Twinkies, Pensions, Real Wages and Poverty

wonder breadThe loss of the Hostess Twinkie is a symbol of a new era for the American worker. Chemical cupcakes usher in the race to the economic bottom, where the new business operandi is the stripping of worker wages and benefits. Gone are middle class incomes and lifestyles for most. Here are temporary jobs, no benefits and assuredly no retirement. America has been sliced, and diced, just like Wonder Bread.

Hostess blamed the baker's union for the closure. Yet they managed to send their pensions straight to bankruptcy, to be taken over by PBGC. The same thing happened to Delphi salaried workers and now many are living in poverty instead of enjoying their hard earned and counted on retirement. We can't blame the unions for standing firm for if Hostess had gotten what they demanded, those jobs would have been about the same as working at Walmart. Hostess borrowed $3 dollars the union workers normally contributed to their pensions and a bankruptcy judge ruled Hostess didn't have to pay the workers back. Unfortunately this is routine, companies raiding people's retirement that they worked hard and paid for.

According to the BLS, real weekly earnings adjusted for inflation for Q3 2012 are the same as Q4 2007. Even worse, seasonally adjusted real weekly earnings for full time workers, all occupations, are at similar levels to the mid 1980's.

 

real wages week

 

Overall, weekly earnings dropped -0.2% in October and since October 2010 have fallen by -1.8%. The above graph means 50% of workers are earning less than $332 per week in real purchasing power, accounting for inflation since 1982-194. Not adjusted for inflation, the median weekly earnings for all occupations was $765 in Q3 2012. Now think about rents of $1500+ a month in many cities and how 50% of all earners are making less than $765 per week, before taxes.

Retirement benefits are only offered to 75% of private workers. Most companies offer 401ks which are dependent upon the whims of the stock market. Just last week the largest pension insurer, the PBGC, posted a $34 billion dollar shortfall to cover pensions. In short, America's retirement has been raided.

Increasingly workers are getting squeezed, their piece of the economic pie eaten by private equity or corporations for an increased quarterly profit. Did you know in 2011 2.2 million workers earned below minimum wage? The Federal minimum wage was $7.25 per hour. There were 3.8 million wage workers earning $7.25/hr or less in 2011. This is 5.2% of the 73.9 million workers paid hourly. While half of these workers were in restaurants and food services, where one might obtain tips, it's clear slavery in the kitchen has new meaning for 18.3% were involved in food preparation services.

 

below minimum 2-11

 

Below is the real hourly wage, or adjusted for inflation since 1980. Again we see in terms of real dollars, workers aren't really getting ahead.

 

real hrly wage 12

 

The Census released their alternative poverty rate and it shows 16.1% of people in America were in poverty in 2011. The official poverty rate for the same time period was 15.1%. This alternative measure takes into account government payments, such as food stamps, social security, geographical cost of living and the high cost of medical expenses for seniors. Below are their rates by age bracket.

 

poverty 2011

 

That's an incredibly large section of the population in poverty and as we can see by the median wage, workers are becoming broker and broker.

This is our new normal, corporations can steal worker's retirement by liquidating, jobs are offshore outsourced, people are fired and wages are repressed. All hail chemical cupcakes as America becomes toxic for those who work for a living.

Meta: 

Comments

Thanksgiving dinner $ comparison over time would be depressing

Looking at the median wages, not even sure during the highest point how people were getting by. A truly depressing stat would be the median price of Thanksgiving feast over the years graphed along with the median wages. Because I haven't seen any evidence that the so-called "peace dividend" that we were supposed to enjoy falling the end of the Cold War has translated to the homes and hearths of the US. In fact, things are getting worse for the average American. Food always goes up, while wages stagnate or are forced down. And the Thanksgiving Day dinner doesn't allow for the substitution games the Fed and USG like to engage in (e.g., if oil/gasoline becomes too expensive, people will merely substitute cheaper goods like horsedrawn carriages or good sneakers to walk 20 miles to work). No, Thanksgiving must include turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pies, etc.

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

I might be able to dig that out

Last year it was estimated to be up by 11-22% from 2010. This year the price has decreased but to go back to 1980, I'd have to dig in some databases to see.

The above real earnings are wages normalized by CPI-U, but the base year is the average of 1982-1984.

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

Who controls the media on the Hostess liquidation story?

