Saturday, November 17, 2012

Look For The Union Label - Twinkies Or Devil Dogs

Both actually.  Made by the now kaput Hostess brands.

How many times when you read about mass lay offs or company closures do you find union contracts a part of the problem?  I don't know why the rank and file, nor union leaders especially, don't understand in these days of economic woes there is a limit to money available to appease them.

I especially don't understand why one union would refuse concessions while their brother unions have agreed to them resulting in the loss of jobs for everyone.

If it's just plain selfishness it backfired.  Hostess closed it's doors.  Should someone buy them and assume their debt you can bet the union employees who brought them down won't be rehired by the new owners.  So where will they go? How many jobs for bakers are begging to be filled?

So what's to be done?  A petition has gone up on the White House web site calling for the nationalization of the company.  Is this a joke?  Who knows.  So far there are over 2000 signatures.  Twinkie lovers unite!  Right. Michelle Obama would never allow the government to nationalize a junk food company! Or even give them a Solyndra type infusion of cash.  How hypocritical would that be?

In all seriousness, I can't help but wonder about the thought process of union bosses.  For instance, union rules require two different trucks to deliver bread products and cake products to the same retail outlet.  That requires two drivers, double the fuel and two vehicles.  Drivers couldn't load their own vehicles either.  Separate crews loaded the bread on one truck and the cakes on the other. So two crews rather than one.  It's ridiculous and costly.

'Make work' rules like these are why many companies have moved their operations off shore. It's more cost effective, period.   Rich benefits and high salaries only add to the financial burden.  You can get into greedy corporate leaders and greedy venture capital firms if you want to and in some cases it's justified.  I'd just like to see along with the criticisms of management, a fair assessment of union contribution to the financial strain.

In the case of Twinkies, Hostess, the blame game is playing out as it has so many times before.  The company could not recover from outlandish financial demands.  Twinkies, Devil Dogs, Ho Hos and Wonder Bread are gone.  So are 18,500 jobs that didn't have to be.


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