The View From 1776

Liquidating Jobs

Obama campaigned on, among things, the charge that Romney was guilty of outsourcing jobs to overseas locations.  Needless to say, Obama never mentioned that the collapse of the auto business (which he claimed to have saved), and so many other formerly dominant industries, was in major part due to confiscatory demands and intransigence of labor unions.

Labor unions are both icons of liberal-progressive-socialism, presumably Marx’s proletarian masses, and legally sanctioned perpetrators of extortion, enforced with physical violence.  Having pushed state and city governments to the edge of bankruptcy, unions now are back at their old stand: obliterating private businesses.  And Obama will do all in his power to accommodate them by pushing for the end of secret ballots in unionizing campaigns and other labor union wish-list items.

No more Twinkies? Hostess plans to shut down


Hostess said a strike by members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union that began last week had crippled its ability to produce and deliver products at several facilities, and it had no choice but to give up its effort to emerge intact from bankruptcy court.

The Irving, Texas-based company said the liquidation would mean that most of its 18,500 employees would lose their jobs.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/16 at 05:18 PM
  1. Another perspective to the Hostess demise is that the company has been struggling for years with declining sales. Many former customers have realized that an apple or an orange is better for their kids than junk food like "Twinkies." Hostess filed for bankruptcy in 2004 and have a debt of over $800 million on only about $950 million of assets.

    The crowning touch was that just prior to folding, the CEO raised his pay from 750K to 2.6 million per year -- along with similar massive pay raises for other executives, at a time when they were demanding that the factory employees take a pay cut to "save the company."

    But Thomas, I would not grieve too much for not getting your morning Twinkie. It is very likely that somebody will buy the brand and the product will be soon back on the shelves for you to enjoy.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/17  at  08:58 PM
  2. Mr. Jay, does your observation mean that it's OK for labor unions to liquidate jobs when a company is losing money, but that it's a social crime when businessmen, facing the same situation, close money-losing divisions or companies?

    That's, of course, the view hammering to death by Obama and his fellow Democrat/Socialist Party candidates.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/18  at  02:34 PM
  3. Mr. Jay, another thought. Why should labor unions have the power to decide what is the proper food for people to eat?

    If the demise of Hostess was caused by poor or greedy management, then it deserved to fail. But, in the ethos prevailing when our nation was founded, it's the role of consumers, working through as free a marketplace as possible, to determine the survival or prosperity of businesses enterprises.

    The idea that labor unions have the power and the right to control private companies is a distinctly French/German socialistic conception. As I have written often, the United States is being transformed into a third-world socialistic society, so perhaps the unions, under the liberal-progressive doctrine of an "evolving" constitution, already have, in the public mind, acquired that dispositive status.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/19  at  01:42 AM
  4. Thomas,

    You are correct that unions should not "liquidate jobs." This is the province of management, which in the case of Hostess means that it was the Hostess management that has decided to close the doors and "liquidate the jobs."

    The unions do not "control" private companies. In fact, you would be happy to learn that private sector unions that you hate so virulently make up only a miniscule 7% of the workforce in this country. So, your assertions that "unions control the workplace" ignores the 93% of the private sector workforce that is non-union.

    My objection to your report is that you characterized management as innocent victims and the factory workers as the greedy villains in the piece. I am not saying the the unions are virtuous angels in this case, but that you should not fail to ascribe self interest to all parties to a dispute.

    I am also not saying that the unions should decide what people ingest. These workers would be only too happy for us to keep eating Twinkies! In fact, I think this union was associated with tobacco workers, so it is hardly a group to hold up as standing for the common good.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/20  at  02:23 PM
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