In the Dec. 29 Fence Post is a letter from Gregg Bettcher about the closing of Hostess products. He is blaming their union in part for not persuading employees to take yet another pay cut. If I remember correctly, the employees and their union had agreed to two previous pay cuts to help their employer out. I do not know how much the company wanted back this time, but perhaps it came to the point where the employees and union figured -- this wont be enough to live on.
Here's my thought: If prices of ingredients have gone up, then raise the price of the product itself. It happens every day. What sacrifices have been made by upper management? Has their salary reduced twice already in the past? My bet would be no. Did management try for a reorganization under the bankruptcy laws? Mr. Bettcher, if the union has lost 18,500 employees, they also lost union dues contributions from 18,500 people, and most likely health care contributions, so it's not good for the union either.
In my experience in the trucking industry, I saw upper management making a fortune while the people who do the actual work have to fight for every benefit and salary. I saw failing CEO's getting multimillion-dollar severance pay when the company was not performing as needed. So I imagine the upper management of Hostess will end up with a nice chunk of change when they sell so they don't really care about the 18,500 people who now face unemployment.
Perhaps whoever buys the Hostess name will rehire some of those workers, I hope so.