Folks, if you dig out what the bakers union was striking about, their pensions destroyed, their wages cut to the top rate of about $11.25/hr over the space of 5 years and that's for people working there the longest, it's no wonder the union wouldn't make a deal. It's really outrageous to squeeze skilled labor to wages they probably would have been foreclosed on, lose their retirement at.

Yet the MSM narrative is somehow the Hostess bankruptcy is the union's fault. That's obviously B.S. It was management, the company that drove Hostess into the ground. For one, they couldn't make the transition into healthier foods and lord knows what else is wrong with their management, did they expand abroad and so on.

Blaming union workers seems to be a theme and there is mega high correlation to unions and better working conditions, wages for labor. The attack on unions here is also very bad news generally for the U.S. middle class and it's clear who controls the MSM, corporations.

Where is the government, bankruptcy courts in things like this, instead of legalizing pension theft, they should be awarding assets of the company to the union in a liquidation sale. How can company after company break commitments, contracts to labor and even in a liquidation event, that labor not be 1st for assets and profits from those assets?

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

Private equity, 50% of Hostess

Here is vulture capitalism again. The unions are blasting back about Hostess. Seems from their 2009 bankruptcy (they also went into bankruptcy in 2004), private equity swooped in and bought up junk bonds. Ripplewood in exchange for a controlling interest in Hostess (50%). There are three private equity firms who obtained a controlling stake. They targeted worker's pensions because it was an almost $1 billion liability to the pension trust fund.

This has got to stop, private equity swooping in on distress companies for profits and being allowed to dismantle retirement obligations to turn a profit.

I found this about Ripplewood Holdings:

The top management got huge pay increases.

EXECUTIVE PAY INCREASES THIS YEAR:

Brian Driscoll, CEO, around $750,000 to $2,550,000
Gary Wandschneider, EVP, $500,000 to $900,000
John Stewart, EVP, $400,000 to $700,000
David Loeser, EVP, $375,000 to $656,256
Kent Magill, EVP, $375,000 to $656,256
Richard Seban, EVP, $375,000 to $656,256
John Akeson, SVP, $300,000 to $480,000
Steven Birgfeld, SVP, $240,000 to $360,000
Martha Ross, SVP, $240,000 to $360,000
Rob Kissick, SVP, $182,000 to $273,008

As well as Hostess management in the 1990's paid themselves outrageous executive compensation packages and went on an ill-advised acquisition spree.

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

This is the epitome of the short-term thinking destroying us

This is what? Example #234,555 in the last 30 years of how the short-term "thinking" by certain people in power (and even in the general populace) is killing us.

What does private equity actually do? What do the large consulting firms actually do? Private equity piles on massive debt short-term, loots goodies like pensions, capital like critical machinery, cuts wages, sells off key IP and voila = great short term profits for the MBA boys that live 1,500 miles away. The workers and communities that just got f*cked, well, they're out of luck. So now the rest of the country has to cover pension losses, try to help out fellow citizens through unemployment, cover increasing social cost of crime, mental and physical health issues, decreasing tax base in communities in every single county across the country, etc. Consulting firms are the same, they get paid to give some CEO and his minions cover to cut critical employees, "streamline" this or that, outsource, and whatever else he can do to cut costs and through transformation that some consulting company approved, give himself and his boys/girls big ol' paychecks. Long-term, the company is destroyed.

Glass-Steagall eliminations - sponsors of the bill, Goldman Sachs and other banksters, lobbyists, bankster law firms, and other assorted criminals get rich. Medium and long-term, financial carnage unleashed as FDIC-backed banks that are backstopped by you and I engage in essentially roulette in which the quiet, bookreading librarians are on the hook for crack addicts betting billions and trillions of dollars on red or black, heads or tails. When it pays out, the gamblers and their friends get insanely rich. When it doesn't, they get just a little less rich and pass the bill on to the folks at home that had no control of the crackhead gamblers.

Outsourcing - short-term, loot for the CEOs that see people as costs only. Medium and long-term, massive unemployment that continues to grow. Loss of belief that education, skills, work ethic mean a damn thing. Loss of faith in politcians or American business in general. Critical issues like our enemies controlling our defense technology, American-developed IP that cost trillions to develop but can be stolen in a wink of the eye overseas. ID theft constantly increasing as credit agencies, banks, contractors, etc send information that other Americans would have to have security clearances for over to people that are willing to work the cheapest, if they are criminals or terrorists, that doesn't matter, it's only if they work cheap.

