After union bakers near unanimously vetoed the latest round of wage and benefit cuts, Hostess Brands imposed them anyway. Since Friday the bakers have been forced to strike, shutting down 25 of Hostess 36 bakeries. Hostess on Monday permanently closed 3 bakeries, blaming the closings on the strike. Since then no less than the mayor of St.Louis revealed that Hostess had told him of the closings months ago, and they were not caused by the strike. Since Monday Hostess has repeatedly claimed that the bakeries were running just fine without the striking union bakers... Then today Hostess announced that if the bakers aren't back to work by 5 pm EST on Thursday, Hostess will shut down the company and liquidate it.
I call BS... The decision to kill Hostess and let the vulture capitalists pick over the carcass has already been made! In today's announcement, Hostess' PR flacks said that "if" they liquidate, a bankruptcy court hearing will be held monday to get the bankruptcy judge's approval. Ain't no "if" about it- Here's the link to the calender of the judge handling the Hostess bankruptcy. Just click on next monday and you'll see the hearing for Hostess' request for liquidation is already scheduled!. Yup, doesn't matter if every single one of those uppity union bakers walks back into the bakery tomorrow and begs for their job- Hostess execs have already decided to kill the company and 18,000 jobs with it!
I read of the imminent murder of Hostess a couple hours ago, it's taken me that long to pull myself together enough to write. It's been two decades since I've worked at Hostess, but it never leaves you. The memories of driving through blizzards and moonlit summer nights and coworkers you'd trust with your life and psychopathic supervisors are forever part of your life story. I say that even though my tenure at Hostess was a constant battle that culminated in my being fired when I became disabled. Researching the company to prepare for my successful discrimination lawsuit, I learned more about Hostess than they knew about themselves... And became fascinated by the company and it's history. Perhap's I'll finally get around to writing a company history and try to get it published by a university press?
But I've moved on, beat Hostess, found better jobs, and retired. 18,000 Hostess workers who will be laid off by Hostess' greed in the next few days aren't so lucky. Laid off by a company that has gutted their pensions, and has probably already spent their accumulated vacation pay on executive bonuses and multimillion dollar bankruptcy lawyers bills. Heck, Hostess probably won't even pay the December 1st health insurance premiums. Laid off at the worst time of the year, too late in the season to find holiday temp work as the winter seasonal slowdown in hiring begins.
If you know or interact with any Hostess workers the next few days, be extra nice to them... This is like a death in the family for us. They need time to grieve and vent their well earned anger. Sadly, the company we learned to hate and love is soon to be no more.