Twinkies Alive For Now: Judge Orders Hostess And Union Into Mediation

article-twinkie2-1117

Twinkies probably weren’t going anywhere. The brand, along with Hostess’ other popular products, almost certainly would have been sold off to other companies. But Hostess, as a company, may not be over just yet. A federal judge reviewing the company’s bankruptcy filing is questioning why the union went on strike before going into mediation with the company, and is asking that both the company and the union take that step now:

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Twinkies won’t die that easily after all.

Hostess Brands Inc. and its second largest union will go into mediation to try and resolve their differences, meaning the company won’t go out of business just yet. The news came Monday after Hostess moved to liquidate and sell off its assets in bankruptcy court citing a crippling strike last week.

The bankruptcy judge hearing the case said Monday that the parties haven’t gone through the critical step of mediation and asked the lawyer for the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, which has been on strike since Nov. 9, to ask his client, who wasn’t present, if the union would agree to participate. The judge noted that the bakery union, which represents about 30 percent of Hostess workers, went on strike after rejecting the company’s latest contract offer, even though it never filed an objection to it.

“Many people, myself included, have serious questions as to the logic behind this strike,” said Judge Robert Drain, who heard the case in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York in White Plains, N.Y. “Not to have gone through that step leaves a huge question mark in this case.”

The procedural complications that are mandated by law as a part of the labor/management negotiation process never cease to amaze me. It’s a simple relationship. The union negotiates with management to establish a compensation contract for which the union membership will provide their labor. If the union doesn’t like their contract they can strike. If management doesn’t like the contract they can lock the union out and hire replacement workers, except that under federal law the labor dispute is kept alive indefinitely.

Lockouts and strikes often carry on for years and years, which is ridiculous. If either side wants to walk away, why can’t they?

The unions carry on as though they have a right to the jobs. As though, if they can’t have the jobs at the compensation levels they’re demanding nobody can have their jobs. But that’s not how free labor markets operate. If someone else is willing to take those jobs at a lower compensation level why shouldn’t they have that opportunity? And why shouldn’t the company have the right to pick a lower-priced labor force if things don’t work out with the unions?

Of, if a business would rather close its doors than sign a contract with the union, shouldn’t that be their choice too?

The problem with labor unions is that they don’t want to operate in a competitive labor market. They want to run a protection racket wherein they get the jobs they want at the compensation levels they want or else the company goes out of business.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • JW -American

    Bigger question is, and we will never know is…. Who called the Judge and told him what… If Hostess goes away, Obummer can’t save it, and its 18,000 jobs.

    Twinkies is as American as base ball & apple pie, Obummer cant have it said that less than a week after he was re-elected, a Major brand like Hostess was dead.

    but Obummer is torn, he can’t tell the Union themselves to get their heads out of their collective asses, because he owes Labor too much to do that. No “someone calls the judge to ‘Order” them back together.

    If it works out, word will slip out that Obummer made calls to both sides. If not, we’ll never know that the call was made.

    “Never let a Crisis go to waste” To some no more Twinkies is a Crisis of Biblical Proportions

    • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

      You’ve lost all oxygen to your brain with your head in the sand for so long?

  • kevindf

    Hostess will move to a right-to-work state or out of the country.

    • badlands4

      I read that some giant Mexican bakery is considering purchasing some of the products. I don’t imagine they will be keeping those jobs in the U.S.

      The bakery thrift store in Williston has already closed. Sold out what they could and then donated the rest to the Salvation Army food bank. I wonder if those stores will all re-open or if they are closed for good?

  • Thresherman

    So now a judge has the ability to tell a business that it cannot close to protect it’s remaining assets. Anyone else suspect that union funds got channeled to him somewhere along the line of his career?
    Actually, I hope that a way is found to save Hostess as I understand that the Bakers and Confectioneers Union members only account for a third of the 18,000 workers and it would be shame for the other 12,000 to lose their jobs due to union greed.

    • Neiman

      My thoughts exactly, what the hell business is it of this judge? If the unions and the business cannot agree, then the company has a right to say bugger off to the union and the business itself.

      • Your friend.

        It is the business of this bankruptcy judge, to make sure every step of the bankruptcy law is followed. If bankruptcy can be avoided, then he has to ensure he has done everything that is expected of him by law to prevent the entity from entering bankruptcy when alternatives exist.

        • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

          Few conservatives care about the facts when they are so committed to their emotional outbursts.

          • Your friend.

            The conservatives on this blog are lemmings.
            They are too chickenshit to do a little research AND GET THE FACTS.
            Instead the make stupid pronouncements like these two fellows called Thresherman and Neiman.

    • The Revealer

      When a company goes through bankruptcy there are certain steps they have to take, one of them going through mediation with the involved parties.
      It has always been like that.

    • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

      What utter bullshit. But, what else do you expect from bitter losers?

  • Roy_Bean

    In this case the company is asking for bankruptcy protection. Maybe Tim Heise can fill in a few details from law school, but essentially the business is asking the court to allow it to either not pay or have additional time to pay obligations that the business has. The court is settling a dispute between Hostess and its creditors not between Hostess and its union. This court action is really on behalf of the creditors. If any business, union or not, wants to sell off their assets, pay off their bills and shut the doors, that isn’t anybody’s business but the owners.

    • the Fighting Czech

      Please, dont confuse these guys with actual fact…

    • Matthew Hawkins

      Your post was rational until the last sentence.

      These owners and executives don’t want to shut down and take the cost. They are trying to loot the company and take no cost.

      The bankruptcy judge is acting correctly by stopping this temporarily.

      He would be more appropriate by dissolving their corporate charter and stop the looting.

      • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

        Bingo!

  • $8194357

    Ya gotta love the “clout” unions have…

    As a “minority” in America, they play large…

    Will anyone question just why Barack Obama met with Richard Trumka and the Progressive Caucus? Why is it that he met with them first rather than meeting with the congressional delegation? We as a nation should ask these questions because behind closed doors many things can be said that have very dangerous impacts upon our national standings. Why did Obama decide to meet with these particular groups? First we must find out just what does Richard Trumka and the Progressive Caucus have to bring into any discussion with the President of the United States.

    Richard Trumka, the head of most unions in the United States, was the man called to the White House to meet with President Obama to find out what he and the Progressive caucus think of the upcoming fiscal program created by an ineffective Congress. This man has close ties to socialistic ideology and it dates back to 1994.

    Read more: http://freedomoutpost.com/2012/11/obama-held-first-meeting-after-election-with-socialists-and-communists/#ixzz2Cih1C0FO

  • John

    It’s about time the Courts said no to these private equity firms that want nothing more then fire sales and bonuses for poor management. 8 CEOs in 6 years and none of them with ANY bakery or food service experience. It’s clear they wanted Hostess to fail and then have the brass b**ls to ask for bonuses!

    • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

      But…but..unions……..and stuff.

  • Rick Olson

    I don’t know anyone personally who worked for Hostess. I kind of think the federal judge got involved is because the Hostess brand is a household word in millions of homes across America. Life without the Twinkie, the Ho-Ho, the Ding Dong or Wonder Bread would somehow be un-American.

    • Matthew Hawkins

      The federal judge got involved because Hostess is CURRENTLY in bankruptcy.

      It seems to me if they have planned for bankruptcy for a long time. The CEO and the four top executives got huge raises right outside the window which would make it illegal under bankruptcy law. They are looting the company.

      I doubt they ever gave the union any offer than would be any where near fair, because they don’t want the company to survive. Because they are looting it.

      This is a type of case where I wish the judge would deny bankruptcy and say this company is not adequately capitalized and allow the owners to lose their houses.

      Instead he will just let the workers lose their pensions, that were also fairly bargained for.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    forward………………

    Layoffs Announced Since Election:

