Hassan Melehy: Not workers’ fault

December 11, 2012 

Not workers’ fault

The writer of the Nov. 20 letter “Union take-down” about the proposed Hostess liquidation cited the workers’ unions as the main culprit. However, news stories in The N&O and elsewhere report workers who since 2009 have agreed to a total of 30 percent in pay cuts and have not seen contributions to their pension fund since mid-2011 – while executives have given themselves pay increases of 35-80 percent. Those who “need to understand ... that there is only so much money to go around,” as the writer says, are not the workers but rather the executives and investors who have mismanaged and looted the company.

It’s no small surprise that all this happened after Hostess was taken over by Ripplewood Holdings, a private equity firm –- the same type of business in which a recent presidential candidate got very rich, but who lost the election largely because of his total contempt for working people.

It’s unfortunate that, against widely available evidence, some accounts blame the quite reasonable Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union for the greed and incompetency of management. But as long as there are so many who rush to believe such mendacious anti-worker propaganda, we will not soon see the end of it.

Hassan Melehy,

Carrboro

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