A Different Take on the Hostess Bankruptcy: Megan McArdle of the Daily Beast published a thought-provoking piece on Tuesday regarding the recent Hostess bankruptcy. McArdle posits that the Baker’s Union, derided in the press for their "unreasonably demands," has actually put together a brilliant negotiating strategy. Instead of fighting with Hostess, the Baker’s Union essentially forced Hostess into bankruptcy in order to blow up the Teamsters’ contract and start from scratch. Holman Jenkins of the Wall Street Journal explains the issue as follows:
Under the latest turnaround plan, the sticking point was Hostess’s distribution operations, source of the Hostess horror stories filling the media. Union-imposed work rules stopped drivers from helping to load their trucks. A separate worker, arriving at the store in a separate vehicle, had to be employed to shift goods from a storage area to a retailer’s shelf. Wonder Bread and Twinkies couldn’t ride on the same truck.
Essentially, massive inefficiencies in the Teamsters’ contract, not the Baker’s contract, forced Hostess out of business. The company is currently close to selling off its Twinkie brand to an investment firm. Perhaps a new deal for the Bakers will follow. We will keep you posted.
Sen. Barrasso Moves to Kill 2012 Board Decisions: Fox News reports that Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) has introduced legislation that would effectively hit the reset button and overturn all National Labor Relations Board decisions made in the last year. Sen. Barrasso’s bill comes in the wake of last week’s Noel Canning ruling that held that the Board did not have enough members to constitute a quorum because President Obama’s recess appointments were constitutionally unsound.
“Until we have a final resolution from the courts, the NLRB should not be able to issue or enforce decisions that will create even more confusion and illegitimate regulations,” Barrasso, R-WY, said. “My bill will restore clarity, order and respect for the U.S. Constitution.”
Sen. Barrasso’s bill faces an uphill battle in the Democratically-controlled Senate. Further, President Obama is expected to appeal the Noel Canning ruling to either the full D.C. Circuit or to the Supreme Court.
Cafeteria Workers file ULP Charges Alleging Union Animus: Kevin Penton of the Asbury Park Press reports that school cafeteria workers in Neptune, NY have filed unfair labor practice charges against New York’s Chartwells. The complaint alleges that Chartwells retaliated against employees after they tried to unionize last year.
The 45 employees filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that New York’s Chartwells threatened them with job losses, tightened its enforcement of work rules, created the impression that workers were being watched and imposed more onerous work conditions, according to the case’s file.
Chartwells denied the allegations in a statement, saying that the company respects the workers’ right to choose to join or not join a union as they see fit. We will keep you posted as this case moves forward.