Union Demise - And Response (4)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Hostess Brand Foods has announced their filing for bankruptcy after continually telling their union representatives the company would not survive at the current demand level of the striking workers.

Now, almost 20,000 myopic union employees will soon be accepting entitlements, handouts and charity. Unwilling to concede or negotiate terms, union representatives were unyielding in their demands, failing to understand that the jobs belonging to the workers they represent hung in the balance. Another blow to the New York area. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has named this wide-spread disaster:  Hurricane AFL-CIO (or whatever)! 

On the other hand, with American's love affair with pre-packaged doughy death on the wane, this may be a case of nefarious activity actually helping Americans embrace a healthier lifestyle. Who knew? Maybe Hostess will re-open in a Right-To-Work state and forget all this foolishness. 

Doesn't matter though, I'll take a Moon Pie over any Hostess product any day!

David D. Fihn, Sr.

Hixson

* * *

As I understand,acording to NPR, Hostess wanted to cut salaries and benefits by 30%. Mr. Fihn didn't tell us what he did for a living but I have to ask, Mr Fihn, would you be willing to take that large of a cut? I don't know who the CEO of Hostess is nor do I know his salary. But I would wager a dollar to a doughnut that he makes more in a month than his employees make in a year.

Working people, wake up. The Right to Work law should be called the right to exploit and abuse law. If they called it what it really was, the working people would not have allowed it to be passed. Because the unions are inert for the most part, the working people are at the mercy of the "mastahs" oops I meant "job creators."

We now need the goverment to step in and provide needed protection in the same manner that the unions used to do. Not only do laws already in the books need to be enforced again, new laws should be created. I hear all the time people saying to food stamp recipients "Get a job." I got news for yo,u pal. Most of them do have jobs. Their weekly pay is so low that we, the taxpayers, have to make up the difference in food, housing, and medical care while the CEOs live in their 40,000-square-feet mansions and drive that expensive new car.

A Resource Based Economy would go al long way in resolving this disparity but that solution could be decades away, if not centuries, and the American worker needs releif and needs it now.

F. Doug Craig
Chattanoga 

* * *

Mr. Craig, your numbers are incorrect. Hostess had asked for all employees to take a five percent cut in their benefits package to offset the cost of the increase of those same benefits that are going to be implemented thanks to Obamacare. This plan was approved by the Teamster's Union which also worked at each plant. The Teamster's Union also reached out to the striking union in hopes to help stop this closer.

When union workers find it easier to simply shut a business down by going on strike it is a sad day in America. There are now 18,500 out of a job and each one of them can blame that union. The union workers, of course, won't care because they can now get in the Obama 99-week unemployment line.

Your other assumptions about CEOs of companies living lavish lifestyles is really childish. They own the company and are responsible for every aspect of it, but you want them to drive a Pinto and live in a shack. That is completely absurd. I can also tell you that of the 43 million people today drawing food stamps and government assistance nearly 3/4 of those are out of work so yet another fact that is wrong in your response.

If you really want to see what impact Unions are having on America, you can look to California, New York, New Jersey and Illinois - all heavily controlled states and all in the top five worse financially secure states in America, with 33 cities having to file bankruptcy because of the heavy union benefit cost. The right to works states are the only states helping America stay afloat. If you do not living in one, then please move to one of the others.

Dee Layne

* * *

There are many guilty parties in the Hostess mess, not just the unions. Many of their CEOs received pay raises, even after word had gotten out that a second bankruptcy was on the way:

CEO, Brian Driscoll, approx $750,000 to $2,550,000.
Exc VP, Gary Wandschneider, $500,000 to $900,000.
Exc VP, John Stewart, $405,000 to $700,000.
Exc VP, Kent Magill, $370,000 to $650,256.

These CEOs get a golden parachute and the lowly workers get cement overshoes.

The real solution all along has been to run the company into the ground so that you can sell it off piece by piece, get whatever money you can, while at the same time break up what little union representation the current employees might have. It's a win/win situation for everybody but the workers.

Thirty years ago a CEO made 40 times the salary of an average worker. Today a CEO makes 400 times that of an average worker. May God help the working man. Nobody else has the intelligence or decency to.

Herb Montgomery 

* * *

I was in a union once-three months on a summer job in the mid sixties. I appreciated the safety precautions working 70 feet above the bottom of the UT Natatorium and shoving concrete in the diving tank in 100 degree weather with water breaks. For a dollar a week in union dues, I probably survived, long before OSHA. Rest assured, the company bosses couldn't have cared less if I fell or collapsed, but my co-workers did.

For the next 40 or so years, I found myself in management in the public development field. Based on the remembrance of my past, I tended to admire the professionalism and dedication of mostly union folks-carpenters, operating engineers, pipe fitters, finishers, laborers, electricians and others trained in the halls. My public agency also had a large maintenance and site management operation, well trained and efficient. There was no union, though. So, a new director decided to privatize, or outsource, our operations. As a result, scores of employees lost benefits and jobs, and no doubt still suffer from a stupid experiment. I still regret being a party to that travesty. The outsourcee still made plenty of money, of course, before being fired for incompetence.

It is interesting that some blame labor for government failures. As I recall, Orange County, Ca. (San Diego) was the largest bankruptcy in history a few years ago. Ah, the Republican bastion falling victim to Proposition 8 where rich folks didn't have to pay more in property taxes. Oh wait, there is a new one. Jefferson County, Al. (Birmingham) went south this year, setting a new record which may be never surpassed. Uh, isn't Alabama a right to work state? Then maybe it is a management problem.

Nuff said.

Mark Rudisill


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