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I have been asked by many of my Union Brothers and Sisters to provide a single link that includes Union resources and lists my 15 minutes of fame so they can use it to combat misinformation. We could sure use some help from all y'all Kossacks.

The media MUST be set straight if we are to maintain momentum.

Please be on the look out for false or inaccurate reports.

Paste inaccurate links into the comments of THIS DIARY so we can all send the authors polite emails correcting them.

Posting in the comments of inaccurate articles will show readers our side of the story.

We need your help Kossacks. This helps Hostess workers earn public support that is very important to keep pressure on Hostess to sell quickly and preserve as many of these workers as possible. Public opinion is affected by accurate information. Even if we don't save Hostess it will help people understand how hedge funds actually work.

These owners are not bakers. They are banks out to maximize profits on the sale of Hostess assets, such as the baking facilities and brand names. They will break up the parts and make enormous profits while eliminating jobs and knee-capping a huge sector of the middle class that is spread from coast to coast.

How do we save at least some of these jobs?
1) We can save these jobs by selling the brands to a legitimate baking company. We have not lost yet, there is no reason to write our obituary.
2) This ownership has got to go. We need owners with the goal of making profits by selling an efficiently produced high quality product.

Why would the new buyers want the former workers?
1) This team of Bakers are some of the most capable and efficient bread and cake producers in the world. Their collective training and experience is irreplaceable.
2) They could step in day one and restart production. After some cleaning, I'm sure.

What are the cuts demanded by the company?
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 self-funded pension and retiree insurance contributions for ever, over $4 per hour.
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.

Why did the Union turn down the offer?
1) To force the company to negotiate in a serious manner that did not steal years worth of unpaid pension funds. We will risk closure for our pensions.
2) If the company will not take our pension off the table then we intend to help force the sale through liquidation in hopes of finding new, more reasonable, owners.

The Pension Borrowing Letter
My favorite part: "Let me be clear that this temporary suspension of payments to the pension funds will not affect your pension benefits"

Bakers Union Fact Sheet

Bakers Union Website

My 15 minutes of fame
CNN Money I complained about their coverage in an email and then they quoted the email in a follow up story.

Inside the Hostess Bankery. My Dailykos diary that got a lot of attention and really showed me that the media could be affected.

CNBC Monday interview on Closing Bell I was asked to be interviewed about Hostess to show the Unions side. I'm not sure I was what they expected!

David Waldman read my diary over the air on dkos radio and related it to larger labor issues. It starts at the 1hour and 45minutes mark.

I was then interviewed by David Waldman on Wednesday morning. I start at 1hour 9minutes mark. After I stopped embarrassing myself by not getting Skype to work while they waited.

CNBC Wednesday debate with anti-union lobbyist video This was my second appearance. I would love to debate Justin Wilson one on one without people for him hide behind.

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Comment Preferences

  •  These people only know how to bake the books. (8+ / 0-)

    My heart goes out to all dedicated hard working Hostess employees shafted.

    "God bless us, every one!" ~ T. Tim / "Bah, humbug!" ~ Jerks

    by jwinIL14 on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 02:21:10 AM PST

  •  Your actions here are having a great impact (7+ / 0-)

    on helping to educate the public to what's happening with jobs and the economy in this country.  Of course your immediate goal is to save the company and jobs but with your clear and savvy approach you are helping many people who haven't themselves been involved yet with a similar situation understand how and why so many companies are failing through mismanagement created as a result of corporate greed.

    Hopefully Walmart employees will also aid in the education process if it progresses well since both companies have such a great presence in the nation.

    I'm convinced that if we are to save the middle class and the poor it's going to have to be done by organized labor.  The same is true with education and teachers and support personnel.

    Actually there's a lot of good citizen work being done now with the public reactions to the recent spate of business owners threatening to raise prices and reduce employees under the excuse that they can't afford either benefits or decent wages.

    Let's hope it all comes together with one powerful voice demanding change to the capitalism gone crazy which is destroying the nation.

    You have my respect, my admiration, and my support.

    •  I want to interrupt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis

      the RW memes that have taken over and that the corporate media is running wild with.

      A good recent example of a feisty progressive voice interrupting authoritarian droning occurred this campaign season during the vice presidential debates. Anyone remember Joe Biden basically gumming up Paul Ryan's rehearsed spiel? Biden embodied what we need more of, in all spheres of public life.

      Couldn't link to the debate for some reason; it's on Youtube.

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 06:19:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wonderful. Very helpful (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieGuy

    A point of suggestion (and I say this as a lifelong union member, advocate, friend and supporter of your efforts):

    The fact sheet isn't all that helpful. It is really just full of boilerplate union rhetoric that is off-putting and confusing to non-supporters of unions who may be sympathetic. I'd like to offer some suggestions and I do so because I am eager to link to this story when I write to journalists who may want to write about this.  It needs to be useful information to them, with definite and specific hooks, and verifiable specific information.

    -I would tone it down and make it look more professional. It's pretty to look at, but not the kind of fact sheet that a professional journalist would take seriously. For example, those CEO quotes don't make much sense in a fact sheet.

    -The history of this company is interesting and outrageous.  
       --In your first diary, you described what looked to be an open and shut case of insider trading
       -- the "error" in profit report followed by massive insider selling, then the "error" retracted and your wages cut. What a hook! if that can be verified. Provide references and verification.

    --The bulletpoints are good, but really should be more informative. For example, the company was bought out by  Silver Point Capital, Monarch and Ripplewood. Ripplewood 's equity infusion of $130 million in return for control of the company (it currently owns about two-thirds of the equity) seems like a small investment for a company with how many billions in sales. Monarch drove Reader's Digest into bankruptcy and almost sent the Texas Rangers under. The fact sheet should associate these companies with other well-known failures of good American brands.

    --The stock price went from $34 to less than a dollar per share. Specific things like this are understandable and absorbable for the average reader.

    --Details. specific details, about the "borrowing" from the pension fund just before declaring bankruptcy. These guys need to squirm under a hot spotlight, and policy makers need to get past the spin they are fed so they can look at avenues of legislation to curtail this kind of piracy.

    Here is an excellent history of the past decade of mismanagement by hedge funds:
    Hostess is bankrupt … again

    Lastly, the biggest hook of all is your specific description of your wages under the various settlements. Percentages and talk of "labor costs" in the millions just make people's eyes glaze over. That's how these companies spin this kind of stuff. But your description of going from a decent salary to the poverty-level offer is what makes people sit up and notice:

    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.
    Even innumerate journos understand that.

    Offered with humble good intentions.

  •  a question (0+ / 0-)

    why doesn't the pension fund by the company?

    "Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative." - John Stuart Mill

    by smartone on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 07:07:57 AM PST

  •  Hi brother (0+ / 0-)

    Did I remember right that gov't attorneys showed up and ask the bankruptcy judge not to pay out bonuses to Hostess executives?

    Whatever happened with that?

    Best of luck, I'm a former teamster who never got his last paycheck from a company that went bankrupt.

    •  The judge set the payment issue aside and allowed (0+ / 0-)

      the rest of the liquidation plan to move forward. I'm sure the company is more than happy to postpone a decision rather then get an answer at a rather untimely PR moment. I am sure the company has no doubt they will get their bonuses.

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