Twinkies Actually Can Survive Anything -- Even a Workers' Strike
As everyone in the western world already knows, on Friday, November 16, Hostess announced it was going out of business because its workers went on strike. Turns out, that might not actually be the case. Yesterday, CNBC broke the news that Hostess agreed to mediation talks with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International union, most likely, today.
Workers decided to strike because Hostess cut wages by 8 percent and benefits by 27 percent or more.
The liberal media blamed the evil corporate honchos who gave themselves huge bonuses the day before announcing they were going out of business.
The honchos and the conservative media blamed it on the greedy unions and their insane demands.
Lots of people made jokes on Twitter about how Twinkies actually won't last forever. My personal favorite was something like, "Twinkies would survive a nuclear holocaust but not the economic collapse." Oh Twitterverse, you are so witty. Tell me more.
Thousands of otherwise sane, logical Americans lost their minds and purchased boxes of Twinkies and Ding Dongs on Ebay for hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
Even gay Republican groups got in on the action.
It may turn out to be a whole bunch of ado about nothing. According to CNBC, the union workers went on strike without formally objecting to Hostess's latest offer and Hostess announced bankruptcy and requested the court's permission to liquidate without going through mediation with the union.
"Many people, myself included, have serious questions as to the logic behind this strike," said Judge Robert Drain, who heard the case in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York in White Plains, N.Y. "Not to have gone through that step leaves a huge question mark in this case."
Hostess and the union are expected to begin the mediation process on Tuesday.Without even going through the normal procedures of mediation with the unions, Hostess's announcement and the Twinkie-loving-public's overreaction may have been all exceedingly premature. In any case, whether the the evil corporate honchos or the unions are to blame, Twinkies were never truly in danger of going extinct.
Even if Hostess were to go out of business, its popular brands would likely find a second life. The company says several potential buyers have expressed interest in the brands. Although Hostess' sales have been declining in recent years, the company still does about $2.5 billion in business each year. Twinkies alone brought in $68 million so far this year.
Hostess could have liquidated and sold all of its product rights and brand licensing off to as many companies as it liked and the public would barely have even experienced an interruption in sales. Which kind of makes you wonder, "Am I paranoid or did we all just get punk'd?"
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