Junk food enthusiasts everywhere can celebrate, as the return of Twinkies is assured. The cream-filled golden cakes synonymous with childhoods past will be on shelves as early as July. They will be accompanied by Ho Hos, Zingers and Ding Dongs, but won’t be made by employees belonging to labor unions.
The company that bought the division of Hostess responsible for the production of Twinkies will set up shop in multiple locations across the country and bring jobs back to Columbus, Georgia and Emporia, Kansas–two locations that closed following the demise of Hostess Brands, Inc. amid a labor dispute last November. Investment groups Metropoulos and Apollo Global Management (NASDAQ:APO) bought the brands along with other Dolly Madison products following a public outcry about the disappearance of the classic junk food staple.
NBC News reported that many of the company’s old plants will reopen after it hires non-union employees to fill the vacated Teamsters and Bakery Union positions. Michael Cramer, Executive VP of the new Hostess, seemed adamant in his attempt to avoid working with unions, which refused to continue under the existing conditions and forced the hand of company officials last year…
“We’re sure not going to invite the unions in,” Cramer told NBC. The reopening of many of the original Hostess plants will mark a significant blow to labor unions, many of which are still smarting from the efforts to weaken organizations in Wisconsin and other places. The blueprint is enticing for investors hoping to circumvent organized labor: simply dissolve the company, revamp the approach and use the same facilities to begin business again. Manufacturing jobs are filled quickly.
Of course, the protection offered by unions in exchange for dues was not delivered to members in the case of the Hostess debacle. Employees would have been forced to sacrifice large parts of wages or benefits in order to prevent the factories making Twinkies from closing. In many ways, the story of Hostess’s end was the story of any failing company. There is no way to stop unions from forming, of course, making Cramer’s company vulnerable to the same disputes that troubled the former Hostess.
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