November 20, 2012

Twinkies, Ho Ho’s, Dingdongs and CupCakes might soon become a thing of the past due to a Baker Union strike. According to the Hostess website, “Hostess Brands, Inc. has been forced by a Bakers Union strike to shut down all operations”.

The Hostess factories are just one high profile example of unions wielding their power and intervening in the free market. In addition to a lack of Twinkies and Wonderbread, union strikes are causing upsets in other industries as well. Heritage’s Amy Payne explains,

A union-backed group is planning to stage protests at Wal-Mart stores on Black Friday. And unionized workers with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are planning a protest at Los Angeles International Airport tomorrow—one of the busiest travel days of the year.

At the core of this problem is the restrictive nature of union voting and membership. Once a union is formed, employees rarely have a choice whether to opt into the union or cast a vote for leadership. Unions remain certified indefinitely and do not have to stand for re-election causing new workers to accept the current union representation. And only 7 percent of private sector union members vote to belong to their union.

Heritage Labor expert James Sherk further explains the long term impacts of union strikes,

Companies like Hostess need to be nimble, but unions make it difficult to respond to a changing marketplace. This makes unionized firms less competitive. So unionized firms invest less, create fewer jobs, and earn less than comparable non-union firms.

While unions try to avoid bankrupting their firms, the companies grow more slowly—and shrink more rapidly—than their non-union competitors. Over time, they eventually go under. What happened to Hostess has happened across the entire economy.

This is one reason why union membership keeps falling: Unions cannot recruit enough new members to replace the ones they keep losing. In 2012, union membership hit another record low, falling 0.5 points to 11.2 percent. In the private sector, just 6.6 percent of workers belong to a union.

And the problem isn’t going away any time soon. President Obama has been a long time ally of union leaders and made a point of taking one of his first meetings after re-election with union leaders who spent heavily in the past election.

What do you think about the closure of the Hostess factory and union power? 

Comments (35)

Peggy Riley - November 20, 2012

I hope the TWINKIE portion is bought out and reorganized in a Right To Work State so the Greedy UNION GOONS can’t get their corrupt, filthy hands on the company or the employees!

These maggots are destroying America and it’s time to root them out!

Cindy - November 20, 2012

I hope they are able to reorganize in a right-to-work state.
The unions are out of control, and clearly not representing
their members–most of whom would prefer having a job right now to being unemployed.

Pat - November 20, 2012

A business news program said in Florida, trucks that deliver bread and trucks that deliver cupcakes are driven by different drivers and are half empty. Drivers are forbidden to load or help load the other load. What a stupid and wasteful regulation, using two drivers and two half full trucks for the same routes. No wonder the company is having problems…the unions are choking them out of business!

Betty - November 20, 2012

Hostess has not made the Suzie-Q for a number of years. the texture of the chocolate cake type outer layer was not the same as other Hostess products and it was a wonderful treat. so while it is sad that they had to go into bankruptcy, maybe someone will get the Hostess recipe for Suzi-Qs and bring back that little treat. I remember Wonder Bread when we had to add yellow to the white lard stuff to make colored margarine to spread on our Wonder Bread.

Jim Johnson - November 20, 2012

I suggest Hostess inform the union members they have 12 hours to report for work or they will be replaced. I would then publicize the job openings in every venue I had available, meanwhile arranging with the Pinkertons to provide security for the new workers. The Pinkertons would not allow violence to get out of hand or the new employees to be attacked.

A privately owned business cannot allow others to destroy or steal what a private owner has built or developed. Not by a union thug or by someone holding a gun on them.

Alan - November 20, 2012

Look for a the media to blame anybody but the Baker’s union.

I’ve read stories recently on Hostess about how bankruptcy isn’t all that bad, as the assets will be sold to other buyers who will create jobs. During the auto company “bailout” we heard none of this talk, we were all told by the media that if they went bankrupt, all 770,000 jobs would be gone forever.

If the Unions get their way, right to work will be eliminated in all 50 states, and we will all be forced to unionize, resulting in a massive influx of money to the Democrats, and one party rule in just a few years. Don’t say it can’t happen here.

Holly Chapo - November 20, 2012

Unions have not only outlived their purpose, they have also become a cancer in the free market system. That they can so hamstring a company proves it is long overdue to declare the entire country a right to work nation.

Charles Hager - November 20, 2012

Another sorry example of total misuse of union power that ultimately did them in. They just never learn but the most dangerous are these govenment employee unions. They are well on their way to wrecking the states of Illinois and California and New York you will be next. It is impossible to have a union on both sides of the bargaining table with government. It’s a scandal and something only the callous Democratic Party could countenance.

