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Hostess union workers have Plan B: ‘government-provided unemployment benefits’

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Hostess, the snack-making company, is going out of business after one of the employee unions within the company refused to end a strike despite being warned that it would drive the company under. But the union members have a back-up plan.

“Most employees who lose their jobs should be eligible for government-provided unemployment benefits,” Hostess said, per the NBC story.

It’s not as if Hostess was a devoted union-buster. “The Irving, Texas-based company had already reached a contract agreement with its largest union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters,” NBC noted. “But thousands of members in its second-biggest union went on strike late last week after rejecting in September a contract offer that cut wages and benefits. Officials for the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union say the company stopped contributing to workers’ pensions last year.”

Here is how Hostess explained their offer to the union:

Hostess Brands is unprofitable under its current cost structure, much of which is determined by union wages and pension costs. The offer to the BCTGM included wage, benefit and work rule concessions but also gave Hostess Brands’ 12 unions a 25 percent ownership stake in the company, representation on its Board of Directors and $100 million in reorganized Hostess Brands’ debt.

 

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