The Wall Street Journal explains.
Hostess Brands is going to liquidate, a blow to lovers of Twinkies, Wonder Bread and Drake’s Coffee Cakes all around the globe.
But CEO Gregory Rayburn told CNBC today that as the company winds down its operations after failing to reach an agreement with a union, it will try to sell its various brands. There are 30 separate brands under the companies sugary umbrella.
[...]Rayburn, a restructuring veteran brought in for the bankruptcy, did not shy away from blaming the striking bakers’ union for the liquidation after the company put out an ultimatum earlier this week for them to return to work or face this consequence. He told the television network the union hasn’t “returned our calls in a couple of months.”
There is a silver lining to this story, though:
The reason: insurmountable (and unfundable) difference in the firm’s collective bargaining agreements and pension obligations, which resulted in a crippling strike that basically shut down the company… [the company] was unable to survive empowered labor unions who thought they had all the negotiating leverage… until they led their bankrupt employer right off liquidation cliff.
[...]Hostess’ numerous brands will be bought in a stalking horse auction by willing private buyers, however completely free and clear of all legacy labor and pension agreements which ultimately led to the company’s liquidation.
Now that’s progress. But what causes union bosses to be so uninformed and ignorant of basic economics? How is it that they do not understand how businesses work?
Consider this quote from Richard Trumka about the looming fiscal crisis:
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has declared there’s no fiscal cliff and any address of runaway government spending is just “a manufactured crisis.”
[...]“‘Take what the media are calling ‘the fiscal cliff.’ There is no fiscal cliff!” Trumka thundered at a National Mediation Board Conference Thursday, sounding like an alcoholic pleading for one last swig well before he hits rock bottom.
[...]“What we’re facing,” he said Thursday, “is an obstacle course within a manufactured crisis that was hastily thrown together in response to inflated rhetoric about our federal deficit.
“But all the deficit chatter has distracted us from our real crisis — the immediate crisis of 23 million unemployed or underemployed workers. It’s time to protect Social Security benefits. It’s time to protect Medicare and Medicaid benefits. And it’s time to raise taxes for the richest 2%,” he went on.
In short, Trumka is arguing that there’s no such thing as too much government spending, that deficits don’t matter and that entitlements cannot be cut. Such denialist thinking is beyond irresponsible in the face of a $16 trillion debt, highest on global record and a sign of an irrational agenda often followed by would-be tyrants.
Trumka is trying to intimidate congressional Democrats into intransigence on a debt deal with Republicans to restore the solvency of the U.S. Instead, he wants them to stand fast on the idea that the debt, deficit and entitlements can be addressed simply by taxing higher-income earners who already account for more than half of federal income-tax revenue.
This is the kind of irresponsible thinking that has triggered riots in Greece and Spain — a belief that the money is there and only the meanness of austerity is keeping the common man from his share.
In reality, the money is not there — the pot is empty. Medicare and Social Security are now on “unsustainable paths,” paying out more in benefits than they take in, with their trust funds projected to run dry by 2024 and 2033, according to their own trustees.
Socialism is meeting its natural end — which, in the words of former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, is when it “runs out of other people’s money.”
Unions don’t make anything on their own, only businesses do. And they just don’t understand that. They don’t understand that at some point it is possible to suck too much blood from the host so that the host dies.
I feel bad for the conservatives who are forced to join these labor unions and pay dues to greedy union bosses who don’t understand capitalism or economics. My recommendation is that individual states pass right-to-work laws. Right-to-work states have created FOUR TIMES as many jobs as forced unionization states, since 2009. That’s what happens when you embrace freedom and capitalism.