down to very basic human traits. If any one of those affected workers could have walked out of there with a raise, they would have, to the detriment of their entire cause. You can't blame executives for doing what any one of them would have done. This whole thing is proof of that. That is one thing that is simultaneously the weakness and strength of collective bargaining. The perceived upside is shared suffering (which is not an upside at all, but people want to see others suffer as they suffer) and unity of individuals under a common flag. The downside is that a great many of those people might have taken a pay cut to keep a job, but they couldn't because collective bargaining tied their hands. And the only people who made out on this whole situation are the union leaders themselves because at the end of the day they got their money and they will all get paid.

The whole thing is rather ridiculous though. Everyone wants to blame a few executives, but as soon as they started picketing, they killed the company. Not that the execs didn't have any culpability at all, they certainly did. It's decisions they made that put the company into a financially troubled state. But if anyone says it's not the Union that killed it and lost all those jobs, they are lying. Regardless of if the company would have gone under, it stood a chance till they were picketed. When one union pickets, all the other associated unions get involved. The delivery drivers wouldn't deliver needed supplies, any maintenance companies that are union would refuse to fix equipment, all kinds of things. They don't grow cream and spongecake inside the factory after all and they had to get those supplies brought in. And even if companies wanted to deliver supplies, the picketers would never have let them in.

They should have just moved to Mexico and taken their whole operation out of the US. The end result would have been the same for America, but at least there was a chance at some future time of jobs being brought back. Now there is no chance, at least not from Hostess.

In conclusion, this is by no means a condemnation of the individuals involved. And I'm not pessimistic about it as I sound. As someone who's job ends January 21st of 2013 because our entire department is being outsourced, I get that it's just the cost of doing business. I also know how much of a mistake it's going to be and I'm OK with that.

[quote="CardinalPiggles" post="7.393976.15942935"]Here America , try this instead;

image

Thats not a real apple, don't you see all that code when you quote. It's totally fake.

Anyways, like the artical said, some company will pick it up. Wether they can continue to use the name though...

Worgen:
No company has ever gotten a strike that didn't deserve one.

HeheheHAAAAHAAA! Oh, god, man, thanks for the laugh before I go to bed. That is a good one.

Ho-Hos? That's a snack?
...
Hehehe.

Anyway, I heard twinkies and such can survive a nuclear holocaust. So I would advice people to buy as many as you can and, you know, make them last a lifetime.

Luckily, I don't like any of that but according to my friend, they're already gone at the local store. :l

esperandote:

L34dP1LL:
At least here in Mexico we'll still have "Los Submarinos"

Yeah, and Choco-roles (Wich apparently are the Ho-Hos equivalents)

But they taste different now. Along with Gansito. :[

I miss the old school ones...*Sigh*

Just so ya know, the Union Strike story is probably corporate propaganda

Formica Archonis:
Unions have their place, I'm more than willing to admit. But going on strike when the company is already under bankruptcy protection? HOW DID THEY NOT SEE THIS COMING? Oh, they have barely enough money coming in to function, let's fuck their revenue stream over! Did they think the slow collapse of the company in a bad economy was all just a very complex ruse to cut their wages?

Unions had nothing to do with it.

You're talking about Twinkies and Wonderbread. No one eats this shit anymore and the market has reflected it as such. Personally, I haven't seen someone eat a Twinkie in at least 10 years.

Formica Archonis:

Worgen:
No company has ever gotten a strike that didn't deserve one.

HeheheHAAAAHAAA! Oh, god, man, thanks for the laugh before I go to bed. That is a good one.

Its funny because its true.

Ugh, and I fucked up the quote, its actually. "No company got a union that didn't deserve one."

Wow, who knew that the Twinkie, the food product that could survive a nuclear blast, ecological collapse and zombie apocalypse, would finally be wiped out by the Unions?

What exactly is a Twinkie? Never seen them in Aus.

Funny enough, up here in Canada, all the Hostess trademarks are apparently co-owned by Weston Ltd., which apparently means they will continue producing snack products.

I'm going to buy a box of Twinkies, sit at home and wistfully rest my hand on my cheek as I remember the good times Hostess once had.

