November 16, 2012

Tell Him About the Twinkie

Ahh. The Hostess strike. In which I am angry and sad at how many people are sounding like morons about this.

Here are some facts for you that 99% of news outlets felt weren't worth pointing out:
The workers went on strike because Hostess declared that 18,000 workers would need to take an 8% paycut... AND have their cost of company healthcare benefits increased by 30%. When the workers striked, Hostess declared that they'd rather liquidate the company than give in to the union demands to, umm, not fuck the workers over.

Huh, that's funny, since.... oh, hey look at this: Hostess lost $143 million in 2011. In fact, for almost ten years the company's been keeping itself afloat through unsustainable injections of private equity. According to the Chicago Tribune, Hostess is already down more than $800 MILLION in this equity that they can never recover. How do they avoid paying that? By declaring bankruptcy. WHAT A COINCIDENCE.

The company was ALREADY going bankrupt. They decided that this would be a great way to liquidate and blame the union instead of their own terrible business practices over the last few years. Hostess planned to, let me quote some news articles here, "end an American tradition" and "watch another part of your childhood fade away" BEFORE THE STRIKE EVEN STARTED. They just realized that holding out this long gets them a better deal in bankruptcy liquidation AAAAAND they get to blame the union now.

And you know what pisses me off the MOST about this? Do any of you REALLY lament the lack of, specifically, a Twinkie? Because there aren't a HUNDRED competitor equivalents on the shelves? As if you don't buy the cheaper store brand "creme filled snack cakes" when they're on sale already? Why the love for Hostess? Oh, right, it's a brand loyalty. It's because Americans care about that name and that product tradition... one that was maintained by.... oh, that's right.... A STRONG LABOR FORCE MAKING THE GODDAMN THINGS.

By the way, can I take a moment to ask all of you attacking the unions a quick question: so you believe that the company's going bankrupt because of those "greedy, greedy unions." In other words, you are suggesting that the very existence of a major national corporation, one that makes and sells millions of products a year, hinges on a financial precipice solely balanced by employees taking a pay cut. You believe this? And that this action of a company being willing to actually dissove itself completely is in no way a larger sign of an already-existing financial disaster of its own making, far beyond the actions of its employees? You are saying you believe all that, correct? Okay, so if yes, here is my follow-up question: are you truly this fucking stupid?

But please, keep pretending that this will be "the end of Twinkies" because hey, THAT'S what's important- continuing to fill your children with saturated fat with sugar-flavored oil injected inside of it. It's so nice to see Americans all getting together and blaming this once again on a handful of middle class workers instead of the CEOs who already ran the company into the ground.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:23 AM