Visa abuses - same thing.

Military - arm people that have a common enemy because "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." See Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, etc.

Banks laundering money for criminals, terrorists and other assorted crimes - short-term, banksters get rich. Long-term, our Nation's safety is put at peril, crime increases, criminals get more powerful and wealthier, and people see more and more the rule of law, equality before the law, and other themes are only so much propaganda when they look at the big banks and people like Dimon and Corzine spitting in the face of the rest of the country and literally laughing all the way to the banks/financial companies they work at while getting insanely rich through their crimes or jobs that a trained seal could do for a few fish, not the 100s of millions of dollars American and foreign bankers make.

And on. And on. And on.

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

bottom line

What you're seeing in each case is people at the top getting something for nothing. The imbalance in those transactions goes down the ladder, and at the bottom you have people who get nothing for something. That's why hourly workers are losing ground, that's why equity is concentrating, that's why the unions are painted as villains.

We're paying the 1% a commission with every transaction, in interest, in lost wages, in hidden fees, and who knows what else. They're not doing a thing to earn that money, they're just tinkering with the system to squeeze another fraction of a penny out of each transaction. I am beyond fed up.

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

mediation agreement between "Hostess" and Union

Frankly, I think the deck is stacked against workers since we know private equity is involved with a controlling interest. That said, CNBC just tweeted that the union and Hostess have agreed to mediation, we'll assume that possibly means arbitrator, so their ruling would be final, dunno, but this pension raiding for profits just should be made illegal period. Pensions should be the #1 secured credit, end of story.

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

My figures show a longer

A few years ago I wrote a paper for a local newspaper about wage stagnation. My calculations showed that wage stagnation went back into the early 1970's.

At the moment I am really PO'd about the stores opening early Thanksgiving evening. As more people are now part-time workers, this effects people who never had to participate in the holiday workforce.

I never participate in the Black Friday mayhem because to me, it is a picture of temporary insanity. Going shopping on Thanksgiving evening? I don't care if they are giving away the latest greatest "whatever" on Thursday night, I wouldn't go. It is the principal of the matter. But I am sure like a herd of animals, people will flock to the stores on Thursday night. It is an interesting site and tells me a lot about American society. They can't wait to go deeper in debt.

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

Re: "Hostess Baker's Union" stories

Thanks so much for the research and graphs. Am going to forward it to local newspapers.

Had not heard the phrase "chemical cupcakes" before. But like it.

Nostalgia outbreak for end of "snack cake" is something Brecht might use well.

Regards,
Will

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

Look at Deloitte/KPMG scandal with HP, talk abot useless eaters

When people are struggling to feed and clothe themselves this Thanksgiving, look at the useless eaters that still roll in big cash but apparently are completely clueless or just flat-out criminals. Deloitte screwed up or ignored major accounting issues with HP's acquisition of another company, and KPMG did the same thing when reviewing Deloitte's work. Due diligence? Isn't that what these big boys and girls get paid six and seven figures to do? I mean that's their job, their only job! Don't worry, they won't be fired, that's for those who lack "skills." Apparently not doing the sole job one is paid big money to do is not a "skills gap," it's par for the course. So, the former CEO of HP and current CEO, any mention of how the "best and brightest" can completely mess this up or is that not allowed in the business press on Fox or in Forbes or by everyone's favorite Australian hacker? So tragic. Other news is that SAC had insider trading going on and that case is implicating more and more corporations. Best and brightest, job creators sound so ridiculous, don't they, everytime a new day dawns and their incompetence or criminal behavior is revealed yet again.

So as the law-abiders and hard workers in America look to find jobs, suffer endlessly, and struggle to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving and look hard for reasons to give thanks, the criminals at the top or the absolutely idiotic continue to get richer beyond our wildest dreams all for doing things that would get us fired, not hired ever again, or sent to prison for very long stretches. If you owned a small business, you'd go bankrupt for this within a few weeks and face criminal prosecution, no deals over coffee with your local district's US Attorney. But don't dare talk about holding these big players accountable or taxing them, oh no, that's just wrong.

It seems only yesterday that Enron imploded and CEO after CEO was named for scams or insider trading, big accounting and consulting were implicated, and many things were really, really going to be different this time, big corporations were going to behave, no really. Nothing's changed. In fact, some of the companies and corporate leaders are still the same, they might change office buildings or the company names on their business cards, but it's business aka crime and incompetence as usual. In fact, some of them feel so blessed that they want to rule us as politicians directly when not bribing, sorry, contributing, to other politicians.

