Thursday, November 22, 2012

Chemical Laden Management

Beyond the nostalgia and old jokes about Hostess Twinkies being circulated in the media is the real story of how Hostess management enriched themselves by draining the employee pension fund and then expected the company's bakers to accept almost the minimum wage. It's told by Robert Oak in Economic Populist.

Tim Boyle/Getty Images
Hostess was bought and ruined by vulture capitalists of the Mitt Romney Bain Capital type. It was bought with junk bonds, and then raided for whatever the new owners could get out of it, including the worker's pension fund. A bankruptcy judge ruled the owners didn't have to pay the employees back.

If they're lucky the workers will find jobs at places like Wal Mart. Their jobs, their health care, the pensions they were promised, are gone. "They're just taking from us," Kenneth Johnson, 46, a Hostess worker told the Huffington Post. He said he earned roughly $35,000 with overtime last year, down from about $45,000 five years ago, and like others said he'd rather go on unemployment and look for another job than give up any more.

Oak looked into one of Hostess' owners during an exchange of comments following the story:


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.

These same bastards tell the media that Hostess is broke because of greedy unions, and the media gladly passes it on. As Oak recounts the same thing happened to the Delphi workers who make parts for GM cars, and many now live in poverty. This is happening all over the country. Management awards themselves with multimillions and our average wages and living standards head downward. Profits are at record highs, because the profit is being extracted from our paychecks.

Meanwhile, they have us fighting with each other over whether we want Democrats or Republicans to oversee our impoverishment. We elected Democrats, where are they? Hostess workers will retire into poverty so Ripplewood executives can live in luxury. Has Barak Obama done anything about it? Has one single Democrat said one single thing?

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