I really don't see a difference between the strike and individual decisions - most workers decided on their own that they want to strike, but those that didn't could and did go to work. Yes, many didn't - but that is because the company wanted to cut each person's pay. And as you said, you have a choice of preparing your resume in that case - they felt that their jobs weren't worth saving at that level of pay. Should they have stayed there with miserable pay until the company went bankrupt again?
There is a huge decision between an individual and the collective. If you don't understand, there is no point in supporting the union (e.g. individual bargaining vs collective bargaining). The individuals didn't have a choice - and this is something that I do have a problem with. Employees aren't allowed to choose whether or not to join most unions - when the union decided, everyone had to follow. Certainly you can see a difference.
And Miserable pay? To save their jobs, 8% for the first year, and steady raises for 3 years to get to where it was (plus stock grants)=miserable? Come on. It's a sacrifice for sure, but it is a far cry from what you're mentioning. You've thrown out things like "miserable" and "minimum wage"...not really backing that up with actual numbers (you also suggested that the company should have given the workers a piece of the company, which was offered). I'll continue to provide correct information as these come up...and I'm not even an vested party - I just read the news.
Why didn't the management give the company a personal, interest free loan. The CEO had a salary of about $2.5M, surely he could put that at the disposal of the company, giving it a few more weeks to find a different solution to the crisis, or at least time to convince the union. Or how about the other executives give the company their bonuses (they just asked to court to pay them more then $6M - leading a charge into bankruptcy is worthy of a bonus after all).
The CEO agreed to a $1 salary until Dec 31 or until the company recovered from bankruptcy. However, the executive salary was just a drop in the bucket. Check the numbers on other posts in this story - there were a few people who ran the numbers on executive salary vs the workers at large...this was a drop in the bucket and largely a symbolic gesture. It would not have helped keep the company in business for more than a few weeks if the executives worked for free. Hostess Brand's debt was huge, and it was a huge operation. A few $million would not have been sufficient to keep the company running.
So the union's refusal to cooperate was only the last blow, because that's what the management decided. Prolonging the fight might have cut down on the bonus money the company still had.
And there is another reason why the employees might have wanted the company to just die - they are among the creditors. If the company is liquidated now, they might still get some money before it all goes to lawyers and executives. If they give them a few more years that might not happen - the company had more debt at the end of the first bankruptcy then at the beginning.
They kicked the company while it was down. It was the final nail in the coffin. End of story. There were no other options at that point. I understand that you inherently mistrust this management team - and have thrown out a dozen things that "could have been done". I covered that most of these were either done, or were impossible - backing them up with facts. Please, read just one or two relevant news stories before posting another reply - I'm sure that I can keep citing sources for you, but you would be doing both of us a huge favor by reading up on this stuff. To be clear, I always have held that management team (and the market) are responsible for their part in the situation. However, it was the Bakers Union (not the larger Teamsters, who were willing to negotiate and save their jobs and the company at large) that did them in; in the end. We'll never know if they would return to profitability, because of the greedy, un-trusting, and poor-negotiating Bakers Union. They screwed the whole company in the end.
Come to think of it, I'm done. Go ahead and post a reply so you can have the last word and be right. Be well, my friend.