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Time to Boycott Twinkies: Hostess Workers Go on Strike

Time to Boycott Twinkies: Hostess Workers Go on Strike

Written by Mike Hall, AFL-CIO

Workers at Hostess Brands—who in September overwhelming rejected a contract that cut wages and benefits by as much as 32%—began a strike last week against the maker of Wonder Bread, Twinkies and other well-known baked treats. Hostess has imposed the terms of the rejected contract.

Frank Hurt, president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) says:

Hostess Brands is making a mockery of the labor relations system that has been in place for nearly 100 years.  Our members are not just striking for themselves, but for all unionized workers across North America who are covered by collective bargaining agreements.

BCTGM says the company has ceased making contractually obligated payments to the Hostess workers’ pensions since July 2011 and has pocketed approximately $160 million—money earned by and owed to its dedicated workforce.

Hostess Brands is in bankruptcy for the second time in eight years. Since the first bankruptcy in 2004, BCTGM members across the country have taken dramatic wage and benefit concessions and watched as 21 Hostess plants were shut down and thousands of jobs were lost. At the time of the first bankruptcy, Hostess workers were assured by management that money saved via concessions and plant closings would help make the company stronger, more vibrant and more competitive.

Instead, according to the union, the money has gone towards executive bonuses and payments to the hedge fund that owns Hostess brands. Hurt says:

Our members have now said NO to Hostess and the Wall Street investors in the only means available to them, the strike.  [We] stand in full and uncompromising support of our striking members.

Download a fact sheet on the strike from BCTGM. Strike updates will be available at http://bctgm.org/.

This post was originally published by the AFL-CIO.

 

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70 comments

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9:43AM PST on Nov 27, 2012

GREAT VICTORY
at another strike by immigrant workers that will be used as a trampoline to new successful strikes.

http://www.nationofchange.org/hot-and-crusty-bakery-workers-seal-deal-unionization-1354028694

5:16AM PST on Nov 25, 2012

BRANDON, VERONICA, SARAH AND ALL THOSE AGAINST UNIONS.

You sound exactly like those slaves in a plantation telling the slaves that got caught trying to escape.
You are so brutalized by the plantation owners (the 1%) that you are defeated before you even try to defend yourselves.

In the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, there's a scene where Jack Nicholson makes a bet he can lift a solid sink attached to the floor to use it to bust a window and escape.

He can't do it and he loses. But then he tells them "at least I tried"!!!

Your attitude is exactly what YOUR OWNERS want you to experience.

You don't know it, but it is thanks to the Unions that the Middle Class was ever developed around the world. The powerful NEVER gives you nothing..... you have to pry it away from them by force doing strikes, or passing them through the Guillotine.

YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH YOU TAKE FOR GRANTED WHAT YOU HAVE, THANKS TO THE UNIONS IN THE PAST THAT FORCED THE POWERFUL TO BACK OFF AND GIVE WORKERS MANY OF THE BENEFITS YOU ENJOY TODAY.

All these benefits are being taken away from you, bit by bit, because you are ignorant of your own historical struggles as a group of salaried people.
You have lost the camaraderie needed to present a united front to demand WHAT IS YOURS to begin with.

4:41AM PST on Nov 25, 2012

This is why the unions are a bad thing. At one time they were needed, but now they are just destructive. A great company gone along with thousands of good paying jobs.

10:21PM PST on Nov 16, 2012

The union told the workers that the company was bluffing. It was on my local news. They said "we've heard it before". Well, they weren't bluffing and now they're added to the unemployment numbers.

10:16PM PST on Nov 16, 2012

And you wonder why its good to be anti union!

10:13PM PST on Nov 16, 2012

I bet those workers feel dumb now, Now they are stuck with no wages no medical ins and now pension.... Should have just signed the contract!!!

6:50PM PST on Nov 16, 2012

Twinkies? I don't have to sign any pledge to boycott them - wouldn't touch them with a ten-foot pole! High fructose corn syrup, and other petroleum derivatives and other lovely stuff.

4:22PM PST on Nov 16, 2012

Sad--because of white collar thieves, so many must lose their jobs....but perhaps this will stir them into action of a more positive and progressive kind....

1:16PM PST on Nov 15, 2012

I remember in the days of my youth, there was a time my mother used to use Wonderbread in making our sandwiches for school - I used to call it 'styrofoam', if i recall correctly, and went from eating rather a lot of the yeasty bread we'd previously got, and loved, to avoiding the stuff.

If I bought Twinkies or *shudder* Wonderbread, (hooked on organic Spelt bread, when I can get it, myself) I would assuredly stop, but would actually do without bread or backed goods entirely, if those were my only choices...

1:08PM PST on Nov 15, 2012

Oh No ;-( not my Twinkies!

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