Rog - November 20, 2012

There was a need for unions once upon a time. Since the 50’s the only reason for unions has been to get more benefits which has increased the price of goods and caused more inflation.

Douglas L Perle - November 20, 2012

Fine Example of how unions in todays economy are just puppets for the leaders of those unions. They didn’t care about the Workers or the Company. The union bosses just want the control. Yet, they failed and will continue to fail as companies are fed up with the strong arm tactics.

Mike - November 20, 2012

The time for unions in America has passed. OSHA and EPA and other government agencies now watch over workers at the job site. Unions have helped to destroy American industry.

Joann Reitenour - November 20, 2012

Unions don’t own a business and should NOT interfere with company policy against closed shop unions.

Robert Calabro - November 20, 2012

Unions were once usefull during the early 1900’s. They have become too powerfull and have caused many business’s to leave America. Every State should be a right to work State! It is time to elect leaders who will stand up to unions. The Supreme court upheld the right of freedom of association. Not many people know this. If you have a family member who is unhappy being in a union, uou should pass this information on to them. Regards Robert Calabro.

james kornmann - November 20, 2012

I would support Hostess decision to sell if they desired. as when I retired with accumalative pension of $1552,00, they beat me down to $1132.00, then they wanted $800.00 for their health plan after 40 years of work. Then, less than one year later I recieved notice on how to figure my 11% reduction in pension. I am waiting for that shoe to fall. No! I don’t care much about unions anymore!!!

John Smith - November 21, 2012

It would tickle me to death if they outlawed Unions with a stroke of a pen.

The next time the GOP gets back into power in Washington, they should consider that among some of the things they need to do.

lCharles Wise - November 21, 2012

I’ve seen it all before. For instance at the Western Union facility in Allentown and the Blacfk & Decker Company. Black & Decker left Allentown because of Unions were unwiling to compromise. They were warned by Black & Decker they could not afford more compensation & additional benefit increases and yet the Union bosses refused to negotiate or consider the Company’s financial situation. Black and Decker moved to North Carolina!! So who suffered, certainly not the Union, it was the workers on the lines, the all lost their jobs. They alxo put the skids to the Western Union Company.

Barbara Gordy - November 21, 2012

I couldnt say it any better than Peggy Riley. Thank God, they are losing membership.

Mike - November 21, 2012

It does not look good for this country. In the past there was always hope to pull our country out of its problems. This time is different because we have a clueless generation, there is no respect for the US Constitution particularly the 1st and 2nd amendments and journalism is dead in this country. There is no longer a format delivering the truth to the American people.

“A nation of sheep is governed by wolves”. Thomas Jefferson and OH was he right.

Elizabeth Bickford - November 21, 2012

What do Union members get out of killing the firm that pays their salaries and benefits? What are their salaries? Might many people be glad to have the salaries an benefits they already have? Do the union organizers benefit from strikes even if the workers don’t? Do the organizers have no role unless they organize strikes, so that they want strikes whether or not it kills one company as long as there are still other companies to pick on? If so, the local workers are better off keeping the power to work or not in their own hands, and organize only when their singular instance calls for it, and disband it when not needed.

Rich Kindle - November 21, 2012

I am about as conservative as they come, and growing up in a home where my father was a shop-steward for several decades has certainly provided me with insight as to the nonsense that takes place in the name of collective bargaining. It’s easy to put a bullseye on the unions as the culprit for this corporate failure (and I’m sure it is a major factor), but this story mentions nothing of the huge executive pay increases that are all over the news as well. I understand that executive pay is, many times, part of a negotiated contract that occurred long before the financial woes of the company, but at the time of the payout, it was clear that the company was in trouble.

I’d like to see figures that show whether or not the additional executive pay could have helped to ward off this demise (doubtful) and what part mismanagement played in this corporate failure.

John Huston - November 21, 2012

Personally I am not a Twinkie lover, but it is clear there are two major factors leading to the closing. First is our economy that is in the tank while the American people vote for more of the same. Second is the UNION. When I was growing up in the 30’s and 40’s, unions werre a valuble assest in building our Country. I saw my father struggle to make ends meet on 42 cents per hour; and if management wanted him to work 7 days or 12 to 16 hours per day @ straight time with no choice to say no, he had to do it or lose his job. Unions have lost sight of their objectives. They have been warned by Hostess over recent years. Now their pickit signs read unfair management decisions????

curtis limerick - November 21, 2012

There is a right way to conduct business fairly with all employees, and there is a Union Way of intidimation and power to a select few. Guess who is winning? The news media!

