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Showing blog posts tagged with bankruptcy

Bankruptcy as Corporate Tactic to Break Promises—and the Fight Back

Photo by Cathy Sherwin

Bankruptcy is being used by corporations—and now even by entire cities—as a sword to cut themselves free from legal obligations to workers who earned their pensions and retirement health care benefits. Wednesday’s action session “Bankrupting Retirement: Retirement Security and Bankruptcy as an Employer Strategy” at the 2013 AFL-CIO Convention convened four seasoned veterans of the battle to protect workers from a bankruptcy code skewed in favor of corporations. The discussion was moderated by Brandon Rees, acting director of the AFL-CIO Office of Investment.

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Detroit Unions Challenge City’s Bankruptcy Claims

Several unions representing Detroit city works and retirees challenged Detroit’s claim for bankruptcy protection. The challenges were filed Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit, the court which will determine if the city is eligible for bankruptcy protection. AFSCME Council 25 said the city has not proven it is insolvent and has not negotiated in good faith with its creditors.

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Executive Council: Detroit Bankruptcy Must Not Impoverish Workers, Retirees


Detroit’s bankruptcy filing “must not be used as a tool to impoverish city of Detroit workers or retirees,” says the AFL-CIO Executive Council, in a statement from its July meeting.

City workers already have made severe concessions to keep the city afloat. They are not to blame for Detroit’s financial problems, yet they have been making sacrifices all along the way to help the city out….The AFL-CIO will continue to support our city of Detroit active and retired members in their fight to maintain dignity on the job, a safe workplace, fair wages and benefits for their labor, and against cuts in the pensions they have paid for and earned.

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AFSCME and Michigan Working Families Respond to Detroit Bankruptcy Filing

From the Michigan Governor's Office.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) authorized a bankruptcy filing yesterday for the city of Detroit based on recommendations from financial manager Kevyn Orr, making it the largest city in the United States to ever take that step. AFSCME members and other public-sector workers were not consulted for input before the filing. 

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‘Stalking Horse’ Saddled Up in Bid for Twinkies

Two investment firms have been chosen as the bidders to beat for the Hostess Brands snack cakes division that includes the iconic Twinkies and that is being auctioned off as part of the Hostess bankruptcy proceedings.   

The two firms are Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo Global Management LLC. Known as “stalking horse” bidders, other firms must beat their $410 million bid to acquire the division.

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Hostess Workers Set the Record Straight

Mike Hummell says the men and women who made the iconic baked goods at Hostess Brands’ Lenexa, Kan., plant turned out quality products and “it was something everyone who worked there had a lot of pride in.”

That was until years of mismanagement coupled with unprecedented corporate greed bankrupted the company, stole the workers’ pensions and closed dozens of bakery plants’ doors in November. In this video, Hummell, a 14-year veteran of Hostess, and other members of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) Local 218, say they want to set the record straight.    

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It’s Greed, Pure and Simple

Berry Craig, recording secretary for the Paducah-based Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Area Council and a professor of history at West Kentucky Community and Technical College, is a former daily newspaper and Associated Press columnist and currently a member of AFT Local 1360. Craig sends us this.

Showing solidarity with our union brothers and sisters is a great way for us to ring in the New Year, says Jim Key, vice president at large of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 550 in Paducah, Ky. Key, also his local's legislative and political chairman, is asking union members and union supporters nationwide to take a minute to put their John Hancock on a White House cyber-petition against corporations that file for bankruptcy “to circumvent their liabilities for workers' pensions and post-retirement health care benefits.” (Click here to sign the petition.)

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TWU Demands Respect from American Airlines' Bankruptcy Court

Workers took to the street yesterday as American Airlines’ bankruptcy hearings began in New York City. Members of the Transport Workers (TWU), which represents American Airlines’ mechanics and fleet service employees, rallied with other union and community activists to demand that the court protect American jobs and collective bargaining rights and respect the value of work during the bankruptcy proceedings. Take a look at TWU’s video.

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American Backs off Plan to Dump Pensions

In February, American Airlines announced plans to eliminate the jobs of 13,000 workers and dump pension plans for nearly 90,000 workers into the federal government’s Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) as part of its bankruptcy plan. Roughly 9,000 Transport Workers (TWU) members are employed at American. But yesterday, following negotiations with the TWU and PBGC, American announced it was abandoning its pension proposal.

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