Companies that suck: volume 2.

The first volume tackled Papa Johns, Denny’s, Olive Garden, and Red Lobster.  Here are some more companies that suck.

Hostess.

Ok, we all knew this one.  They’re filing for bankruptcy claiming that the demands of their unionized workers are making the company completely unprofitable.  They, of course, don’t mention that their employees took hefty concessions earlier in 2004 when the company first filed for bankruptcy.

Hostess now owes over $160 million to their employee pension fund, but instead of putting money toward that, the executives gave themselves exorbitant raises.  CEO Gregory F. Rayburn gave himself a 300% raise , from $750,000 to $2,550,000, and all other executives received 60% to over 100% raises while filing Hostess 2nd bankruptcy.  Simultaneously, the company was trying to cut Bakers pay by 8% & benefits by 32%.

And earlier this week, in bankruptcy court, the executives of Hostess presented a plan that would give them $1.75 million in bonuses, even as their company was failing and their workers were being ripped off.  Thankfully, the DoJ stepped in and rejected them.  Hostess, who attempted to transpose the culpability for the incompetence of management onto the unionized workers who had already made concessions, is now in mediation, thanks to their original plan getting shot down in a ball of flame.  Not that I hate their “food” before, but if they come out of this still doing business, I won’t go anywhere near them.

Hobby Lobby.

The notoriously Christian business has said that they shouldn’t have to cover the morning after pill when providing health insurance to their employees on the basis that it violates their Christian beliefs.  It’s too bad their religious beliefs don’t involve working their employees more than 40 hours/week with no increase in pay, or paying their employees any more than $5/hour.  I’d love to see how well those appeals worked in court.  Fortunately, a federal judge was able to see the similarity between the two scenarios and told Hobby Lobby “no”.

The Oklahoma City-based company and a sister company, Mardel Inc., sued the government in September, claiming the mandate violates the owners’ religious beliefs. The owners contend the morning-after and week-after birth control pills are tantamount to abortion because they can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s womb. They also object to providing coverage for certain kinds of intrauterine devices.

At a hearing earlier this month, a government lawyer said the drugs do not cause abortions and that the U.S. has a compelling interest in mandating insurance coverage for them.

In his ruling denying Hobby Lobby’s request for an injunction, Heaton said that while churches and other religious organizations have been granted constitutional protection from the birth-control provisions, “Hobby Lobby and Mardel are not religious organizations.”

“Plaintiffs have not cited, and the court has not found, any case concluding that secular, for-profit corporations such as Hobby Lobby and Mardel have a constitutional right to the free exercise of religion,” the ruling said.

That last line is beautiful.  You don’t get exemptions from the law as a for-profit business, just because you cry “religion!”  Despite what your religion says, you must provide for the employees who make you rich.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • smrnda

    I love the ‘a for profit business has no right to religion’ since it’s a great antidote to religious people who usually say things like ‘well, in a cosmic sense everything I do is ministry’ meaning that the rules can’t apply to them. Individual people have religious freedoms. Non-profit religious agencies have them. For profit businesses are for profit businesses, period. Didn’t the Bible itself say you can’t serve god and mammon?

    • Adam

      You think they’ve read the Bible?

      • smrnda

        Yes, but I’m thinking they have some sort of filter working where anything that doesn’t support the current Republican agenda is ignored in favor of a passage from Saint Rand.

  • Baal

    The Hostess facts in the image are sadly intentional and entirely consistent with upper level management’s training and current philosophy. Hostess is far from being the only company that is more or less being looted for its value. It also happened recently with the top 2 mattress makers. The net impact of cuts to wages with bonus to the upper end is to redistribute wealth up the economic ladder and to make wealth inequality worse (duh) in the U.S. since the time of the ‘gilded age’ robber barons. Sadly, I don’t see politicians paying attention to this (aside from Bernie Sanders and Robert Reich (retired from politics though)) and don’t see enough prevalence of social memes to the contrary.

  • RuQu

    Highly simplified summary for comment format:
    Our nation’s GDP is 15.09 trillion dollars. One of three equivalent ways to calculate that is to sum the all of the incomes earned.

    If you divide that by the number of workers in the US Labor Force, it comes to approximately $91k per worker.

    The median household income is $51k. CEO’s in the 1960s made 20x what their average worker does. Now it is over 230x.

    Who is redistributing the wealth to who?

    • smrnda

      The other problem is that you only really get economic growth in response to consumer demand. The worse income inequality gets, you get more and more workers with less and less disposable income, and less consumer demand. The ruling class refuses to acknowledge that they can’t continue to increase their wealth at the unprecedented rate that they want, so they put the squeeze on more workers and the problem only gets worse. Economic collapse, and then they can consolidate ownership.

      The reason is that by giving some people uncontested rights to regulate access to resources and to control enterprises that rely on the labor of many as solely their own, it’s no wonder these people can only win. Capitalism isn’t ‘competition’ it’s a system where you compete with a class of people who are both the team owners and the referees.


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