Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hostess R.I.P.

Hostess, maker of Twinkies, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs, and other exemplars of tasty empty calories, is going to be liquidated out of bankruptcy as a result of failed labor relations. See the Associated Press story for more details.

It is probable that some existing firm will buy the right to manufacture and market the firm's signature products. "Probable" yes, but not for sure.

A new owner is likely to resume manufacturing without acquiring the firm's aging bakeries or hiring their laid-off workers, all 18,000 of them. Also affected will be some or all of the firm's retirees, number undisclosed.

That a majority of the members of one of Hostess' unions would vote to destroy the firm and their own jobs during a recession is not unique. It reminds me of the story of a frog and a scorpion who meet on the bank of the Suez Canal.

The scorpion cannot swim and begs a ride to the other side, the frog agrees and in midstream the scorpion stings him. As they both sink, the frog asks "Why did you sting me? Now we'll both die." To which the scorpion replies, "It's who I am."

For a look at the way the union and its workers view this issue, see an article in the Bangor Daily News. Wanna bet they wouldn't have voted to strike without 90 weeks of unemployment insurance waiting once the firm shuts down?