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View Diary: KC Star Proves Facts About Hostess Have No Place On The Opinion Page (57 comments)

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  •  Seemless start-up? Good Luck (5+ / 0-)

    I've heard the seemless start-up nonsense for years.  Close a well run factory and assume that new workers with no experience can operate the factory the same as the old workers.  If they are lucky, a big if, they will be operating at close to the old rates in 2 years.  If they aren't the plant will be closed because of quality and production issues.

    I've been following BBS and RR for some time now as a former CBC employee.  Good luck finding people to work in large scale bakeries for $11/hour...unless they are illegal.  Try working in difficult conditions at temperatures exceeding 100F near ovens at 400F.  And when something breaks down, good luck. Especially bread which is essentially alive until it exits the ovens.  Any bread in oven, proof boxes and mixing troughs will be pig feed if the line doesn't get going quickly.  Back when I was in the business bakers didn't get weekends off.....only one weekend day and one weekday.....Because baked goods have a short shelf life the factories could't afford to be down 2 days in a row.

    This guy Rose should manually feed a 300 ft long oven for 8 hours a day for a week (not sure if there are still manual feed ovens out there....).  Then see what he says....Jerk.

    •  Interesting comparing the 3 bakery buyers... (4+ / 0-)

      US Baking (Franz) bought the whole northwest region of Hostess, trucks and all. They don't seem to be screening out past Hostess workers and haven't shuffled stuff around... And they've already got one bakery running, routes on the street, and reopened thrift stores.

      Flowers probably bought off more than they can chew, and they can't even take title to the place until the Antitrust Division allows it. Their volume grew by a quarter after Hostess shut down, and they met that demand with their existing plants... So do they really need 20 Hostess plants? Believe it or not, their execs have run bakeries before... In the south.

      The speculators that bought the Hostess name, brands, and 5 plants have the biggest mess to deal with. The cake production machinery is scattered in 11 plants all over the country, and they've decided to pack it up, ship it to the 4 plants they're reopening, and get it installed and running again. That's a job for experienced union operating engineers, not $11 an hour temps. Probly be a long while before we see Twinkies again...

      •  What Bakery was Re-Opened in the NW? (0+ / 0-)

        Not sure how many of the old CBC bakeries are left....I know they closed most of them on the East Coast I frequented....Jamaica, Paterson, East Hartford, Natick and East Brunswick.  I visited the Seattle bakery.  Don't recall if there were separate bread and cake plants in Seattle.

        I remember the CEO of CBC was a former route truck driver and most of the key execs came out of sales or production...

        •  You must be an old time CBCer... (0+ / 0-)

          East Hartford and Patterson were closed in the first wave after Ralston Purina bought CBC in the 1980s. Natick and East Brunswick were closed after the merger with IBC in the late 1990s, looked like the plan was to take advantage of the rising property values as they were next to shopping malls. Natick blew up in their face, as they closed and gutted it just before the commercial real estate market crashed after 9/11. Jamaica closed only a couple years ago, amazing it lasted that long given that it was a half century older than East Brunswick.

          •  Hey RR...... (0+ / 0-)

            Worked there right out of school in Rye, NY from '79-'84 until they were bought by Ralston and relocated.  Visited many of the factories during my 5+ years.

            My first visit was Natick.  First project was in E. Hartford.  What a great plant - only 60-80 loaves per minute, but simple, clean and well run.....

            Spent a fair amount of time in Jamaica.  That plant was a nightmare when I first started.  Still made money because it supported NY metro area but their losses were horrible.  Then they brought in a new plant manager from Finance.  He turned that place around in 6 months.  Unbelievable.  Amazing what a good manager can do.  He offered me a position but decided I didn't want to work in a factory.

            Natick and EB were real big.  The opposite of E. Hartford.  The manager at EB was nuts.  Screaming at his supervisors...I drive down Route 18 in NJ occasionally.  The EB building looks like it is still there near the malls but set back....From what I can tell no much was done with it since they sold it.....

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