Monday, November 19, 2012

Don't be a Ding-Dong

Vital news from the snack cake front:

Mediation hearings will begin Tuesday, but the original hearing to consider the wind-down plan was adjourned until Wednesday morning, just in case reconciliation talks don't work out. Production "remains shut down," according to the Irving, Texas, company.

But the scales are out of balance, with the union at a deep disadvantage, said Gene Grabowski, a Washington crisis communications expert at consulting firm Levick.

If discussions fail, Hostess probably will sell itself at a loss and wash its hands of the situation, Levick said. Buyers — potentially major food companies such as ConAgra Foods Inc., Kraft Foods Inc. or Nestle — then probably would absorb the brands into their operations without hiring former Hostess workers.

"It's hard to see what they could accomplish at this point," Grabowski said. "It looks like Hostess management is holding more cards right now than labor. This is really the last hope for employees to save their jobs."

Well management very often holds more cards than labor. It's funny how many times it works out like that. It's almost like they know the dealer or something. Still, the head Ho-Hos at Hostess should consider what the future holds if they let the company slip away. In the short term they'll still profit. But if Hostess becomes a branch of Kraft or ConAgra, it's no longer its own thing. Up till now, Twinkies and their ilk have gotten prime store placement and spandex publicity because they were the priority for their parent company. As a subsidiary they'd be one product among many, and at some point the new owners could deemphasize them in order to boost rival products they also own. Nobody's too big to become a ghost brand. All of which is to say that if the sugar pimps want the good times to keep rolling, they should listen to what their workers have to say.


susan said...

It's yet another very sad situation for a group of American workers. Earlier today I happened across this article written by one of them that I think you may find interesting. Reading through the comments I was further dismayed by just how much venom about unions is being spewed by some ignoramuses who seem to side with the investor class.

Ben said...

That is a sad story. As to idiots siding with the investor class, maybe they don't understand that top executives have it made regardless of success or failure as soon as they get the job, while working stiffs have to produce to even have a hope of reward. Or worse, maybe that's the only thing they do understand.