I'm going out and buying a box of Twinkies to commemorate them. Or maybe the cupcakes. Those things are pretty good.

Tried to pick up some Twinkies and the like last night, and there was practically no Hostess products. Only saw a handful of fruit pies and some Zwingers. Did find out that several snacks that I thought were Hostess weren't (such as Devil Dogs, which are Drake's).

Daystar Clarion:
Maybe you can get around to making something actually made out of food now, huh America? :D

Now why the hell would we want to do that?

CardinalPiggles:
Here America , try this instead;

image

Get that shit out of my face! Either this or GTFO!
image

(also, image link long enough?)

Formica Archonis:
Unions have their place, I'm more than willing to admit. But going on strike when the company is already under bankruptcy protection? HOW DID THEY NOT SEE THIS COMING? Oh, they have barely enough money coming in to function, let's fuck their revenue stream over! Did they think the slow collapse of the company in a bad economy was all just a very complex ruse to cut their wages?

You know, maybe if Hostess offered some more realistic form of negotiation, this wouldn't be an issue. They strung out negotiations, however, when they were in no position to. Yay blaming the workers!

Harker067:

Maybe if the execs took a pay cut instead of bonuses the union would be easier to negotiate with. Anyone remember when sony was showing some earnings losses and all the higher ups took a pay cut.

You mean, executives actually offer to take some responsibility for the failure of the company, not just the success? Madness. What is this, the 1990s, before corporate sociopathy was the mainstay? I think not! This is 2012, where the executives are never at fault!

soren7550:

CardinalPiggles:
Here America , try this instead;

image

Get that shit out of my face! Either this or GTFO!
image

Forget you both, Mcintosh or nothing!

...I'd post an image, but this post is already 500,000 characters. I'm afraid I might break something, even with a tinyurl.

Good riddance. Twinkies are gross, as are most other Hostess foods.

This makes me hate Unions even more.

Formica Archonis:
Unions have their place, I'm more than willing to admit. But going on strike when the company is already under bankruptcy protection? HOW DID THEY NOT SEE THIS COMING? Oh, they have barely enough money coming in to function, let's fuck their revenue stream over! Did they think the slow collapse of the company in a bad economy was all just a very complex ruse to cut their wages?

You see, I don't think you understand Unions. Any time they don't get exactly everything they want or loss a small bit of what they did get, it is automatically a ploy by the company to not give them the things they "deserve".

I've know some people in unions and they are downright nuts. They always think the company they work for is running a scheme to put them down or out of work.

It is amazing how something like Hostess's teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, which I knew about over a year ago, flew right over their heads and they still thought it was good to strike.

I hope those 5000 nuts are happy that their Union just cost them and the other 13,500 people their jobs.

CardinalPiggles:
Here America , try this instead;

image

What is that thing? It looks like poison, all green and shiny...yup it is poison.

It isn't soft cake with a creamy center, so I'm not going to eat it.

BC... AD... Today marks a new era on our Calendars, AT, After Twinkies.

Found this on George Takei's facebook page today.

I couldn't help but appreciate the irony.

image

Taddy:
What exactly is a Twinkie? Never seen them in Aus.

Buggered if I know, but apparently they're some sort of awesome American snack cake thing.

I tried a twinkie once...ugh...it is death coated in sugar.

Sucks about all the jobs being lost though.

Man, that strike sure backfired.
"We want more!"
"How about less? As in, nothing? Like no job, that sound good? Hope so cause that's what's happening!"

Sorry, sucks for the workers but I thought it was a little funny, in a sadistic sort of way. Anyway, I love my snacks so this kind of bums me out. Shame.

PunkRex:
GOOD!!! Me and my bro went to America once, real excited we were to try this famous food stuff known as a Twinkie. Enthusiastically we handed our dole-lars over to the foods merchant and asked for the treat. We eagerly peeled off the wrapper, our mouths a-moist in anticipation... little did our young hearts know. We bit heartily into the small confectionary and were greeted with a taste that can only be described as foul beyond all measure. IT WAS LIKE HOT SICK!!! I WAS BETRAYED, SUCH LIES OF HOW DELICIOUS A AMERICAN STAPLE IT WAS!!!

