The Unions Didn’t Take Your Twinkies: Goldman Sachs Asset Strippers Did

by Scott Creighton

UPDATE: The online marketing agencies are getting bank on this one: take a gander at a few of these comments from the “alternative” (read as neoliberal “Washington Consensus”) sites:

“hammerhead says:

i will miss the twinkie ( sob ).

its sad to see 18000 people being fired , but the union would not take an 8% concession?
its time to get rid of these union thugs , RIGHT TO WORK! , should be law in every state .
let the employees negotiate their own wages based on merit .
no more federal worker unions
no more state workers unions
no more teachers unions
no more collectivism in the US .” Prison Planet

Re: Who actually stole your Twinkies? It wasn’t the Labor Unions
“yeah yeah yeah… the evil and greedy rich people.
go die in a fire, tesla…. please.
gaggot.” Godlike Productions

-

The Union with their incessant demand for More and More entitlements finally hit the end of the road.”  Godlike Productions

————–

or… The Ebil Union Ate My Ding Dong

It’s being unquestioningly repeated on various fake alternative sites that shall go unnamed (Prison Planet) that Hostess Brands Inc. went under taking their Twinkies with them, due to the big bad evil unions.  Hostess CEO Gregory F. Rayburn went on NBC and promptly declared that they just couldn’t weather yet another nationwide strike. The war on the middle class continues. Any opportunity for big business to demonize and further marginalize organized labor and collective bargaining is readily jumped upon by the petty bourgeoisie. Unfortunately these ridiculous and unsubstantiated claims will go unexamined by our “alternative’ media honeypots like Prison Planet for example.

Here’s the real story: The Unions gave and gave and gave… it was General Electric, Monarch Alternative Capital and Silver Point Capital that ate your Twinkie.

Hostess Brands Inc. struck a deal with their largest union, the Teamsters, this week. A smaller union called for a strike due to the fact that Hostess wanted to cut their wages and benefits AGAIN this past September. They had already stopped paying into their pension plan last year.

“The Irving, Texas-based company had already reached a contract agreement with its largest union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. But thousands of members in its second-biggest union went on strike late last week after rejecting in September a contract offer that cut wages and benefits. Officials for the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union say the company stopped contributing to workers’ pensions last year.” NBC

The pittance of additional money they wanted for putting food on their table or, God Forbid, buying something for their kids (greedy bastards, right libertarians?) was not the crux of the financial problems of Hostess Brands.

That would be the whopping $700 million dollar loans they had taken out last year from a consortium of vulture capitalist asset stripper firms who specialize in loaning companies money and then stripping them down to the bone for profit.

In fact, they were on the verge of bankruptcy last December when they cried and moaned that they couldn’t keep the doors open with those loan payments while paying into the unions pension fund.

So the union gave up their pensions.

Let me repeat that, the union gave up their pensions to keep Hostess afloat.

The unions came back to work after the 2004 bankruptcy after making serious concessions.

Do you know who didn’t make concessions? The financing companies that made Hostess Brands Inc. the $700 million dollars worth of loans. They wanted their money and they wanted Hostess to stick it too the workers to pay for it (sound like Greece to anyone else?)

“There is a concern that if it files again, the result could be liquidation with many of its brands, including Hostess, Wonder, Nature’s Pride, and Drake’s, sold for cash.

In that scenario, the first to be paid would likely be the company’s lenders, including General Electric, Monarch Alternative Capital and Silver Point Capital.” NY Post Dec. 2011

Monarch Alternative Capital is a New York based firm with offices in Israel (they’re proud enough of that fact to put it on the front page of their website, so there it is)

Monarch is headed by Micheal A. Weinstock, a long time “distressed debt” asset stripper who’s bio page proudly lists this:

“… he was an investment banker for seven years at Salomon Brothers and Goldman Sachs working on corporate finance, securitization, and mergers and acquisitions transactions.. He currently serves on the Investment Committee of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Metro-West New Jersey.” Weinstock bio page

Silver Point Capital is another asset stripper vulture capitalist firm. Once again, guess where they got their start?

