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View Diary: Hostess Strike Basics and Links (9 comments)

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  •  Wonderful. Very helpful (1+ / 0-)
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    A point of suggestion (and I say this as a lifelong union member, advocate, friend and supporter of your efforts):

    The fact sheet isn't all that helpful. It is really just full of boilerplate union rhetoric that is off-putting and confusing to non-supporters of unions who may be sympathetic. I'd like to offer some suggestions and I do so because I am eager to link to this story when I write to journalists who may want to write about this.  It needs to be useful information to them, with definite and specific hooks, and verifiable specific information.

    -I would tone it down and make it look more professional. It's pretty to look at, but not the kind of fact sheet that a professional journalist would take seriously. For example, those CEO quotes don't make much sense in a fact sheet.

    -The history of this company is interesting and outrageous.  
       --In your first diary, you described what looked to be an open and shut case of insider trading
       -- the "error" in profit report followed by massive insider selling, then the "error" retracted and your wages cut. What a hook! if that can be verified. Provide references and verification.

    --The bulletpoints are good, but really should be more informative. For example, the company was bought out by  Silver Point Capital, Monarch and Ripplewood. Ripplewood 's equity infusion of $130 million in return for control of the company (it currently owns about two-thirds of the equity) seems like a small investment for a company with how many billions in sales. Monarch drove Reader's Digest into bankruptcy and almost sent the Texas Rangers under. The fact sheet should associate these companies with other well-known failures of good American brands.

    --The stock price went from $34 to less than a dollar per share. Specific things like this are understandable and absorbable for the average reader.

    --Details. specific details, about the "borrowing" from the pension fund just before declaring bankruptcy. These guys need to squirm under a hot spotlight, and policy makers need to get past the spin they are fed so they can look at avenues of legislation to curtail this kind of piracy.

    Here is an excellent history of the past decade of mismanagement by hedge funds:
    Hostess is bankrupt … again

    Lastly, the biggest hook of all is your specific description of your wages under the various settlements. Percentages and talk of "labor costs" in the millions just make people's eyes glaze over. That's how these companies spin this kind of stuff. But your description of going from a decent salary to the poverty-level offer is what makes people sit up and notice:

    Remember how I said I made $48,000 in 2005 and $34,000 last year? I would make $25,000 in 5 years if I took their offer.
    Even innumerate journos understand that.

    Offered with humble good intentions.

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