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Hostess: Collective Bargaining Gone Wrong

This past week I made a purchase on eBay. The shipment was later than promised and the seller apologized. He was, he explained, a Hostess employee and had to go out of town to train people due to a union strike. The Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union decided to strike to have their pension and wage demands met.

After 26-1/2 years of route sales and training, “Joe” finished his route and turned in his keys for the last time. In his own words:

The bakers and union really screwed the rest of us.

Yesterday, 80-year-old Hostess closed it’s doors. Thanks to genius collective bargaining, instead of ending up with an 8% wage cut, they ended up with a 100% wage cut.*

Hostess Unions Strike Collective Bargaining Fail

The company web site said this:

We are sorry to announce that Hostess Brands, Inc. has been forced by a Bakers Union strike to shut down all operations and sell all company assets. For more information, go to hostessbrands.info. Thank you for all of your loyalty and support over the years.

Once again unions are on the wrong side of common sense. Right to work states understand.

If you take the time, money, thought, intelligence, creativity, planning, sleepless nights, endless hours, risk, blood, sweat, and tears to start a business and create real jobs, you make the decisions. Rights and responsibilities are inseparable.

If you work for someone else, you don’t get to make the decisions.

If you hate your job, if you think your employers are evil, greedy, idiotic, or otherwise deplorable, quit your job! Get a new one! If you can’t find any jobs that have the pay, benefits, perks, and environment you want, start your own business! When you create the killer job, the best employees will flock to you!

If you say, “But it’s not so easy!” then my answer is, “Maybe that’s why you aren’t the one with the right to make the decisions.”

If you disagree and think those doing the work should be able to bully those who are providing the opportunity to work, put your money where your mouth is. Just drop me a line. I’ll send you my contract — on my terms — and you’ll sign it. I’ll start working for you tomorrow. I get paid every other Friday.


* As my friend, Matt Evans pointed out, in our nanny state a 100% wage cut isn’t really a 100% wage cut. In reality the two choices look more like this:

  • 8% pay cut
  • work full time

vs.

  • 50% of salary from unemployment
  • meals covered by food stamps
  • free phone
  • no need to work for 99 weeks so they can finally conquer Call of Duty and Halo 3

So maybe it was a smart move after all.

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