“Silver Point Capital was established in 2002 by Goldman Sachs alums Edward A. Mule and Robert J. O’Shea. Today they manage approximately 8 billion dollars with a staff of over 100 employees in Greenwich, Connecticut….

… Mr. Mule was a managing director and partner at Goldman Sachs. More specifically, he was the joint Head of the firm’s special situations group which exclusively concentrated on distressed debt. He was also a member of an internal committee known as Profit Enhancement which focused on cost cutting in order to turn around failing companies

… the firm tirelessly seeks complex situations where they can capitalize on their fundamental analysis skills and proactive style of investment management, especially with restructuring and distressed situations.” Hedge Fund Letters

The All American Twinkie bites the bullet.

What better opportunity to use this story to further demonize collective bargaining and the working people of this county.

But that’s not what happened. Poor management (whether accidental or done by someone looking to give the asset strippers a toehold into the company) led to opening the door to 3 vulture capitalist companies. Little IMF/World Bank asset strippers who will now profit from the liquidation and the fire sale of Hostess Brands Inc.

Some company, perhaps a South Korean or an Israeli company?, will come along and buy up various brands and start cranking them out in shit-hole Free Trade Zones (in Haiti or the West Bank perhaps?) where they can pay workers 10 pennies an hour.

But it was not the evil unions that did this. It wasn’t the greed of the working man. It was greed though, pure and simple. The workers had made concession after concession to keep the factory up and running. There were even some workers crossing the picket lines of the week old strike but according to Hostess’ CEO that just wasn’t enough.

Nothing would have been enough because the vulture capitalists wanted it all. Now they stand to make a fortune while the fake alternatives and the MSM are busy blaming the unions.

(And just for the record, how long do you think “libertarian” AJ would continue doing his little side show were the Mossad, the NSA and the Koch brothers to withhold his pension or cut back his paychecks? You think he can live off his Wal-Mart pyramid scheme forever?)

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20 Responses

  1. Sucking us dry, sucking us dry. One of the many evil things on the elite’s wish list is to send American workers back to the days depicted in the shattering and game-changing novel by Sinclair Lewis, “The Jungle”. If that novel is not required reading by all high-school students, it should be. My bet would be that it is on ‘banned book’ lists.

    • We’re heading back to the days of Charles Dickens. Workhouses, waifs on the streets pickpocketing for their masters, hell, go take a look at that stupid Gangs of New York where the fire companies are for-profit companies fighting each other and setting fire to houses that don’t pay their protection fees. A lawless, corrupt, completely unregulated world. The only difference will be that instead of gangs, you have NIKE or BANK OF AMERICA.

      • But hey, at least that means we’ve got all that “liberty” right?

        Liberty to be used and treated like a commodity, to have our lives ruined, and to be doomed to preserve neoliberalism…

      • Speaking of people, you know guys know what today is? The 23rd anniversary of the murder of six Jesuits, their housekeeper, and her daughter by the neoliberal death squads in El Salvador.

        One of the victims was Father Ignacio Martin-Baro, a priest and social psychologist.

        You know what he proposed? Liberation theology: the method of people taking control of their own lives and working together to solve their problems.

        Hmm… I wonder who would possibly be against such a thing.

        May their souls, and all of those who have been destroyed by the cancer of neoliberalism, rest in peace…

  2. The proud motto of the globalists:

    “We have a lot. We can get more. We want it ALL!”

  3. I’ve seen many libertarians running wild with this story as the reason why unions need to be abolished. It’s so sickening. It’s as if they have insufferable jealousy that workers dare to organize and demand better working conditions. Libertarian/Anarcho capitalist reactionaries seem to have this mentality of “if I can’t or don’t have it, no one will.”

