I’ve always been fascinated by some of the unreasonable demands modern day unions make and the absurd things they are willing to strike over.
The Hostess company (you know, the company that makes Twinkies, chalky powdered donuts, and other confectionery treats favored by patrol officers everywhere) is going through bankruptcy to try and survive these tough economic times. As part of the process, the bankruptcy court is forcing the company and employees union to sign a new contract that will cut some pay and benefits.
In response to the new contract the union went on strike. Here’s what one union member had to say about the new contract.
“You put in the time, you put in the years, I mean, we all have dedicated our lives to the company and they just don’t appreciate it.”
The thing is, it’s not a matter of whether or not the company appreciates its employees. It’s a matter of survival. Hostess CEO, Greg Rayburn says the company doesn’t have the finances to make it through a lengthy strike and doesn’t have the leeway to meet the union’s demands. So now Rayburn is going with the only rational option left – he issued an ultimatum telling the striking workers to get back to work by the end of the day Thursday (today) or he’ll liquidate the company and they won’t have jobs to come back to. We’re talking 18,000 jobs here.
So now the ball is in the union’s court. They can either maintain the strike and hope that Rayburn is bluffing, or they can tell their folks to go back to work while they still have jobs.
Math is hard. That’s what the guy who works out of the Oval Office says. Hopefully the unions can figure out that going back to a job with reduced wages is better than not having a job at all. It’s a simple matter – no complex equations involved. With 18,000 jobs on the line, I hope they get it right.