Home » Opinion » Editorials
Ding Dongs: Labor brings down Hostess
Legend has it that Twinkies can survive a nuclear holocaust. Alas, they could not survive a mindlessly obstreperous (look it up) labor union.
Like GM and Chrysler, Hostess, maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other baked goods, bore an enormous burden of imprudent labor contracts. Business Insider reported in January that "rising labor costs are really killing the company's balance sheet." According to the company's bankruptcy filings, "an astonishing 97 percent of the company's unsecured claims are from employee pension funds, totaling nearly $1 billion."
As The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, "Hostess ultimately was brought to its knees by a national strike orchestrated by its second-largest union." That would be the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM). The company's largest union, the Teamsters, agreed to major concessions after union leaders were granted access to the company's books. According to the Associated Press, the Teamsters urged the BCTGM to rethink the strike, saying that Hostess really could no longer afford the generous, previously agreed upon contract. The smaller union refused. One BCTGM worker shouted from a picket line last week, "Shut it down!"
Well, they got what they wanted. Roughly 18,500 people are suddenly jobless. The union employees who held out for nearly $1 billion in pension obligations are out both the pensions and their jobs. What stellar work.
It is long past time that Big Labor, in both the public and private sectors, stopped living in fantasy land. Lavish pensions and uncompetitive wages are relics of a bygone era. They are not coming back, at least until the rest of the world catches up to our living standards, which, to say the least, is going to take a while.
Business owners and taxpayers are not bottomless wells of cash to be drained for the benefit of workers. There is only one destination for workers and labor leaders who continue to indulge in that fantasy: unemployment.
READER COMMENTS: 3
- Charles Arlinghaus: On Medicaid expansion, the right answer is, 'not yet' - 2
- Deroy Murdock: A bloated state necessarily bullies, as the IRS did - 2
- Kathy Sullivan: The IRS scandal exposes flaw behind tax-exempt politicking - 24
- Pat Buchanan: For what should Americans die? - 1
- Your Turn, NH: Common Core will be a costly burden for students, taxpayers - 10
- Jonah Goldberg: The IRS was only following Obama's lead - 15
- Another View -- Glenn Normandeau: Protecting endangered non-game species a NH success story - 1
- Charles Krauthammer: Redacted truth, subjunctive outrage - 0
- David Harsanyi: Get the IRS out of the speech business altogether - 10
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Rochester man facing up to 30 years in prison for brutal assault - 0
- Man who confronts burglar in Nashua gets bit - 0
- Police say Nashua man struck woman with Jeep - 0
- Last-minute lobbying frantic as House prepares for casino vote - 1
- Pease chosen to receive new KC-46A refueling tanker; to bring 100 jobs - 5
- FBI agent kills Florida man during questioning about Marathon bombing suspect - 1
- Police seek man they say passed counterfeit bill at Manchester mall - 1
- Lightning strikes home in Exeter - 0
- For now, no more breakfasts in Manchester's Veterans Park - 11
License revocations for DWI announced
UPDATED: Derry marks a soldier's death
Experts weigh in on UNH logo designs