into bankruptcy, Hostess Brands is trying to squeeze its workers
without disrupting its junk food sales
Chief Twinkie goes Ding Dong
a case of good news oozing out of bad news, and vice versa.
bad news is that Hostess Brands has sunk into bankruptcy. It couldn't
stay afloat with the $860-million debt piled onto it after a group of
Wall Street speculators took over the 82-year-old company.
good news, though, is that devoted customers can still get their
daily fix of five kinds of sugar, partially hydrogenated oil,
polysorbate 60, artificial flavors, and yellow dye No. 5 --- just a
few of the ingredients in Hostess Twinkies. When top executives filed
for Chapter 11 in January, they assured an anxious nation that the
corporation would keep chugging out Twinkies, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs, and
its other caloric delights while they dealt with a few legal details
to restructure Hostess.
goodie! But wait --- those "details" constitute the bad
news flowing out of the good news. The CEO says that to become "a
highly competitive company that provides secure employment for our
employees," Hostess must make those employees less secure by
busting their pensions, cutting their medical benefits, and
abrogating their labor contracts. Does this Twinkie-in-Chief even
understand how twisted his logic is? Apparently not, for he also
asserts that one of the "tremendous inherent strengths"
that Hostess can build on to become a viable company is "a
talented and experienced workforce."
for the compliment, chief, but I'm guessing the workforce would
prefer a decent pension. Without that, your words are as empty as the
calories in a Ding Dong. Meanwhile, the union workers who literally
deliver the goods for the company point out that they've already made
concessions --- and it's time for the profiteering corporate
executives who filled Hostess with all that debt to stop sucking all
the cream out of its Twinkies.
is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He's also editor
of the populist newsletter, The