    • A lot of it has to do with this ridiculous (and quite frankly dangerous) notion that any sort of collective action or cooperation will always lead to tyranny and disaster.

      Never ceases to make me do a facepalm…

      • Yup. They are ancient relics that are anti civilization. These are the same people who think that people like George Washingon were right wing anarchists, even though all historical evidence is to the contrary.

        • Hahaha! “Ancient relics that are anti-civilization”! That just made my day, Matt! Too true!

          Ever heard of the blog Making The World Safe For Hypocrisy?

          Talks about all the things you just mentioned, and explains everything you need to know about American history. I highly recommend everyone in this community check it out.

  4. Walmart is filing charges against the unions that are protesting unfair working conditions

    http://news.msn.com/us/wal-mart-files-us-labor-charge-against-union-3

  5. Two bizarre frauds are tearing the “alternative” movement apart… On the right we have the “Austrian” lunacy, and on the left we have the AGW “climate change” (a tautological misnomer, since of course climate is changing) neo-pagan new-agey Gaian cult.

    So now we have people like Alex Jones, who has many good qualities, inadvertently (?) propagandizing for the “New World Order.” And on the left we have Noam Chomsky saying he’d be willing to accept a fascist dictatorship to save the planet…

    Quite tragic. In reality, America’s finest hour was back in the ’50s, when the republican president unloaded vast amounts of money into building infrastructure, and the unions were at their strongest and the corporations were somewhat paternalistic. America was never an “Austrian” nation, it was American, it became what it was – the economic juggernaut of the world – behind hefty tariffs and with heavy government backing of key industries.
    In fact, if you bother to read Adam Smith, he’ll tell you bankers conspire (!) all the time and complain whenever people try to form unions. But Libertarians, being, unfortunately, cultists, evidently have not bothered to read Smith…
    This is not to say that Libertarians are stupid or mean – but I do believe they should be more prudent.

    Sad mad world. Good article by Willy!

  6. Regarding the Updates: I used to look at Godlike Productions; had to quit; couldn’t stand it. The narrow-minded, biggoted, ignorant views expressed there would raise my blood pressure and actually make me feel physically sick to my stomach. I’m not kidding. Actually nauseated. For a time I overcame my feelings of extreme distaste so as to see what the rational world is up against. After a few months, I had seen all I needed. I fear rational people are vastly outnumbered.

  7. Once you started off by using the word “Bourgeois” in your article in the first paragraph, you lost all credibility. Nobody except perhaps Russian expatriates, Cold War spy novelists or Capitalist Elitists even use that word. Which one are you, along with being an obvious Union supporter (code for enabler)? Contrary to the popular belief you would like to foist off on an unsuspecting public, Unions worldwide have been the cause of company closures worldwide, resulting in job losses in the millions. Unions are archaic institutions who once were a Godsend before the addition of Labor Laws to protect the worker. Now they are bloated organizations run by greedy leaders mostly in collusion with Organized Crime, rife with corruption, responsible for multitudes of crimes such as extortion, assault, embezzlement, murder, intimidation, all for the almighty dollar. They continually stick their collective noses into political situations where they don’t belong. They should be swept into the proverbial Dustbin and their leadership should be incarcerated under Rico.

    • No wait… I’m sorry influence peddler (I know because you guys ALWAYS start with something like ” you lost all credibility…” “when”… (fill in the blank)… I think you miss understood what I was writing about.

      You see, I’m writing about the neoliberal push to demonize unions and collective bargaining, not Wall Street bankers and the for-profit Federal Reserve which you seem to be talking about when you say:

      “… they are bloated organizations run by greedy leaders mostly in collusion with Organized Crime, rife with corruption, responsible for multitudes of crimes such as extortion, assault, embezzlement, murder, intimidation, all for the almighty dollar. They continually stick their collective noses into political situations where they don’t belong. They should be swept into the proverbial Dustbin and their leadership should be incarcerated under Rico.” online social marketing influence peddler (and a pretty obvious one at that)

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