I had some pretty good chocolate pancakes the next day so I got over it, BUT STILL!!!

I'm American and I had the same experience.

:P

Also Wonder Bread was the most popular white bread?

I am incredibly saddened by that news. It was just cotton candy with a crust :/.

Worgen:

Formica Archonis:

Worgen:
No company has ever gotten a strike that didn't deserve one.

HeheheHAAAAHAAA! Oh, god, man, thanks for the laugh before I go to bed. That is a good one.

Its funny because its true.

Ugh, and I fucked up the quote, its actually. "No company got a union that didn't deserve one."

Your quote made more sense, so if that's the actual one I like it.

Baresark:

In conclusion, this is by no means a condemnation of the individuals involved. And I'm not pessimistic about it as I sound. As someone who's job ends January 21st of 2013 because our entire department is being outsourced, I get that it's just the cost of doing business. I also know how much of a mistake it's going to be and I'm OK with that.

I find your complacency with predatory capitalism to be very disheartening.

"Just Business" should not be an acceptable world view, we are human beings, either stop acting like animals or stop acting like we have anything over them.

It's rather suspicious that the executives, as well as the media, are failing to note the reason for the striking - that is, said executives raising their pay while allegedly attempting to freeze and/or lower the pay of their normal workers. Even the creditors looking over the matter are questioning it. Because really, an entire company simply taking its ball and going home over a strike, rather than attempting to renegotiate or even hire scabs and whatnot doesn't exactly sound honest, to me.

I think the toxic dept unloaded onto Hostess Brands by the Vulture Capitalists who bought it has as much to do with the insolvency as the labour problems. Hostess Brands will be liquidated, the Vulture Capitalists will pick up the valuable brands for pennies (because they of course will be listed as primary creditors) and sell them off for millions, without the baggage of the old corporation. They'll probably find some way to legally raid the pension fund, while they are at it.

I've never had a Twinkie.

Now i'm sad because I never will.

I didn't know I wanted a Twinkie until now.

If I ever did try one, I probably wouldn't even like it.

I think it's the Zombieland guy.

I feel bad for him.

And nothing of value was lost. I can't stand Twinkees.

Secret world leader (shhh):
I've never had a Twinkie.

Now i'm sad because I never will.

I didn't know I wanted a Twinkie until now.

If I ever did try one, I probably wouldn't even like it.

I think it's the Zombieland guy.

I feel bad for him.

Trust me.

You aren't missing much.

Twinkies are quite bland.

You would be quite underwhelmed.

Perhaps it's better this way.

You not knowing the truth.

In your heart they'll always be incredible.

Even if not in your mind.

double post ignore

Wow that's a real shame that i'll newer will get to taste the TWINKIE because they dont export that to european countries (well not to my country at least) so im feeling kinda bad... Saw Zombieland and wanted to try that legendary food(stuff(I really dont know what that was supposed to be))...

Baresark:

Royas:

Baresark:
snip

It's not a straw man argument by any means. The basic attitude is "If you are asking me to work more for less money, you'd better damned well be doing the same yourself". You don't take money away from your employees at the same time you give yourself and your executives a raise, that just won't fly. It doesn't matter if the actual money amounts are significant to the company as a whole, it's more an issue of fairness and not asking your people to do something you aren't willing to do yourself.

The money amounts don't matter, I'd be pissed off enough to consider striking myself. Besides, let's face it, Hostess was going down regardless, the strike just accelerated the process by a year or so.

I can't disagree that Hostess was probably going down, and the Unions expedited the process. I mean, they did have Execs that worked for $1 for the year until January. But in regards to what you were saying about salaries: in a fair society, it should certainly be the case that everyone gets hit. Society is not by any means fair though. The expectation that a everyone takes a pay cut isn't realistic. But when it comes down to money issues, it's just completely inconsequential that a few people get raises when others are taking a hit. I mean inconsequential on an economic level, not on a social level.