    1. Abbott Labs 700

    2. Activision 30

    3. Adventist Health 48

    4. Airlines SAS 6000

    5. AMD 400

    6. American Cotton Growers 110

    7. ArcelorMittal 20

    8. American Independence Museum 4

    9. Ameridose 790

    10. American Airlines 4400 + 800 leaving voluntarily

    11. American Coal 54

    12. Atlantic Lottery Corporation 16

    13. Assc Milk Producers 130

    14. Aveo Oncology 45

    15. ATI 172

    16. Bankia 5000

    17. Bechtel Power Corp 277

    18. Bigpoint Games 47

    19. Boston Scientific 1200

    20. Brake Parts LLC 75

    21. Brattleboro Retreat 31

    22. Bristol Myers 500

    23. Career Education 900 + Closing 23 Campuses

    24. Cigna 1300

    25. Citigroup 100

    26. Commerzbank 6000

    27. Consol Energy in W.V. 145

    28. Covidien 595

    29. Crouse Hospital Syracuse NY 70

    30. Cummins 150

    31. CVPH 27

    32. DEP in Tallahassee FL 15

    33. DuPont, Co. 64

    34. Eagle-Tribune, Andover 21

    35. Emanuel Medical Cente 24

    36. Energizer Holdings 1500

    37. Ericsson 1550

    38. Exide Tech, Laureldale 150

    39. City of Findlay, OH 39

    40. First Energy 400

    41. Gameforge Berlin 20

    42. Gamesa Energy 92

    43. GenOn Energy Inc 33

    44. Glen Falls Hospital 29

    45. Groupon 80

    46. GT Advanced Tech 165

    47. Harris’ Broadcast 17

    48. Hawker Beechcraft 400 + Facilities closing

    49. Hill Rom 200

    50. Hills Holdings 300

    51. HMX Group 567

    52. Hostess 627

    53. Iberia Airlines 4500

    54. ICM of Colwich 25

    55. ING 2350

    56. Judson University 21

    57. Juniper Networks 500

    58. Kaiser Permanente 84

    59. Kinetic Concepts 427

    60. Kratos Defense Security 125

    61. Lackawanna County PA 11

    62. Lightyear Network Solutions 12+

    63. Lonza 500

    64. Majestic Star Casino/hotel 80

    65. Major Wind Company 3000

    66. Martha Stewart Living 70

    67. Medtronic 1000

    68. Mills Manufacturing NC 68

    69. Momentive, Inc. 150

    70. Monitor Group 235

    71. Montco Behavioral Health/Dev 58

    72. NBC 500

    73. Nebraska Medical Center 38

    74. Neovia Logistics Services 52

    75. New Energy 40

    76. Ormet 200

    77. Panasonic 10000

    78. PayPal 320

    79. Penn Refrigeration 40

    80. Penske Logistics 50

    81. Pepsi 4000

    82. Philips Electronics 218

    83. Pierce Mfg 325

    84. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne 100

    85. Research in Motion 200

    86. Rheem Manufacturing 50

    87. Sentry Foods 70

    88. Shaw’s Supermarket 700

    89. Shawano foundry WI 90

    90. Smith & Nephew 770

    91. Smithfield Packing Co. 125

    92. Solel Solar Systems 140

    93. Southeastern Container 15

    94. SpaceX 100

    95. SRA Intl Inc 222

    96. St. Jude Medical 300

    97. Stryker 1170

    98. Sulake 60

    99. Sun Media 500

    100. TE Connectivity 620

    101. TECO Coal Corporation 90

    102. Texas Instruments 1700

    103. The Providence Journal Co 23

    104. TMX Group Ltd. 100

    105. Turbocare 220

    106. Turkey Point Nuclear Plant 277

    107. Oce North America, Inc. 135

    108. Turbocare OCE 220

    109. UBS 10000

    110. US Cellular 980

    111. UtahAmerican Energy Inc 102

    112. Volvo Trucks Pulaski County 300

    113. Wake Forest Baptist Medical 950

    114. Welch Allyn 275

    115. West Ridge Mine 102

    116. Westinghouse 50

    117. World Media Enterprises Inc 105

    118. WPS Health Insurance 600

    119. Wright Patterson AFB 115

    120. Wyodak Coal Mine 11

    121. Xerox 2500

    122. Yakima Reg Med Ctr Washington 10+

    Announced Business Closures Since Election:

