Hostess may shut down

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Defined benefit pension plans became pretty much a thing of the past in the late 80's. Many of them were overfunded. Companies distcontinued the pensions, bought annuities for the participating employees, and took the excess cash. They found it cheaper to provide defined contribution plans; i.e., 401(k)'s. Our company did that.

Those people who have had pension plans for the past 20 years are the minority. It is not new for a company to discontinue the pension plan.

I never thought of it as necessarily a bad thing. My husband and I came out probably ahead of the game with our 401(k)'s.

In fact, I think the government should do this to their employees to save money for the taxpayers.
3b/c
A co- worker posted this on Facebook. This is why I'm so glad not to work for some douchbag company that many have become.

Shared status follows:

The more I read about "Papa John" the gladder I am to work for a company who:
Provides paid time off and full health insurance for any employee and their spouse/dependents who work an average of 20hrs/week (AND recognizes domestic partnerships in states that don't allow gay marriage)

Doesn't raise prices on goods for the customer (or employee {so far anyway}) when health insurance premiums go up

Was affected by hurricane Sandy (81 stores closed at some point, 2 stores are still closed) but found a way to continue paying employees based on their regular schedules of the stores that were closed even though they couldn't work (we're talking about hundreds if not thousands of people)

Delivered trucks and trucks and trucks of food, bottled water and energy bars to those affected and in need on the east coast as well as donated money to the Red Cross.

Does all of this not because it's the law or someone else had to explain that it's the right thing to do but because they believe it doesn't make sense any other way-- you hire the best, treat them the best, they do their best, the business is the best.

Ok, back to nap so I can make the world safe for groceries another day but I wanted to take an important moment to be sincerely grateful to work for a company with good morals and truly decent people. Hearts.
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So..am I the only who has never had or even seen a twinkie??
murrrcat likes this.
I have seen many (previous bf was addicted to them) but I have never eaten one.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

I ate Twinkies as a child. I never liked me much. The filling tasted like pure sugar and left a nasty, greasy feeling in my mouth. Eww. For my processed baked treats, I always preferred TastyKakes.
"...just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face." ~Harry Dresden

Ah yes, those pesky unions again, always wanting more....

Hostess Brands, the maker of sweet snacks like Twinkies that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week, will ask a bankruptcy judge today to approve a plan that will allow it to pay $1.75 million in bonuses to 19 of its executives. Hostess’ decision to file for bankruptcy came amid disputes with its union workers, who threatened a strike that Hostess said imperiled the company’s finances. The unions are now protesting Hostess’ request for the bonuses, though they are unlikely to prevail, CNN Money reports:
Hostess Brands will ask a bankruptcy judge on Monday for approval to shut down the company and pay $1.75 million in executive bonuses.

Unions representing workers at the maker of Twinkies, Wonder Bread and Drake’s snacks are arguing against the bonuses. [...]
Under the plan, bonuses ranging from $7,400 to $130,500 will be paid to 19 executives. The company argues the bonuses are below market rates for such payments.
Even as it blamed unions for the bankruptcy and the 18,500 job losses that will ensue, Hostess already gave its executives pay raises earlier this year. The salary of the company’s chief executive tripled from $750,000 to roughly $2.5 million, and at least nine other executives received pay raises ranging from $90,000 to $400,000. Those raises came just months after Hostess originally filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.
Hostess is hardly the only company that has compensated its executives during bankruptcy or times of financial instability. Failed financial firm MF Global gave CEO Jon Corzine an $8 million pay package after it filed for bankruptcy, and Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit received a $6.7 million pay package when he resigned, despite Citi’s 88 percent profit loss during his final quarter. And Hostess isn’t alone in giving executives massive raises while asking for concessions from union workers either: construction giant Caterpillar rewarded its CEO with a 60 percent pay raise, paying him $17 million, even as it forced a pay and pension freeze on its union workforce.
Democracy is not a spectator sport.

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The company told the union they were closing down if they didn't settle by Thursday evening. OK, so now 18,500 employees have no job as opposed to having a job making less. I have been in the same boat. Personally, I would rather have the job even if my pay was less and benefits cut. Where are these people going to find work now? Having been in a union and also having been salaried, this is one of the reasons I am anti union.
Originally Posted by munchkin
Yeah? Well, I make 32% less than I did 3 years ago because of union concessions. I also lost 8 years of severance pay and 4 weeks of sick time. Yeah, I still have a job, but I have so much resentment it eats at me and makes me hate the place I work. I now have no loyalty to them whatsoever and if I could get out of there I would.


Obamacare is not a blueprint for socialism. You're thinking of the New Testament. ~~ John Fugelsang




Last edited by Springcurl; 11-19-2012 at 01:27 PM.
Defined benefit pension plans became pretty much a thing of the past in the late 80's. Many of them were overfunded. Companies distcontinued the pensions, bought annuities for the participating employees, and took the excess cash. They found it cheaper to provide defined contribution plans; i.e., 401(k)'s. Our company did that.

