While the Automation kick is an interesting angle, lets not forget what actually killed Hostess -- vulture capitalists. These are Mitt Romney style assholes who swooped in, loaded the company up with debt, then pawned it off after leeching all the money out. Somehow though, it's not embezzlement when an investment company does it.
But it gets worse. The unions that took the blame? They were having their workers give upwards of a THIRD of their paychecks just to try and save the company they helped build. And that just caused the vultures to trade the company around more and more.
That leaves the unions in one corner and the hedge funds and Hostess management in the other. Management ordered the company to stop contributing to the union pension funds, ignoring their obligations under collective bargaining agreements. They have demanded a new round of concessions, which would have doubled insurance premiums, negated all pension obligations, and slashed pay by 27 to 32 percent. Again, the 14-year Hostess bakery veteran: “Remember how I said I made $48,000 in 2005 and $34,000 last year? I would make $25,000 in five years if I took their offer. It will be hard to replace the job I had, but it will be easy to replace the job they were trying to give me.”
So yeah, the automation is interesting, but lets not forget what brought us to this point. Vultures bought the company, embezzeled a shitload by loading on bad debt and pawning the company of as well as flat out stealing from the pension fund, and passing the buck to the next leech until they couldn't pass it any further. And now instead of having good quality Wonder Bread and tasty, if not exactly healthy, sweets like the Twinkie, we get mass produced automated crap.
The local Hostess bakery re-branded as a Franz, and the quality is really good. They also have a direct-from-the-baker storefront that you can go in and get bread at a huge discount. Oh, and they're union and pay their workers a good wage -- around $17 an hour starting.
As I said the last time this came up, no American should EVER support Union Busting. Hostess is dead to me, and besides You can clone a twinkie pretty easily, which lets you do stuff like a fresh baked chocolate twinkie with cherry filling.