By Stephen Cavallaro
In late November, famous Hostess Brands was forced to close down 33 bakeries and more than 500 distribution centers due to the inability to meet the demands of union members.
While Hostess regrettably discharged over 18,000 individuals, the legendary bakery conglomerate quickly began preparing their assets for sale. Now, as Hostess acquires millions through liquidation, former union workers plan to commandeer a portion of the profit.
On Friday, Thomasville native Flowers Foods, proprietor of Tastykake snacks, entered into a contract with Hostess to purchase several brands, including Wonder, and manufacturing facilities for $390 million. Simultaneously, 6,000 Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers’ International Union (BCTGM) members hired Gordian Group, an investment company, to represent their pension fund. Thus, Gordian will strive to push the new entrepreneurs, such as Flowers Foods, to hire former Hostess workers and to negotiate, upholding the former business’ retirement policy.
This situation is merely an example of big labor unions bullying businesses. Unions such as the BCTGM ran Hostess into the ground, and now they are paving the way to insight conflict with Flowers Foods and all other prospectors of Hostess’ brands.
Unions pressure employers to provide employees with irrationally high wages that often enough provoke businesses to endure bankruptcy. In Hostess’ case, the unions refused to accept any counter offer that would have kept the company in business and the employees employed. Additional tactics include: locking companies into overly generous contracts, preventing employee termination during strikes and catechize employees into joining their empty cause.
Hostess’ flight can be seen as an image of oppression triumphing over liberty. Unions are responsible for going to great lengths in order to exert their obnoxiously large influence. Such length eventually encroaches upon the employer, the source of union strength and power. Hopefully Flowers Food and others will refuse to compromise before they too are beaten down and driven to extinction.