Those people who have had pension plans for the past 20 years are the minority. It is not new for a company to discontinue the pension plan.

I never thought of it as necessarily a bad thing. My husband and I came out probably ahead of the game with our 401(k)'s.

In fact, I think the government should do this to their employees to save money for the taxpayers.
Originally Posted by munchkin


Overfunded? My fat ass they were overfunded. That's what the bloated CEO's who wanted to make millions instead of hundreds of thousands want you to think.

I'm glad for you that you've done better with a 401K than with a traditional pension, but that's not the case for millions of Americans. In fact, many respected economists feel that Americans have been SCAMMED with the fees on 401Ks and that converting to private plans was just another way to funnel money to bankers. Most people with 401Ks do not have enough money to retire with...and never will.
gekko422, Springcurl and thelio like this.
Defined benefit pension plans became pretty much a thing of the past in the late 80's. Many of them were overfunded. Companies distcontinued the pensions, bought annuities for the participating employees, and took the excess cash. They found it cheaper to provide defined contribution plans; i.e., 401(k)'s. Our company did that.

Those people who have had pension plans for the past 20 years are the minority. It is not new for a company to discontinue the pension plan.

I never thought of it as necessarily a bad thing. My husband and I came out probably ahead of the game with our 401(k)'s.

In fact, I think the government should do this to their employees to save money for the taxpayers.
Originally Posted by munchkin


Overfunded? My fat ass they were overfunded. That's what the bloated CEO's who wanted to make millions instead of hundreds of thousands want you to think.

I'm glad for you that you've done better with a 401K than with a traditional pension, but that's not the case for millions of Americans. In fact, many respected economists feel that Americans have been SCAMMED with the fees on 401Ks and that converting to private plans was just another way to funnel money to bankers. Most people with 401Ks do not have enough money to retire with...and never will.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
I worked in benefits at the time. The defined benefit plans were in most cases overfunded back then. The stock market was going gung ho. Many many companies discontinued their plans and put the overfunding back into the company; at least that is what ours did. And, no, the excess money did not go into the pockets of the top executives. Our company was a smaller company. Execs got bonuses but nothing that I considered out of line. Annuities from the pension plan were all based on what you individually had in the pension plan at the time. You had your option: an annuity purchased with the company contributions and a cash return of the money you contributed or an annuity purchased with the company and your contributions.
3b/c
Kind of a side story …

Before her fairly recent retirement, my mom loved to complain vociferously about the union she was forced to join as a public health nurse working for county government. She saw it as a complete waste of money.

Fast forward to her retirement, then the Great Recession. All of her friends and family in her age range are panicked about losing their retirement investments. Meanwhile, she's sitting pretty with a nice pension that is well protected.

She now works part-time, but only so she can afford to get her kitchen remodeled or go on trips. Her ongoing expenses are more than covered and as she puts it, she has more money than she knows what to do with. Meanwhile everyone she knows who's retired like her is having to follow strict budgets and forego vacations.

She still votes Republican, but she at least has the good sense not to complain vocally about unions anymore. :/ If she did, I or my sisters would totally call her on that **** and she knows it.
My father was in a union all his working life. He earned a decent living, that enabled him to support his family fairly well for a blue-collar high school grad. Now that he's retired, he has a nice pension from them, and he has full medical benefits that pay for any/everything that Medicare doesn't cover. My parents are sitting very comfortably in their retirement...thanks to unions. But...they still vote Republican. I was so frustrated with them this election season.
Defined benefit pension plans became pretty much a thing of the past in the late 80's. Many of them were overfunded. Companies distcontinued the pensions, bought annuities for the participating employees, and took the excess cash. They found it cheaper to provide defined contribution plans; i.e., 401(k)'s. Our company did that.

Those people who have had pension plans for the past 20 years are the minority. It is not new for a company to discontinue the pension plan.

I never thought of it as necessarily a bad thing. My husband and I came out probably ahead of the game with our 401(k)'s.

In fact, I think the government should do this to their employees to save money for the taxpayers.
Originally Posted by munchkin


Overfunded? My fat ass they were overfunded. That's what the bloated CEO's who wanted to make millions instead of hundreds of thousands want you to think.

I'm glad for you that you've done better with a 401K than with a traditional pension, but that's not the case for millions of Americans. In fact, many respected economists feel that Americans have been SCAMMED with the fees on 401Ks and that converting to private plans was just another way to funnel money to bankers. Most people with 401Ks do not have enough money to retire with...and never will.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
I worked in benefits at the time. The defined benefit plans were in most cases overfunded back then. The stock market was going gung ho. Many many companies discontinued their plans and put the overfunding back into the company; at least that is what ours did. And, no, the excess money did not go into the pockets of the top executives. Our company was a smaller company. Execs got bonuses but nothing that I considered out of line. Annuities from the pension plan were all based on what you individually had in the pension plan at the time. You had your option: an annuity purchased with the company contributions and a cash return of the money you contributed or an annuity purchased with the company and your contributions.
Originally Posted by munchkin


I don't know anything about your company particularly...I'm speaking generally. Executive compensation has increased over 300% in the past 30 years, while middle-income wages have been mostly stagnant. I do believe a lot of that "overfunded" pension money did indeed go into executive pockets. I spent the 80's working as a salary and benefits administrator for several Big Pharma companies. I saw the trend as it was happening. I see it now. Exec compensation bonuses didn't used to be out of hand...they sure are now though.