All these folks love to look to China as some sort of model (but only when it means low labor costs, no rules or regulations, and the power to do whatever American CEOs want to do). Okay, let's play along. Ignoring the fact that the Communist Party runs the show and these CEOs could never actually have this much power there, do these CEOs and top corporate folks know what would happen for such incompetence and corruption when the Party wants to send a message once in a while to appease the masses and keep the idiots/criminals in check? Yup, arrest and quick execution are an option over there, and are used without hesitation. So keep on looking overseas and praising foreign nations at the expense of your fellow citizens while enjoying the freedom and protections this country gives you while you steal and mess up time and time again. What a joke, a sick, nationally-destructive joke.

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

business profits not linked up to actual production these days

To me HP is a classic example of how to destroy a great company through labor arbitrage, bean counter acquisitions, offshore outsourcing, H-1B visas, executive bonuses and stupid accounting tricks.

I have an "ancient" HP scientific calculator that was state of the art in 1990. I'm still using this calculator, it's that well made, has lasted all of this time and still is damn useful in terms of the mathematical functions available.

I wouldn't buy an HP printer if it was the last brand on Earth. Not only do they gouge on ink with putting microchips in the ink cartridges (pathetic). they break, they jam, they leak. their software should be labeled spyware/malware. It's like one big advertisement on your machine and it won't even uninstall. Beyond pathetic, outright evil.

The entire company was ruined by executives out to line their own pockets with acquisition bonuses, short term thinking by labor arbitraging their engineers and ridiculous business roadmaps where they kill entire product lines seemingly because they experienced a harsh wind. Completely clueless on how to develop, make inroads into new market areas. Anything that has to do with real innovation, real products, real ventures these cats are clueless. They have a shell of a company and that's because they gutted it over time. Literally labor arbitraged their advance R&D engineers, no surprise they cannot compete in new products as a result.

A great example of incompetence and greed at the top. HP was one of the great engineering firms and along with IBM really typify the destruction of an American industry.

Unfortunately this is systemic. The way to power and top dollar isn't simply making great products and providing great services, it's all acquisitions, labor arbitraging the staff to point one wonders who even works there, executive bonuses, silly accounting tricks and marketing weirdness into emerging markets brew ha ha.

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

Absolutely, plus the ethics of today crush true innovators

Absolutely. It's funny, but looking at old school construction of houses, farms, apartments, and the way even leasing or buying a house today are handled, everything has become build cheap, exploit buyers/renters, scam fees and fines at every turn. Hey, if a bank screws you on a mortgage and you wind up with interest rates you never signed off on or wind up being foreclosed on because they keep "losing the paperwork," oh well, go sue them. Let's think about the long-term implications of all the crap that goes on today. Basically the abuses and excuses and powergrabs by big corporations + politicians scare the crap out of people that want to work hard + come up with really good new ideas + products. If I came up with a new book or a new idea for a computer or a new idea for a clothing line, would I trust any financier or bigger corporation to look at my plans for one second? Would I trust a law firm to review my plans if they also represented possible competition? Would I send off a storyline to a publisher or Hollywood and expect not to get ripped off? No, I expect to get robbed in USA 2012. And what's my recourse? Sue a big company. Great, I'll go into debt. Why bother. The system rewards unethical slugs and their protectors. Why take a risk, why work hard. Scum rises to the top nowadays and laughs (literally) when confronted with their crimes or trangressions.

Just watching Bloomberg, talking about fiscal cliff, and some Canadian investment jackhole is talking about how top rates should never come down because after "10 years, they are a part of the landscape." He also made sure to mention "uncertainty" a few times. And how what's needed is Social Security cuts, Medicare and other "entitlement cuts," and how any tax increases punish the "good people." What a dolt. I'm guessing if we said tax raises for billionaires are certain for the next 10000 years he wouldn't be blaming uncertainty and still wouldn't be pleased. So protection for the people that need help, like the poor, disabled, unemployed, and so on, envisioned more than 200+ years ago by none other than Founding Father Thomas Paine and others, and legislated by FDR and other 70+ years ago, is somehow not "part of the landscape" of the USA but Bush tax cuts 10 years ago are? Or how Glass-Steagall really seemed to work for 60+ years and was certain but that wasn't good? Am I hearing this right? Yeah, they really are that stupid and will say and do anything for $. What pathetic sock puppets.