Catherine - November 21, 2012

For years I have bought my family’s bread, rolls, crackers and Hostess goodies at a little outlet store in Escondidio, CA. I knew all the ladies who worked there and they knew my husband and children. They had become our friends. Yesterday I went to the store to see how they were doing as a result of the Hostess closure. There was a big, hand-made sign that read “Closed Premanently”. Thankfully, some of the women were there, so I was able to say good-bye, give hugs and wish them well. Now they have joined the ranks of the unemployed. Thanks, unions! Who wants to bet Obama “nationalizes” the Hostess company, although Michelle probably wouldn’t stand for it?

Eugene kasten - November 21, 2012

Sorry that all people must suffer for a few but they have to blame the unions not the company. I’m sad for the children in these familys they don’t understand what this is all about. Thank you Mr. president for all your wonderful help in changing AMERICA.

JAMES H. - November 21, 2012

I am a business owner.I believe it is time for all business owners to take a stand against unions and their President ( Barack Obama ). On January 19th all businesses should close and not reopen until all unions disband and the current President resign.If anyone does not believe this President is a Traitor to the United States Constitution and his duty to defend and protect this Nation, then they have neither read nor understand that sacred document. We as business owners have the power because we control the money and the jobs. This President and these unions are going to destroy your business anyway so why not a preemptive strike. The only question is ” Do we have the Guts to save our Nation from the unholy alliance between Tyranny and Sloth.

Bill - November 21, 2012

It is a sad commentary that a company cannot defend itself enough to stay in business. It is incredible that the Unions would have been so stupid to let this happen! They seem to be blinded to reality that enough is enough! Instead of helping the workers, the way Unions originally did, they destroyed the jobs they were trying to help! Woe be unto those who shoot off their own toes!!!

Bill - November 21, 2012

If the RIGHT TO WORK law was nationally installed, I think the workers would hve made the better choice to keep their jobs rather than have no job at all. It seems like management could have worked WITH the workers and been given some time to correct the reasons why they were asking for temporary (i think) wage reductions to allow them to stay in business versus bankruptcy!

Sam Barlotta - November 21, 2012

This is just a sign of the times. We re-elect an incompetent President, why should we be surprised that the unions are helping to destroy our economy? Our country is heading down the wrong path.

Greg Overcash - November 21, 2012

Since unions interfer with legal commerce, they should be on the same level as organized crime, and subject to prosecution under the RICO laws.

michelleh - November 22, 2012

+1 to 99% of the comments I’ve read, and especially to James H.s comments.

I am sick and tired of Unions costing jobs. It is time for Unions to go!

michelleh - November 22, 2012

I’m also sick and tired of people saying executives should not be paid what they are being paid. Rest assured that the vast majority of the time they are worth that money to the company or they wouldn’t have been hired. NO, I’m not an executive, and NO I don’t own a business, but I am definitely pro business. Where would any of us be without people willing to start and run businesses that employ people? These employed people buy products and pay taxes. That is not going to happen if they don’t have a job. A big portion of this generation needs to get a clue. If no one is working, then no one will be eating soon. Hello…is there anybody in there?

Cliff - November 22, 2012

It seems the members are “penny wise and dollar foolish”, and as usual are letting the union bosses dictate pie in the sky benefits. Union members, as all employees, must accept that there is a limit to the profit margin an employer has to work with. There is only so much money available. Shame the union has sold these people people to give up a lot for a little.

A GYSGT - November 22, 2012

It is past time that the choke hold that unions have on our nation is broken. This is an example of the commie mind set of unions, make the man/woman working belive they are going to get rich, that the big boys have all the breaks, while the only one getting rich is the Leaders of the #@*& unions. Yes people that get to the top of corperations make a big bucks. Here is a tip for your card carrying friends, if you want to get to the top quit smoking the left hand cigs, go to school, and work hard! And maby is is in Gods plan for you to be at the top!
My old grand papp use to tell me there are poor people, working people, and rich people, Some time the poor get to be rich some time the working get to be rich, some time the rich get to be poor. Count your bellesings work hard strive to be the best you can be, most of all DO NOT BE ENVIOUS OF WHAT OTHERS HAVE. God will take care of them and you..BT

Ellen Hartman - November 22, 2012

I once belong to a union, they were helpful back then…
I am glad that I never belong to a union the rest of my working days…. they are corrupted! I do like TWINKIE!
We need to get rid of this president and all unions!

Jane Sayers - November 24, 2012

The Union Leaders have not served their members. Twinkies will be produced by someone, either here or in another country.

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