11.19.2012

As the Twinkie Turns


Twinkie's last stand: It's up to a mediator

Excerpt:


Twinkie the Kid’s ride into the sunset hit a hurdle Monday when Hostess Brands, unions and lenders agreed to mediation to try to save the company, and its spongy, yellow cake, from liquidation.

The decision staves off, for a couple of days at least, Hostess’ plans to shut down its 33 factories and lay off 18,500 workers after an acrimonious labor dispute that could lead to the end of the 82-year-old company and its well-known brands such as Twinkies, Ho-Hos, Sno-Balls and Wonder bread.

During the hearing, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain urged the parties to come to an agreement through mediation rather than through a public, and costly, hearing. The court called a short recess while the lawyer for the baker's union phoned his client to see if the union would agree to a mediation process tomorrow.

After the recess, the sides agreed to a mediation session Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET to try to work things out. If they can't resolve it, and come to an understanding of the underlying motives behind the worker strike that the company said crippled its business, the bankruptcy hearing will resume Wednesday at 11 a.m ET.

The sides will probably come to an agreement on Tuesday, John Pottow, a bankruptcy law professor at the University of Michigan, told TODAY. The biggest sign, he said, is that the Teamsters were on board.

"The Teamsters aren't pussycats," said Pottow. "If they're saying 'this is as good as it gets,' that's a pretty strong signal to me."
Comment: The following article may be premature but still interesting

Who Killed Hostess?

The list:

  1. The Bakers Union at the Negotiating Table with a Picket Sign
  2. Management at the Executive Suite with a Checkbook (the counter-narrative )
  3. The Free Market at the Grocery Store with Competition: Hostess's sales last year — $2.5 billion — were down about 11% from 2008 and down 28% from 2004
  4. The Sugar Lobby in the Halls of Congress with Tariffs (this one has an interesting angle!
  5. Rich People on Giant Yachts with Their Armies of Servants
Comment: It's probably a combination of 1,2,3,4. I don't know anyone who buys the junk food from Hostess





3 comments:

  1. Mediation fails: Hostess Plans to Liquidate After Mediation Fails:

    Meanwhile, some Hostess workers in another union awaiting the mediation results criticized Mr. Hurt, the 20-year president of the bakers union, who defended his decisions and actions during the company's bankruptcy process.

    ReplyDelete
  2. NYTimes: Hostess Brands Says It Fails to Reach Labor Deal in Mediation:

    “It’s over,” said David Durkee, secretary-treasurer of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bankruptcy judge approves Hostess liquidation:

    Hostess Brands Inc on Wednesday won permission from a U.S. bankruptcy judge to begin shutting down, and expressed optimism it will find new homes for many of its iconic brands, which include Twinkies, Drake's cakes and Wonder Bread.
    U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain in White Plains, N.Y., authorized current management, led by restructuring specialist Gregory Rayburn, to immediately begin efforts to wind down the 82-year-old company, a process expected to take one year.
    "It appears clear to me that the debtors have taken the right course in seeking to implement the wind-down plan as promptly as possible," Drain said near the end of a four-hour hearing.
    The judge authorized Hostess to begin the liquidation process one day after his last-ditch mediation effort between the Irving, Texas-based company and its striking bakers' union broke down.
    Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn testified at a bankruptcy hearing Wednesday that he will have to terminate 15,000 employees immediately. Most of the remaining 3,200 workers are expected to be let go within four months.

    ReplyDelete

Any anonymous comments with links will be rejected.