I call BULLSH*T on all of it. I'm so tired of these people on Bloomberg, in the press, in corporate boardrooms acting like the folks that backstabbed their way to the top or didn't have a single novel idea in the world are somehow the saviors of the universe. And plus these people get to step on Grandma Millie (Enron taped conversation where they purposely shutdown powergrid to jackup rates in California) are somehow innovators. No, that's crap. I've said it here before, I'll say it again, and I'll keep saying it, look at the true innovators, the great thinkers. And I'm not talking about consumerist crap and "Damn, let's sell slave-made products to people on Black Thursday 2 p.m. or Friday and call that great advances." I'm talking about people like Tesla (mad props, pure genius, one of the great examples of an immigrant changing the world and getting screwed over by banksters and Edison), Salk (helped the world and didn't ask for a dime because "can you patent the Sun?") I wonder, would Salk or Tesla appear on Bloomberg and talk about how the great innovators are now sitting in corporate boardrooms and in front of hedge fund computers and demand that the poor, unemployed, elderly, and disabled veterans somehow find a job and work until they turn 80 (as if big bosses are hiring those folks in the US anyway). No, they wouldn't.
And yet these people appear on TV, screw over the people that need the most help all so that they get richer at their expense.

You know TV is a great example of our "democracy." The people with the power and money (rarely earned through brains or hardwork) appear multiple time on multiple channels ad nauseum. The unemployed, vets that need jobs, elderly, average struggling American never appear, never. And yet the .0001% appear all the time and spew their views to the exclusion of anything else and they lap it up.

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

business as usual to screw the U.S. worker

That's the bottom line, they aren't innovating, creating new sectors, new markets to employ the U.S. worker. It's all about squeezing the U.S. workers, labor arbitrage and then a myriad of ways to squeeze a dime. Most derivatives typify the mentality. Creation of profits on fictional mathematical models and what does that have to do with a production economy, real products, real services, value added people hired.

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

When layoffs are announced, CEOs should be up first

Only way this madness stops is former and current CEOs are the first ones on the chopping block (former CEO's performance would be reviewed by the company currently employing them - why retain losers that screwed up their other companies). Same way only way banksters will care about customers and ID theft is if they personally pay a fine for every screw up. They'd learn right quick. If corporate boards had any balls/integrity/concern for shareholders, they would demand that CEOs' performance be examined thoroughly and anything that wouldn't be tolerated by the lowest paid employee would be grounds for dismissal, claw backs on salaries, bonuses, stock options, etc. whenever a CEO sought to cut a company down to boost their own paychecks.

Meg Whitman announced what, 20,000, or 30,000 HP employees + could be fired earlier? Those people were hired for reasons, right? Unless HR completely sucks (okay, they do, but still), some percentage of those people had to pass some screening, had to be contributors, and were valuable to HP at some point. I'll even say the vast majority of those people probably were valuable employees that had skills and educational backgrounds that could contribute a great deal to HP and/or competitors. But HP and corporate America can just cut those people to pad the CEO's bonuses? Of course that is self-destructive. But look at Whitman and the former CEO, they skate and get to keep huge amounts of loot for gross incompetence? If corporate America is all about "creating jobs," "profits," "building better products and services," how does that compute? It doesn't. As everyone knows, it's a closed club mean to rape and pillage companies for the top brass and the rubber stamping interlocking directorates of all these corporations. Sounds almost like the bad old days before people like Teddy R. gave a crap. Oh well, so much for the last 100 years. Back to the Gilded Age.

Meg, could you please resign, show an ounce of class or brains, return your salary, and go do something valuable like move sand on the beach from one location to another using a tweezer. It will keep you busy while preventing any further destruction with your company and to American workers.

Same could be said for all these folks. Marissa Mayer, hired for big bucks (up to $129 million, awesome, how many worker could be hired or paid more for that cash), what's her turnaround plan? Who knows, but it does include firing people. Don't they always? Does it include earning as much as the lowest-paid employee? No, no way, how can someone fire 1,000-100,000 people and do that for only $10,000, or $20,000 or even $100,000/yr. No, the tough job of firing the brains and muscle and actual worker bees that imagine, create, design, produce, transport, sell, and maintain products and services demands at least $10,000,000 yr. Oh, a private car and driver. And stock options. And bonus. Private jet? Sure, CEOs deserve it, the elderly don't deserve Social Security, but CEOs deserve everything. Plenty o' vacation time? Why not. And the asskissing business press slathers on the praise because she's a woman, forgetting about all the female employees that they fire.