It comes down to very basic human traits. If any one of those affected workers could have walked out of there with a raise, they would have, to the detriment of their entire cause. You can't blame executives for doing what any one of them would have done. This whole thing is proof of that. That is one thing that is simultaneously the weakness and strength of collective bargaining. The perceived upside is shared suffering (which is not an upside at all, but people want to see others suffer as they suffer) and unity of individuals under a common flag. The downside is that a great many of those people might have taken a pay cut to keep a job, but they couldn't because collective bargaining tied their hands. And the only people who made out on this whole situation are the union leaders themselves because at the end of the day they got their money and they will all get paid.

The whole thing is rather ridiculous though. Everyone wants to blame a few executives, but as soon as they started picketing, they killed the company. Not that the execs didn't have any culpability at all, they certainly did. It's decisions they made that put the company into a financially troubled state. But if anyone says it's not the Union that killed it and lost all those jobs, they are lying. Regardless of if the company would have gone under, it stood a chance till they were picketed. When one union pickets, all the other associated unions get involved. The delivery drivers wouldn't deliver needed supplies, any maintenance companies that are union would refuse to fix equipment, all kinds of things. They don't grow cream and spongecake inside the factory after all and they had to get those supplies brought in. And even if companies wanted to deliver supplies, the picketers would never have let them in.

They should have just moved to Mexico and taken their whole operation out of the US. The end result would have been the same for America, but at least there was a chance at some future time of jobs being brought back. Now there is no chance, at least not from Hostess.

In conclusion, this is by no means a condemnation of the individuals involved. And I'm not pessimistic about it as I sound. As someone who's job ends January 21st of 2013 because our entire department is being outsourced, I get that it's just the cost of doing business. I also know how much of a mistake it's going to be and I'm OK with that.

That's not fair. The unions didn't kill the company. The company was dying, they just put the last bullet in it's head. And if a company isn't profitable enough to pay it's employees acceptable wages then maybe it should go out of business.

But here's something I don't understand:
why is it that when people at the top decide to increase their salary, despite the fact that they are easily the least efficient part of the company, it's just them acting with rational self interest which is healthy for the economy; but then when people at the bottom fight for a larger slice of the revenue they're being greedy and unreasonable?

Why is it that the workers who are the most necessary component the functioning of a company get absolutely no say in any major decisions within the company that would affect their jobs or pay? Why should only the few at the top get to make all the rules? Apparently democracy is evil in the corporate world.

And that's all collective bargaining is, an attempt by workers to regain some control of the company that they work for. Sure it's not an ideal situation, but it's the only one that works for them. It's not that they want everyone to suffer equally sillyhead. They'd all love to bargain individually, but they can't because individually they're all expendable. If any one of them refused to work until he was paid more he'd simply be fired and replaced. So to gain the needed leverage they're forced to bargain as a whole body.

And they wouldn't BE bargaining if they were just being paid acceptable amounts to begin with. Strikes don't form spontaneously.

Akisa:

CardinalPiggles:
Here America , try this instead;

image

Oh what company makes that?

The largest company in existence, they have Branches everywhere
they'll send you a starter kit:
image

a very high specification product, throw it in damp soil and wait 10 years
it's worth it!

OlasDAlmighty:

Baresark:

Royas:

snip

snip

That's not fair. The unions didn't kill the company. The company was dying, they just put the last bullet in it's head. And if a company isn't profitable enough to pay it's employees acceptable wages then maybe it should go out of business.

But here's something I don't understand:
why is it that when people at the top decide to increase their salary, despite the fact that they are easily the least efficient part of the company, it's just them acting with rational self interest which is healthy for the economy; but then when people at the bottom fight for a larger slice of the revenue they're being greedy and unreasonable?

Why is it that the workers who are the most necessary component the functioning of a company get absolutely no say in any major decisions within the company that would affect their jobs or pay? Why should only the few at the top get to make all the rules? Apparently democracy is evil in the corporate world.

And that's all collective bargaining is, an attempt by workers to regain some control of the company that they work for. Sure it's not an ideal situation, but it's the only one that works for them. It's not that they want everyone to suffer equally sillyhead. They'd all love to bargain individually, but they can't because individually they're all expendable. If any one of them refused to work until he was paid more he'd simply be fired and replaced. So to gain the needed leverage they're forced to bargain as a whole body.

