Date: Wednesday, April 3rd. 7pm.
Location: University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine. Wishcamper Center room #133
The workers of the Hostess plant in Biddeford, Maine will put their side of the story front and center this coming Wednesday. Representatives from both the Bakers and the Teamsters Locals will be together with the Southern Maine Labor Council. A City Councilor will go over the tax breaks Hostess has received over the years. I have been graciously invited to join the panel by the SMLC to discuss the pension theft and fighting distortions in the media.
This will be a discussion of the direct effects on the city of Biddeford. The other speakers will tell the story from their unique local perspectives. Join here- https://www.facebook.com/...
Joining Hummell on the panel will be John Jordan, Business Manager for Bakers Union #334 along with Joe Piccone, Business Agent for Teamsters Local #340, the union representing the delivery drivers at Hostess. Rounding out the panel will be Biddeford City Councilor Richard Rhames, addressing both the impact the closing is having on Biddeford and the various tax breaks provided by the city to Hostess.If you have questions for any of these people, put them in the comments and I will ask.
You can read about the Biddeford, Me plant in this article. http://www.pressherald.com/... It gives a grim view of the prospects for former employees.
The bakery union representing former Hostess workers has objected to the planned sale of the bread brands to Flowers, saying the bid offers no assurances that former labor contracts would be honored.Having the Local representatives from both the Bakers and the Teamsters should give a good look at the events on the ground as they unfolded. I can't wait to compare our experiences, theirs on the East Coast and ours in the Midwest. I have heard great things about both men.
The Industry International Pension Fund also is objecting to the sale.
In a court filing on Feb. 25, the bakery union and pension fund said, "Flowers has not committed to preserve a single job, and in fact has affirmatively disclaimed any obligation even to 'consider' employing a single worker.
"Thus, while debtors' secured lenders may view Flowers' bids as the 'best' for getting themselves paid, Flowers' bids provide zero assurances that the rights of the debtors' workers will be protected," the filing said.
The City Councilor has me curious. Just how much did the people of Biddeford do for Hostess over the years? What exactly did they get to show for it when it was all said and done? Has the city been left hanging on any promises? Again, if you have questions, please put them in the comments.
I plan to discuss the pension theft and how the company portrayed the issue in the media versus reality. I also hope to encourage people to be more active in confronting dishonest media reports. I will of course remind everyone of the role of Ayn Rand cultist Judge Drain while I'm at it.
If you are a Portland, Maine Kossack I hope you will join us for a discussion of the real life effects of our hedge fund economy. Or as Fox News would say- "Union thugs gang up and steal Twinkies from babies!" See you there.
Catch up with the pension theft here. http://www.dailykos.com/...
Special thanks to Vinny O'Malley and the Southern Maine Labor Council. Not just for including me in the event, but for having it in the first place.
Update Powerful video produced in Biddeford, Me. Only 2 minutes of your time. http://vimeo.com/... I can't figure out how to embed it but I wish I could so you could see this brave woman.