Unfortunately for Hostess Brands, Inc., shareholders, employees, and customers, the snack-cake giant is going into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  Hostess and the union were unable to negotiate a successful strike resolution, even after taking a judge’s advice to attempt out-of-court mediation.  Once that failed too, the death warrant was written.  I suspect another company or investor will purchase the assets of Hostess and maintain brand continuity.

It is another question entirely as to how many union members will catch that train.  After all, in the opinion of some, it is the union itself that planted the seeds of its members’ demise.  When unions maintain negotiation positions that support an unsustainable business model, everyone eventually loses.

Simultaneously, Hostess management may have made its share of mistakes too.  Perhaps strategic business decisions were poorly played.  If so, then Hostess management certainly bears at least some of the blame.

I have worked in both union and nonunion business environments.  My vote is for the nonunion approach.  In the big picture and in the long run, I have simply witnessed too many negative outcomes from the union approach to workforce management.  I think Hostess brings us that same lesson.

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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Tyco Integrated Security at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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