And they wouldn't BE bargaining if they were just being paid acceptable amounts to begin with. Strikes don't form spontaneously.

The workers were not initially responsible to the companies woes, the executives and upper management were responsible. But the whole point of the wage cuts is they were supposed to buy the company time to recover or find more avenues of private investment. The bullet came in the form of the picketing and other unions supporting the picket. The upper management made poor decisions and the company was hurting, but no one can actually argue the company was going under anyway as no one knows that, it's a convenient rationalizing belief that people perpetuate in order to relieve the unions of culpability. If the company was dying anyway, they would not have been trying to negotiate with unions, they would have just shut the doors. They only know the company was having financial problems, it was liquidating it's assets to help pay back it's creditors, it was trying to keep the company alive.

But let me stop you, no one in this story acted rationally: The workers did not act rationally and the upper management did not act rationally. I simply said that any of the workers would have taken a raise even though others were getting pay cuts. The rational thing to do would be to do whatever is necessary to preserve the companies and the jobs. The upper management made bad decisions, but they were most likely acting in a way they believed would make the company prsoper, even if they seemed like stupid poor decisions at the time. Whether the salary increase affected the company at all is completely arguable from both sides. They could not raise their pay so much that it was even a blip on companies books, but it was not at all reasonable or rational on a social level to do such a thing.

I think that people have let thoughts of democracy ruin their overall sense of social rationality. Democracy is barely functional as a political systems, let alone a system of management within a company. And I agree that upper management is not as important as the workers, but that isn't the workers decision to be made. It's the owners decision to be made, whether that be one man or a group of majority share holders. They are the ones with the most at stake, that is the company.

Everyone always makes that particular statement about upper management. And while the work in a bee hive is all accomplished by workers, the hive still dies if it's without a Queen. The same thing can be said with the situation of corporate management. They seem useless, but the company does not run without them. Without them, there is no company and place for the workers to work. It's symbiosis, and everyone treats it like they are parasites. The workers are responsible for making the product and shipping it places it needs to go. But decisions that upper management makes can make a company prosper or die. If that was not the case, we would not have them in a company structure.

Also, Unions may have one point been about giving the workers control of the company, but it hasn't been like that in a long time. They aren't fighting for reasonable work hours or worker safety or even fighting for reasonable wages. All unions do is fight for ever increasing amounts of money or benefits from a company. That system is completely broken at this point. All it does is look at the workers and not the situation. And as I mentioned, collective bargaining is what prevented people from making the decision to stay employed at lower wages if they chose to. It effectively robs them of the ability to make their own contract.

The company wanted to lose the foot to save the body, but the workers chose to let the body die because it's not fair to lose the foot. It wasn't fair to ask the workers to take pay cuts while some of the upper management got raises (some took a salary of $1 for the year, as it turns out), but it was rational on a business level to ask the workers to take a pay cut. The Unions irrationally chose to lose 18000+ jobs (I read that number somewhere, but don't quote me on it) rather than have 18000+ lower paid jobs.

I'll tell you why that wasn't allowed though: You can take money from private workers and the union wouldn't give a shit. You can't take money from the unions though, which is what this would have done. Unions give power to unions, not to worker. They are just as exploitative as any business or corporate structure, more-so in a lot of ways. The sooner everyone realizes that, the better off we'll all be. Also, as a side point, shared suffering is what makes collective bargaining possible, it's not what the point is. If one loses, all lose, that's the power of collective bargaining. Which is also what took away one of the points of a free society, the right to make ones own contracts with whomever they choose.

What is your idea of acceptable wages? That is rhetorical question because any two people have very different ideas of what that number is. It's not a number that fits everyone, that number does not exist. It's unacceptable to take a wage cut because of loss aversion. No matter how small it is. If they had said everyone gets paid 10 cents less an hour, the unions would have done the same thing and the company would still go under. I'm not saying they were not asking the workers to conceded a lot, they were. But good luck finding jobs for that many union workers in that area.

Englishman here, who has never even seen a Twinkie. But I know so much of them. I remember my earliest heard reference to them, it was in the movie Die Hard, John McClain gasping as if shot when he eats a "prehistoric twinkie".

It's a piece of Americana that I'd hate to see go.

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