Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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No more Twinkies? Blame the unions!

To the editor:

A Nov. 17 AP story details the reasons for the unfortunate closing of Hostess Brands Inc., makers of Twinkies and other goodies. The story cites the company’s management turmoil, struggles with debt, failure to invest heavily in marketing and innovation and a changing marketplace looking for healthier foods.

The company itself, however, focuses on being “saddled with costs related to its unionized workforce,” singling out its annual pension payments.

Organized labor certainly has its flaws, but unions have borne a greatly exaggerated share of the blame for our country’s economic struggles. Labor leaders can only wish unions had even a quarter of the influence their detractors claim they do.

So while it’s not surprising to hear a company blame the union for its own clear mismanagement, for the Gazette to join the chorus by using the headline “Labor woes may spell end for Twinkies” was disappointing.

Steve Richards

Leeds

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