    1. Bakers Footwear closing 150 stores nationwide, including 21 in California

    2. The SCA plant in Barton – Plans Staff Reductions

    3. Handy Hardware to close its 2-year-old Meridian, Miss. warehouse

    4. Caterpillar Inc. will close its plant in Owatonna Minn.

    5. Waltz Pharmacy in Waldoboro Maine

    6. Zac’s Place in Hinsdale IL

    7. Lone Star Steakhouse at 70th and O streets and Ruby Tuesday at 56th Street in

    8. Lincoln NE

    9. Career Education Corp – Closing 23 Campuses – 900 Jobs Lost

    10. Handy Hardware to close its 2-year-old Meridian, Miss. warehouse

    11. Shamrock Bar at Payne City’s Rose Avenue. in GA

    12. Monitor Company Group LP

    13. ThinkEquity LLC

    14. Homer City Funding LLC

    15. Caterpillar Inc. will close its plant in Owatonna Minn.

    16. Mount Pleasant’s Albrecht Sentry Foods

    17. The Target store at Manassas Mall Va.

    18. Millennium Academy in Wake Forest NC

    19. Target Closing Kissimmee FL Location

    20. Calgary’s iconic Rideau Music store ( International )

    21. The Andover Gift Shop in Andover MA

    22. Grand Union Family Markets Closing Storrs Location CT

    23. Movie Scene Milford Location NH

    24. Update: TE Connectivity Closing Greensboro Plant – 620 Layoffs Expected

    25. Gomer’s Fried Chicken in South Kansas City

    26. Kmart in Homer Glen

    27. Fresh Market on Pine Street in Burlington

    28. AGC Glass North America to permanently close its Blue Ridge Plant in Kingsport Tenn.

    29. The Target store at Platte and Academy in Colorado Springs

    30. Island Colors – A Carolina Beach Clothing Store

    31. The Roses store on Reynold Road in Winston-Salem NC

    32. Meanders Kitchen losing its West Seattle location at 6032 California Ave

    33. Bost Harley-Davidson at 46th Avenue North and Delaware Ave. in West Nashville TN

    34. Townsend Booksellers in Oakland

    35. The Kmart store in Parkway Plaza off University Drive in Durham NC – 79 Jobs Lost

    36. Guarantee Shoe Store in Beaumont Texas

    37. Associated Milk Producers Inc. Closing manufacturing facility in Dawson Minn. – 130

    38. Jobs Lost

    39. FacadeTek Inc Closes Whitestown Facility – 72 Jobs Lost

    40. Comet Market in Punxsutawney Pa.

    41. JC Penney store in Miracle City Mall Titusville FL

    42. TurboCare Inc Closing Manchester CT Facility – 88

    43. The United Colors of Benetton store on Armitage Avenue IL

    44. Update: Bicycle shop Ten 27 Cycles 1027 Davis St. in Evanston IL

    45. Two Sears Product Rebuild Centers in The Woodlands Texas

    46. FesslerUSA Clothing Maker Closing in PA

    47. Ralph Lauren’s plans to close its 14 stand-alone Rugby locations

    48. Nashville Sash & Door Co. Inc Tenn.

    49. First Portuguese church in North America in Bedford Mass Closing?

    50. International Fashions in Carbondale’s University Mall IL

    51. Harper’s Old Army Surplus Store in West Monroe La

    52. Nova Financial Holdings

    53. The Party Warehouse in West Springfield Mass.

    54. TLC Wine and Liquor at 1205 W. Main St in Kent Ohio?

    55. The HAPPY Place 1042 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA

    56. Air Carrier Accessory Services – Chapter 7

    57. SOW Inc. shelter on South Broad Street GA?

    58. Systemax Inc., Closing Miami County Ohio Computer Plant – 120 Jobs Lost

    59. Textbook publisher McGraw-Hill Cos. Closing 2 Distribution Centers – 166 Layoffs

    60. First Place Financial Corp

    61. Nash Finch Closing Cedar Rapids Iowa Food Distribution Center

    62. Johnnie’s Foodmaster MA Closing all 10 Locations

    63. Rainbow Foods will be closing its Forest Lake location MN – 59 Layoffs

    64. Berry’s Camera Shop Inc. in Downtown Lafayette

    65. Schreiber Foods to close their food packaging plant in Ravenna – 70 Jobs Lost

    66. Kmart store at 5300 Salem Ave. Trotwood Ohio

    67. Mr.Christie plant in Toronto ( International ) 2013 – 550 Jobs Lost

    68. Coffee with T cafe in Stevenson Village business MD

    69. Minas Basin Pulp and Power are closing a mill in Hantsport ( International ) – 135

    Actual Layoffs:

