There are genuinely serious issues facing us today. Hamas is retaliating for Israels massive missile strike with new, long range missiles hitting the suburbs of Tel Aviv. We may on the verge of outright war in the Middle East which could easily escalate into a world wide conflict.
Europe has fallen back into a real recession. Strikes are occurring in many countries and Spain and Greece are on the verge of default once again. The economic implications for the United States are immense.
General David Petreas has been forced to resign as the head of the C.I.A. in a sex scandal that seems to grow daily.
And the events in Benghazi, Libya are just now beginning to emerge. Susan Rice, our United Nation's Ambassador has been tarnished by her role in making a series of misleading statements (or attempted cover-up) of events surrounding the murder of Ambassador Stevens. Unfortunately this mess gets uglier by the day at a time when we need President Obama and his entire national security team to focus on world events.
But I today I must spend a few comments about the potential death of a great American Institution, Hostess Bakeries and their flagship confections, the Twinkie and Dong Dong dessert snacks. If striking bakers don't return to work by the close of business today, the CEO of the bankrupt Hostess Brands, the parent of Hostess, has promised to close the business and liquidate all assets.
While the names Twinkie and Ding Dong will no doubt be sold in the liquidation, it's unlikely the snacks will ever be the same.
The bakers are fighting a rather small reduction in wages ordered by the bankruptcy court. The strike is illegal and the court has ordered the strikers to return to work. If they don't, and the company liquidates, 18,000 employees will all lose their jobs.
And all America will lose their Twinkies and Ding Dongs, perhaps forever.
There is no doubt in my mind that Hostess has been mismanaged. They had just clawed their way out of bankruptcy two short years ago. Now they're already back. That's not the Baker's Union fault, that's management.
On the other hand Hostess cannot compete with the brilliantly run McKee Foods, maker of Little Debbie Snacks, who operate non-unionized plants with significantly lower costs. Saddled with huge union costs, high medical benefit costs and gigantic pensions (which the Bankruptcy Court is now proposing to reduce), Hostess simply cannot compete profitably in the cost conscious American marketplace.
Let's hope that calmer minds prevail in each of the crisis we face today, even the Twinkie Crisis.
ADDENDUM November 23, 2012: Everyone tried to save Hostess, the Teamsters Union, Management and even the Bankruptcy Judge, but the Baker's Union was determined to close the company and place it into liquidation. I've read dozens of articles and cannot find one word of explanation from the Baker's Union as to why they refused every effort to resolve this crisis. 18,500 people will now all lose their jobs. No one believes the 6,500 Baker's Union members will ever get their jobs back, even with new owners.
Why did the union work so aggressively against the interests of their members? Why do we have 6,500 Baker's Union members suffering this Christmas? I'd welcome input, especially from any member of the Union, especially the Union Leaders.
Red State has an in depth analysis of this failure and the union's mysterious failure to help thier members: Let Them Eat Cake