An iconic brand is closing its doors:
A small union's stubbornness in contract talks with Hostess is being blamed for the shutdown of one of America's snack food icons, the loss of 18,500 jobs just before the holiday season and much-needed tax revenue from hundreds of plants and shops across the country.
The privately-held company had reached a deal with the Teamsters, but a smaller union representing bakery workers refused to agree to concessions, prompting the mass layoffs and closing down of hundreds of plants, bakeries and delivery routes. That prompted harsh words from both the company and from Teamsters officials.
"We deeply regret the necessity of today's decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike," Chief Executive Gregory Rayburn said in a statement. "Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders."
There may be a fine line between standing on principle and selfish stubbornness. The courts and history will have to decide whether that line was crossed in the instance of Hostess snack foods. Nevertheless, digging in one's heels can often be a lose-lose proposition that may even come back to take a bite out of your Twinkie.
"Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others" (Philippians 2:4).