The demise of Hostess at the hands of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union was not just the outcome of an economic staring contest gone wrong.
The contract they were protesting was imposed on Hostess by the courts. Despite the “evil” 1% pouring money into Hostess in an attempt to save the business, which if they had be successful would have resulted in both the owners and the workers benefiting, Hostess was on the verge of collapse.
The strike led the workers from the position of earning only 68% of what they had been, to the position of earning 0% of what they had been. The bakers’ union made it clear that it was worth it to sacrifice thousands of workers, including those outside the bakers’ union in order punish the “evil 1%.” The union knew that a strike would lead to the workers losing their job. Even the Teamsters urged the bakers’ union to stop the strike, even going so far as to suggest a “secret ballot,” which the Teamsters themselves have been fighting against.
The bakers’ union declared a loss of thousands of their members jobs to be a “victory”:
“Our members decided they were not going to take any more abuse from a company they have given so much to for so many years. They decided that they were not going to agree to another round of outrageous wage and benefit cuts and give up their pension only to see yet another management team fail and Wall Street vulture capitalists and ‘restructuring specialists’ walk away with untold millions of dollars.
“Throughout this long and difficult process, BCTGM members showed tremendous courage, solidarity and devotion to principle. They were well aware of the potential consequences of their actions but stood strong for dignity, justice and respect.”
Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minister and crystallographer, explained it best when she stated that the ideology of the left was that is was preferable that “the poor were poorer, provided the rich were less rich: