bankruptcy and strike replacments
Articles are attached.
In January 2012, the 86 year old Hostess Brands, which is known around the world as the “Twinkie Maker,” filed for bankruptcy protection. As a result, 19,000 workers were left without a job. Hostess was successful in reaching a new contract with its largest union, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, but talks between the company and its second largest union, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers International Union were unsuccessful and the union went on strike. Hostess then filed for bankruptcy arguing that the company could not financially handle an extended nationwide strike. This was the second time the company had to use bankruptcy to address its finances with many of the issues being blamed on the unions and their contractual cost to the company. In the end, thousands of workers are out of work with the potential of only 1,500 being picked-up by the new owner.
- Do you feel that Hostess’ decision to file for bankruptcy was a result of the financial burden imposed by the strike as management claimed, or was it a way out for a struggling company that was already headed to its second trip to bankruptcy court? Please explain.
- The new CEO does not expect for the company to be represented by unions going forward, what strategies could management use to prevent the newly hired employees from feeling the need to become unionized?
- International Brotherhood of Teamsters was willing to accept the terms of the new contract, while the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers International Union rejected the new contract and imposed a strike. What lessons could other unions learn from the outcome of this strike?
- Union president, David Durkee, believes that the union is in a better position as a result of the strike. Do you agree or disagree? Please support your answer.
- Explain what have you learned about strike replacements. Should the NLRA be revised to prohibit the use of temporary or permanent strike replacements?