I'm glad you have enough retirement money. Really. But you are probably the last of the generations who do. The rest of us...the tail end of the boomers and younger generations...are pretty much screwed. We will be eating catfood.
scrills and thelio like this.
unions are great and it's only when you aren't in one do you realize how good you had it and how abusive and unprotected you are without one.

i miss being in a union for many reasons.
Unions are a foreign concept to me since I am in the south and I've never heard of any down here. I find them interesting and not sure how I feel about them. I know my ex's dad has great benefits from being in one. He worked for the mta in nyc with no education or previous training. They definitely seem to be beneficial in that case. Down here it's pretty hard and you need to be aggressive to make money. That's just my take.
A non-union captioning company just fired all of the people who'd been there the longest, thus getting rid of their highest wage earners.

A unionized company could never do that.


Obamacare is not a blueprint for socialism. You're thinking of the New Testament. ~~ John Fugelsang



i heard this morning that they are going to be talking about trying to save the company. the outcry/outrage must have been tremendous.

And Hostess isnít alone in giving executives massive raises while asking for concessions from union workers either: construction giant Caterpillar rewarded its CEO with a 60 percent pay raise, paying him $17 million, even as it forced a pay and pension freeze on its union workforce
Caterpillar bought the Canadian company ElectroMotive a few years back - they got major concessions and help from the right-wing federal gov't in order to do so.

last December 31st, instead of bargaining in good faith with the union (contract expired that day), they locked out the workers, NEVER negotiated at all, and then closed the company after two months.

i'm pretty sure they haven't paid back the money they got from our gov't and our slimey Prime Minister let the whole thing happen without a peep.
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i always thought it funny how big companies claim they are broke, so they have to fire workers, cut hours, reduce pay, or get rid of benefits. but they always seem to find a way to pay the ceo's and execs their 6 to 8 figure bonuses, how do they do it??
gekko422, scrills and poemaXX like this.
unions are great and it's only when you aren't in one do you realize how good you had it and how abusive and unprotected you are without one.

i miss being in a union for many reasons.
Originally Posted by frau
True. I wasn't in a union at my last job, and they laid my and another non-union plant off, while continuing to pay the unionized employees of the plant that was the source of the recall full time wages. I felt so shortchanged.

They got full pay for weeks after our two plants got laid off too.

People always complain about the wage garnish until the benefits kick in.
I AM THE NEANDERTHAL SLAYER!!!
One of the biggest problems with unions is they don't know when to stop asking for more. They think every time they go into negotiations they have to get "x" amount more for their members. That's fine if your company's product is selling good. Seems to me the market for Twinkies has gone the other direction, and the bakers union didn't know when to stop.

P.S. I went for 10 years with no raises. I too took cuts in pay and paid more over the years for my health insurance. I knew there was nowhere else to go and was thankful for what I had.
3b/c
My dad worked as a delivery driver for Hostess and lost his job. Talking to him, management has been very poorly managing the company for some time. The employees took concessions to their benefits and pay 3 years ago; the company stopped paying into their retirement, cut his pay by $140 a week, and he had to start paying $67 a week towards his insurance. Things have been a little tighter since then, but manageable.

This last round the Teamsters Union, who is the union for the ~15,000 drivers, made even further concessions, but the bakers union refused. So about 3,000 bakers put 15,000 additional people out of work. My dad has worked with Hostess/WonderBread for close to 30 years, and now he has nothing to show for it. He also got thrown into a low job market (delivery drivers) thanks to the bakers (who have a much better chance of finding a job because they helped bake an American icon).

Granted, the company was very poorly managed, it's just a messed up situation. Now those truck drivers can only collect their retirement if they don't do anything they were trained to do, make less than x amount of money per year, etc. And it will only get paid into if they get a job with a company that has the same union, otherwise it's starting from scratch.

The Hostess thing just hits very close to home... Don't mean to get on a soap box about it. My dad said it was so hard watching the company make so many mistakes and it just stopped listening to its employees (and the unions said they couldn't do anything). And it really grinds my gears that these executives want MORE... How about all the employees that went to work Friday morning and were told to hand in their keys when they got back to the bakery/depot, because hey you're fired after 30 years?

I'll get off my soap box now... Just ugh. Partly venting partly sharing another facet of the Hostess shut down. *half-hearted smile*

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Last edited by SeasideCurls; 11-27-2012 at 12:46 PM.

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