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.


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