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Union Bankrupts Hostess, Gets Obama Bailout

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On February 24, 2013 @ 5:39 pm In The Point | 12 Comments

You may remember the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union at the fun-loving bunch of guys whose financial demands on Hostess killed the Twinkie.

Fortunately Obama Inc. has big bulking pockets full of American debt and Chinese money to pay off its union backers. And what the D.C. gangsters have done is hijacked money intended for outsourced worker retraining to bail out the Union That Killed the Twinkie. Chinese imports didn’t kill Hostess, the union did, but Chinese money will go to bail out the union at taxpayer expense.

The U.S. Department of Labor today announced that approximately 18,000 workers laid off in 48 states from 864 Hostess company locations are eligible to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance.

“As President Obama said in his State of the Union address, ‘to grow our middle class, our citizens must have access to the education and training that today’s jobs require,’” said acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris. “Trade Adjustment Assistance enables workers to pursue training in the skills that today’s employers need, contributing not just to a stronger middle class, but to a stronger American economy.”

TAA was not intended as a bailout for workers that wrecked their own company. The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union members don’t need new training. Their jobs weren’t wiped out by outsourcing. Their professions still exist.

Today’s employers still need employees with the same sets of skills. Hostess didn’t become technologically outdated. It drowned under the burden of union benefits.

And the middle class does not grow when taxpayer money is hijacked from workers that need it, to workers that are members of politically connected unions. It shrinks.

This TAA certification was based on a Labor Department investigation to determine whether the layoff event met the group eligibility criteria set forth by the Trade Act of 1974. An investigation found that increased imports of baked products contributed importantly to the company’s sales declines and worker separations.

Yes, it was all those Chinese Twinkies that took down Hostess. Some Mexican baked goods imports did increase, but those were partly a function of the growing Mexican population in the United States. And the increase did not force Hostess out of business.

But as a result of the union’s shenanigans, Grupo Bimbo, the Mexican baked goods giant, which already owns Entenmann’s, Stroehmann, Thomas’ Arnold and a chunk of Sara Lee, will probably now also own Hostess. And the US will join Europe in wiping out what’s left of its industries while pandering to powerful unions.

While TAA is open to eligible workers of all ages, workers 50 years of age and older may elect to receive Re-employment Trade Adjustment Assistance instead. If a worker obtains new employment at wages less than $50,000 and less than those earned in the trade-impacted employment, the RTAA program will pay 50 percent of the difference between the old wage and the new wage, up to $10,000 over a two-year period. RTAA participants may also be eligible for retraining and the HCTC.

Nice work if you can get it.


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