Is it possible that anyone still believes that Hostess' bankruptcy was caused by "greedy unions?" Not with stories like this leaking from the bankruptcy filing. Seems like the Hostess parent company stopped paying money into worker pensions in 2011 and pocketed the pension money instead.
Gregory Rayburn, Hostess's chief executive officer, said in an interview it is "terrible" that employee wages earmarked for the pension were steered elsewhere by the company.
"I think it's like a lot of things in this case," he added. "It's not a good situation to have."
Mr. Rayburn became chief executive in March and learned about the issue shortly before the company shut down, he said. "Whatever the circumstances were, whatever those decisions were, I wasn't there," he said.
You see? It's not his fault. He's just doing a hard job and licking his lips over that $1.8 million bonus package to keep working while the company dissolves.
Just so we get this straight: the workers did just what we're all told to do... make short-term sacrifices to save for a secure future. But who gets the secure future? The vulture capitalists who bought the company with the intention of treating it like a stolen car: something you break up and sell for parts.
For example, John Jordan, a union official and former Hostess employee, said workers at a Hostess factory in Biddeford, Maine, agreed to plow 28 cents of their 30-cents-an-hour wage increase in November 2010 into the pension plan.
Hostess was supposed to take the additional 28 cents an hour and contribute it to the workers' pension plan.
"This local was very aggressive about saving for the future," he said.
Employees in Biddeford began directing wages toward pensions in 1955, and the amount grew to $4.28 an hour per employee.
What sort of recourse to employees have? Well... none, apparently.
"It's what lawyers call betrayal without remedy," said James P. Baker, a partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP who specializes in employee benefits and isn't involved in the Hostess case. "It's sad, but that stuff does happen, unfortunately."
"Betrayal without remedy." That kind of describes much of today's corporate business model, doesn't it?
How is it NOT against the law for a company to steal worker pension money? Ask your congresscritters.... they wrote the laws.