Letter: Family wage jobs dinged

Published:

 

I know all you junk food junkies are salivating over the reintroduction of the Twinkie to grocery store shelves. While you are gobbling down your Twinkie, pause for a moment to think of the hundreds of family wage jobs that were lost during the Hostess Brands bankruptcy. These jobs paid good wages, with health and retirement benefits, and yes, they were union jobs.

In the months before the bankruptcy, Hostess management asked the union for wage and benefit concessions to help keep the company solvent. The union agreed. In the following months the CEO of Hostess earned nearly $2 million. Company executives and the board of directors salaries received hefty bonuses. They then went back to the union workers for more concessions. The union said "no" and went on strike. Of course, management blamed the union. In the Chapter 11 bankruptcy hearings, Hostess was able to rid themselves of union contracts and pension obligations, but were able to keep and reorganize their money.

While you are munching away on your Twinkie and wondering why the price hasn't gone down, be glad you have an employer who values you as an employee. Or do you? The workers at Hostess thought so, too.

Terry Viertel

Vancouver