    1. The Colonial Country Shoppe on Park Street in Adams MA

    2. Vestas Wind Systems Closing R&D; Office in Louisville – 60 Jobs Lost

    3. Dollar Castle in downtown Ferndale MI

    4. Bistro One West in St Charles IL

    5. Sun Dog Diner in Neptune Beach FL

    6. Jim’s Builders Hardware in Wichita, Kansas

    7. Madeleines Bakehouse in Fort Wayne Indiana

    8. Barnes & Noble plans to close its doors in Union Station Dec. 31

    9. The Semiahmoo Hotel in Blaine Washington

    10. Highland Curves CA

    11. The Salem Sport Shop in Salem Ohio

    12. Navistar International Corp. to Close truck assembly plant in Garland, Texas – 900

    13. Jobs Lost

    14. Divine Mercy Catholic Books & Gifts Denton Texas

    15. Singer Mental Health Center in Rockford IL

    16. Garelick Farms Ends Production at Bangor Maine Facility

    17. Fashion Tech Window Coverings in Portland?

    18. Custom House Tavern Chicago IL.

    19. Jim’s Builders Hardware in Delano

    20. Lone Star Steakhouse at 1801 22nd St. in West Des Moines

    21. Sears to Close Woodlands Product Rebuild Center – 117 Jobs Lost

    22. Whitehead Inc Rockford Real Estate Company

    23. Robert’s Mens Shop in Downtown New Philadelphia Ohio

    24. Fort Tecumseh Olde Fashun Store in Ohio

    25. Lakewood Beginnings Child Development Center in Lakewood Ohio

    26. Green Fields Seed & Feed in Grand Junction Colo.

    27. The Army and Navy Store in Melrose Mass.

    28. Vitalistic Therapeutic charter school PA

    29. Diamond Foods Inc Closing a plant in Fishers Indiana

    30. Old Town Alehouse 5233 Ballard Ave in Seattle

    31. Space Aliens restaurants in Minot and Grand Forks ND

    32. DeWaay Financial Network LLC

    33. Sears at Quail Springs Mall Oklahoma City OK.

    34. Fashion Bug in O’Fallon MO is closing in January

    35. Kmart Store in Oak Hill W. Va

    36. Update: Jett & Hall men’s clothing store in Richmond KY

    37. D.C. school List of Possible Schools Closing to Be released Later today

    38. Dunkin’ Donuts in Holly Hill FL

    39. Hostess Brands Inc Permanently Closing 3 Bakeries Following a Nationwide Strike

    40. Philips Electronics subsidiary Lightolier will close its local fluorescent light

    41. fixture manufacturing plant in Willington

    42. Smithfield Packing Co. will close in 2013, laying off a total of 400 employees

    43. SuperFresh outlets in Marlton and Westmont NJ

    44. The Bagel Shoppe in Katonah NY

    45. Ben Franklin and Homestead House Gifts in the Kimball Ridge Center in Waterloo IA

    46. Several West Virginia Suzuki dealerships Being Forced to Close

    47. Kowalski Cos Closing All 4 of its Metro Detroit Delis but to Continue Food

    48. Production

    49. Three Memphis charter schools and one in Nashville Tenn. Could Close Due to Poor

    50. Test Scores

    51. The Custer School District SD – Closing 2 Rural Schools

    52. The Dressing Room, on North Lincoln Avenue IL

    53. The Utica Office Of Ibope Ny

    Bankruptcies:

    1. AMF Bowling Worldwide Inc

    2. Aletheia Research & Management Inc

    3. Omtron USA

    4. Helmkampf Construction in Olivette

    5. Clear Light Publishers

    6. Monitor Company Group LP

    7. ThinkEquity LLC

    8. Homer City Funding LLC

    9. US Suzuki Distributor – Chapter 11

    10. Revolt Technology

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/11/economic_disintegration_is_almost_here.html#ixzz2CluvvVDS

  • sbark

    The only thing that kept Hostess alive this long is the artifically low int. rates pushed by Obama and Bernake……..
    When….not if…..but when the QE printing, and the giant sucking sound of Govt using money kicks in……Int rates will skyrocket…….
    ……and there will be dozens of Companies just like Hostess burdened with union costs and pensions and unserviceable debt that will bite the dust……..

  • mickey_moussaoui

    If enough states legalize marijuana then Twinkies will be back

  • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

    Government solution: Case of Twinkies with each Obamaphone.

  • Neiman

    Wh said a judge gets to decide if any company can close its operations and go out of business?

    “The maker of Twinkies and Ding Dongs said late Tuesday that it failed to reach an agreement with its second-biggest union. As a result, Hostess plans to continue with a hearing on Wednesday in which a bankruptcy court judge in White Plains, N.Y., will decide if the company can shutter its operations.”

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