Friday, November 16, 2012

Will President Obama Save Twinkles?

Twinkies, a national tribute to unhealthy food, entered liquidation today, as did its siblings Ding Dongs,  Ring Dings, Yodels, Funny Buns, Donettes,  Ho Hos, and Dolly Madison, the late President’s wife. Wonder Bread, cupcakes, and the small fruit pies are no more. New Yorkers will mourn the loss of Drakes.

Interstate Baking Company (IBT), also known as Hostess, called it quits today. No more large or small wonders for Wonder Bread.

A tsunami of fast food junkies committed a run on Hostess stores and supermarkets - more ferocious than a run on the bank. Twinkies are being scalped online.

Who would have thought that Americans are addicted to the junk food of a bankrupt?

The Twinkies hoarders and speculators will discover if the chemically laden Twinkies will last forever.

State Fair goers will miss the savory taste of deep fried Twinkies.

We’ll miss the Twinkies Defense. I would miss the cupcakes, little fruit pies, and Sno Balls, but for the fact I’ve haven’t eaten any in many years.

(Little noticed in the loss of Twinkies is that Kowalski closed its four Polish Delis in metropolitan Detroit.)

The immediate tragedy of Hostess is not to America, but for the 18,500 workers who lost their jobs before Thanksgiving.

President Obama has vowed to save the middle class, which he equates to the unions. This is his opportunity to save a little of the middle class and over 12,000 union jobs.

The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union killed the financially precarious company by striking several of its plants. The workers were upset at management, or at least I of the 7 management teams of the past decade.

The company first entered bankruptcy in 2004 and emerged in 2009. One CEO, Brian Driscoll granted himself and others large salary packages. That’s never a winning argument when asking workers to make sacrifices. The union president said "people will only take so much"in cutting wages and benefits.  

They are now going to take less to prove their point.

A private equity firm, hedge funds and GE Capital brought Hostess out of bankruptcy, but saddled it with debt. It reentered bankruptcy earlier this year. Hostess Brands sought wage, health care, and pension benefits from its unions. They made concessions in the first bankruptcy.

The 5,680 BCTGM members at Hostess were going to teach management and the financiers a lesson. They bought into much of the class warfare of the last election. 92% rejected the last offer by the company and then selectively struck the company’s plants last week in spite of warnings.

They were playing chicken with management, which was not bluffing. It lacked the financial resources to survive the strike or to settle on the union’s terms.

The larger Teamsters, which represent 7,500 Hostess employees, settled, but not the BCTGM. The teamsters hired financial consultants to review the company's books. The report was that Hostess was in deep trouble, but it might be salvageable. 

The bakers were going to teach the company a lesson. A picket sign said “R.I.P. I.B.T.”

One worker in Seattle explained “We know we will probably lose our jobs, but if accept these concessions, standards for bakers and other workers will keep going down. We are taking it on the chin for workers all over.” The Union president called them "vulture capitalists."

If the workers were that upset, they could have quit. They did not have to take 13,500 innocent workers and their families done with them.

The Teamsters sucked it up; they were looking at saving the company and their jobs.

The bakers union was looking to punish the company.

Solidarity forever!

The good news for the laid off workers is that extended unemployment, food stamps and ObamaCare awaits.


President Obama could answer the cry of solidarity. He resurrect Tarp to rescue Twinkies to save the unionized workplace, as well as earn the gratitude of all Americans, especially the 49% who voted against him. He could pay back the Teamsters for their support and bail out the bakers for their stupidity.

The campaign is over. He won.

All will be forgiven for a succulent Twinkie. Twinkies unify America.

The President should ask Michelle to temporarily suspend her campaign for healthy food and splurge on a Ding Dong before the camera. He could explain to Michelle that she could continue to eat lobsters in private.

Forget Benghazi, Petraeus, Israel, Gaza, or the Fiscal Clift. 

Twinkies have become the new symbol of America.

The President saved Twinkies.

If not, there’s still Little Debbie.

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