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November 18, 2012

The Demise of Twinkies

I've heard a lot lately about the demise of the Twinkie. That seems to be the only part of the story I hear on the news though - that the iconic twinkie will be no more with the demise of Hostess. However, I don't believe enough attention has been placed on one of the reasons why Hostess is going under - the union will not accede to cuts in pay. Let's get this out of the way right now - I am only going by what I have heard (precious little, so I may be missing a thing or two here), but if given a choice, I prefer to get a percentage of my pay as to no pay at all. In fact, I worked for a company that reduced pay by 10% (and cut benefits) so it could keep more workers - I was all for that.

The Weekend Pundit has a nice opinion piece up that highlights some personal experience with unions. When we first moved to NH, WS was working for a unionized company. He too found it insane that he couldn't change out a burned out lightbulb on a machine's indicating button (it's not so hard - even I could do it without endangering myself, the machine or the product). Also, having family in the airplane business (on WS's side of the family) who were union members - we found it interesting that they would vote to raise their pay by umpteen % (or strike if that didn't happen), then they were amazed when the company built a plant in Mexico to reduce costs - eventually closing the plant they worked in. Hmm, don't know why they didn't see that coming.

These people also thought that it was a shame that the starting pay for a cafeteria line cook was only $24/hr. This was for someone coming in straight off the streets with no experience or schooling. This was years ago, and the union members thought that the cooks weren't making a living wage. This is not in an area where prices of homes or goods are high. Heck, with my education and experieence in my field, I would have been happy to get that amount of pay then (in fact, that would be good pay for me now!) And they were shocked when the "greedy" company decided to make its airplanes somewhere else.

It just amazes me at how out of touch with the real world at least some union members are. And now, a whole bunch of people will be out of work, with an economy that is adding jobs at a dismal rate. I just don't get the thinking that went on there.

Posted by Bogie on November 18, 2012 at 06:52 AM in Plain News | Permalink

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