The following story was sent to us by a retired BCTGM Local 24 member. It is a true account of a dedicated bakery worker who grew up in and with Interstate Bakeries Corp. (IBC), in its various forms. Like his father before him, he spent his career working hard and supporting his family with good wages and the protection of a union contract. And like his father, he watched as the company was mismanaged and began the spiral of demise.
As part of its liquidation filing, Hostess is requesting approval to pay $1.75 million in bonuses to executives—the same executives who ran the company so poorly it is closing its doors and liquidating its assets.
While Hostess Brands is trying to scapegoat the workers and members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), the real cause of the company's collapse can be traced back to its crony capitalism and consistently poor management.
Amy Masciola, a union campaign consultant, sends us this.
More than six months ago, American Crystal Sugar Co. locked out more than 1,300 sugar beet workers in the Red River Valley of Minnesota and North Dakota. Two months ago, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. locked out more than 1,000 workers in Findlay, Ohio. Last week, Caterpillar announced it would shut down a plant in Ontario, just over one month after locking out 500 workers. Rio Tinto Alcan locked out 750 workers in Quebec Jan. 1. HealthBridge locked out 800 nursing home workers in Connecticut in December. As Laura Clawson at the Daily Kos notes, “For evidence of a war on workers, look no further than the rise of the lockout.”
While Republican lawmakers and right-wing talking heads try to demonize the union movement, physicians, nurses, flight instructors, technicians, bakers and more are the latest workers to choose a voice on the job with AFL-CIO unions.
The French-based sugar and starch maker Roquette Frères opened its production plant in Keokuk, Iowa, 20 years ago, and its promise to create high-quality jobs was a key factor in winning support from local workers and local and state governments. Over the years, the firm has enjoyed tens of millions of dollars in tax benefits and other financial help.