Men and women CEOs, taking care of America's workers, whether they are disabled, have cancer or diabetes or asthma or MS, are pregnant, taking care of young children or elderly parents, one pinkslip at a time. Thank you big CEOs, you deserve every million you earn.

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

One would think HP has run out of people to fire by now

They have been doing slash and burn in earnest since 2000, offshore outsourcing guest workers using recessions as an excuse.

Right the one policy as a theme we never heard promoted is tethering bonuses, corporate profits to the health and welfare of the employees. Tax breaks tied and enforced to hiring and retaining of U.S. workers. CEO bonuses as a percentage of worker hires. Bankruptcy courts which first thing, are allowed to throw worker pensions to the dogs and private equity firms get priority treatment on company assets.

There was clearly public outcry on executive bonuses at fever pitch during 2008/2009 and so of course politicians buried any chance of reforms.

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

Hostess bankruptcy judge

is now saying Hostess has to go back to liquidation because the unions wouldn't gave to having their livelihoods stolen.

Good God, this bankruptcy judge sure sounds like he has a philosophy. Using the courts to corporate raid and give labor the shaft has been quite the enterprise for some time. But considering both were willing to go mediation and I thought potentially arbitration, having a judge say "oh no you can't" seems pretty biased to me. There is only an entire brand and 20,000 jobs on the line. Gez, can't wait a week or two? Such a rush.

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

PBS "Frontline" "Poor Kids" last night - how u sleepin' Meg?

USA 2012. Thanksgiving. And let the bashing begin. PBS is some Commie Channel (vs. a channel paid for by an Aussie that paid Newt for citizenship and an Aussie (no beef against Aussies, just this one) that interferes with child murder investigations and bribes police internationally violating RICO and FCPA). Murdoch, inherit gifts from father much while calling everyone else lazy and corrupt?

Man, it's not even about that. It's about fellow Americans suffering needlessly, NEEDLESSLY, while the rich get richer and everyone else struggles to survive. "Peace dividend" my ass. And for those that dare, ever dare to question the values of those that ask these questions or state their disgust with the status quo on Thanksgiving, know this, vets are one of the biggest groups of unemployed in America 2012. Vets that the same Murdoch-run channel likes to say are being oppressed by the blue party, and you know my "love" for politicians dressed in blue and red is equal. Vets, those with PhDs and vets with said degrees, BAs, etc. And lots of politicians voted against helping vets gets jobs because that would violate budget rules (guess those same pols wouldn't sacrifice their salaries or healthcare to help those same vets). Meg Whitman, if you had a conscience, Pelosi, and on and on, I know you don't care, otherwise you would never enter politics or rise to CEO, where's the love for the 99.999%? But seriously, the rest of us, is this what we allow? Is this what our ancestors envisioned when they fled from wherever? Folks from Cambodia, Russia, Vietnam, Germany, and on, and on, and on, what is this?

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

One point consistently missed

One point consistently missed in the media narrative is that not only were the workers screwed so were the owners... the shareholders ... The debt holders and the managers (here which are one and the same) are the people who profit at the expense of the workers and shareholders. The two sides who have an ongoing stake in the success of an enterprise are trumped by those with the shortest possible term interest.

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

$1.8 million in bonuses to Hostess executives

What kind of justice is this? The bankruptcy judge on the Hostess liquidation approved $1.8 million in executive bonuses for 19 scum sucking Hostess executives while allowing these same executives to steal from worker pensions and not pay it back plus just destroyed pensions by sending them to the PBGC.

Meanwhile buy outs are coming in everywhere. So what happens here. Hostess executives get paid, workers lose their jobs and a huge chunk of their pensions (we'll see, most likely) and the products,assets are bought out by someone who in turn assuredly hires non-union workers and we get our chemical cupcakes back while workers lost their jobs, their pensions.

If this happens Hostess will become much more than a symbol of the 1970's chemical food and lifestyle of the U.S. middle class, it will become the symbol of the great screw the worker by any means possible agenda that has been happening, in cahoots with U.S. courts!

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.