Archive for Saturday, November 17, 2012

Twinkies no more? Hostess demise fuels fears

November 17, 2012


Israel and Hamas were exchanging artillery fire over the Gaza Strip, the Jayhawks had pulled out a squeaker the night before over Chattanooga, and Free State was battling for the state football championship. But the big item of conversation in Lawrence on Friday, as it was around the country: the possible demise of Twinkies.

The iconic cream-filled golden yellow snack cakes were endangered by the sudden closing of its hedge fund-owned corporate parent, Hostess Brands, following a labor dispute with its biggest union, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union. The company said it would liquidate, immediately lay off its 18,500 workers and close its 33 plants and 565 distribution centers, including facilities in Lenexa (200 workers) and Emporia (500 workers).

The reaction to this news was near-panic among Twinkie lovers. Junk food junkies rushed to clean out store inventories of their beloved golden cakes. The Massachusetts Street Dillons, for instance, only had the inferior chocolate version of Twinkies left at noontime.

Also threatened: related brands such as Hostess Cup Cakes, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and another famous American bakery brand name, Wonder Bread.

Truth be told, this probably isn’t really the end of Twinkies and its snack food siblings. Odds are that the brands and their recipes will be purchased in bankruptcy court and quickly revived by another manufacturer. But that didn’t stop the chatter about the death of Twinkies, and the Journal-World went out on the streets in Lawrence to listen to what people were saying.


UfoPilot 1 year, 5 months ago

Hostess is owned by Ripplewood holdings, it's run by Tim Collings a Democrat.


JackMcKee 1 year, 5 months ago

The stupidity of most people is astonishing. A mad rush to get the last twinkies? Are you kidding me? Do these people just not understand the basics of how corporate America and businesses operate? Within weeks the Hostess product catalog will be purchased and your ho-hos and twinkies will still be on your grocery store shelves.


Centerville 1 year, 5 months ago

Guess who was the venture capitalist who brought Hostess out of its last bankruptcy, but made no change in the cause of its final demise? Hint: it wasn't a Republican.


Cait McKnelly 1 year, 5 months ago

I have to tell ya, Little Debbie has to just be weeing all over themselves.


tange 1 year, 5 months ago

The effective illusion serving top-down parasitism is that it is bottom-up.


chootspa 1 year, 5 months ago

From someone at the Lenexa plant. He explains that the company gave him a significant pay cut in 2005, which they accepted (at union leadership request) because at least they still had their pensions, and then the company took their $3 an hour pension contribution in 2011 and "borrowed" it without asking, later to claim that they couldn't repay it - ever. This was the best offer:

"1) 8% hourly pay cut in year 1 with additional cuts totaling 27% over 5 years. Currently, I make $16.12 an hour at TOP rate of pay in the bakery. I would drop to $11.26 in 5 years.

2) They get to keep our $3+ an hour forever.

3) Doubling of weekly insurance premium.

4) Lowering of overall quality of insurance plan.

5) TOTAL withdrawal from ALL pensions. If you don't have it now then you never will.

Remember how I said I made $48,000 in 2005 and $34,000 last year? I would make $25,000 in 5 years if I took their offer."

So, yeah. Obviously the unions were just totally greedy, right?


gbulldog 1 year, 5 months ago

Everyone is crying about the loss of jobs due to the closing of Hostess. How many of you have pension plans invested in Hostess.


bearded_gnome 1 year, 5 months ago

bet the shadow bosses in charge of the bakers union make more than the heads of hostess. that is once you add in all forms of remuneration.

just looking at total sales talls you absolutely nothing about profit and loss, nothing at all.


kawrivercrow 1 year, 5 months ago

I'll tell you something funny, and by that I mean funny as in 'queer' and not funny as in 'HA HA', is that people who dogmatically defend unions are often the same ones who dogmatically defend the use of illegal aliens as uber-cheap labor


kawrivercrow 1 year, 5 months ago

I've read a fair amount about this in other articles in the Wall Street Journal, etc. The following is an excerpt of a posting I originally put up elsewhere.

The CEO got a $1.8 M raise and 9 others got a couple of hundred $K each (let's generously average them out to $400K) That's $5.4 M, which is just a little over 1% the $448 M deficit. In keeping a sense of scale, that $5.4 M pays for the strategic management of 18,000 employees and $2.4 Billion in annual receipts. That is about $300 per employee per year and 0.2% of total receipts spent on upper management.

Meanwhile, the 6,000 members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers' International Union (BCTGM) were each making 30% more than the industry average (per WSJ reports). This is about $60 million EXTRA in annual payroll expenses for that union alone that Hostess' competitors did not have to pay. Meanwhile, ff the top ten executives worked entirely for free, it wouldn't have changed the red ink by more than a single percent point or so.

If upper management failed, it was a failure to block exorbitant and unaffordable entitlements and salaries that the unions, most specifically the BCTGM , indulged in.


kawrivercrow 1 year, 5 months ago

"After seeing some backlash, Hostess Brands said it will chop the salaries of its four highest-paid managers to $1 until Dec. 31 or it emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, The New York Post said. The company, which boosted salaries last summer as a retention strategy while it restructured, also plans to return junior executive salaries to lower levels."


Ray Parker 1 year, 5 months ago

There will be no more Hostess Twinkies for sale at your grocery or convenience store, thanks to the unreasonable demands of the bakers’ union that shut down the Hostess Brands company for good, trashing some 18,000 jobs. Fortunately, there is a recipe online for making your own Twinkies, and perhaps also, that infamous junk food, the Twinkie split.

Twinkie split

Twinkie split by parkay


Phil Minkin 1 year, 5 months ago

It's a cruel irony that just after 2 states approved recreational marijuana use, Twinkies, Ho-Ho's and Ding Dongs are no longer available.


Clara Westphal 1 year, 5 months ago

I didn't care for the Twinkies but my two sons loved them.

The early banana variety was gross but the vanilla ones were ok.


dipweed 1 year, 5 months ago

Twinkies and cockroaches....the only two things that would survive a nuclear holocaust....


rockchalk1977 1 year, 5 months ago

Labor union membership fell to an historic low in 2011 to 11.8%. Soon the only remaining unions in America will be government public-sector unions. The point is ladies and gentlemen that greed, for lack of a better word, is bad.


rockchalker52 1 year, 5 months ago

if you need your twinks that badly, you can make your own

scroll down to see Buffalo Bob make 'em for everyone in Doodyville


Jean Robart 1 year, 5 months ago

Gee, what a shame. Maybe folks will be able to find a less fat snack. I liked an occasional Twinkie, but to have the company closing affect people like it is, is just plain silly.


Commenting has been disabled for this item.