This Thanksgiving, 18,500 former Hostess Brands staffers may have less to give thanks for after stubbornness in union negotiations with the manufacturer of Twinkies and other snack foods led to the company’s closure.
The Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union’s strike reportedly hinged on lost pensions, though the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a larger union, apparently had resolved pay and benefits issues.
Now, because of the rogue smaller union’s actions, that could have meant no Ding Dongs, Ho Ho’s or Sno Balls for anyone. (OK, perhaps that’s not the worst fate for anyone, especially in obese America.)
However, more to the point, the smaller union’s greed cost Hostess employees their jobs.
The unemployment rate was 7.9 percent nationally in October and 8.7 percent in Florida in September, the latest months for available data, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regardless of work conditions, pay or benefits, I can imagine what any unemployed American would give to have worked at Hostess.
Do corporations have their flaws? Sure.
Does most of the money rise to the top or benefit investors who do not do a lick of actual work for the company? Unquestionably.
Still, some job is better than no job.
Giving thanks means being grateful for what you have. Beggars can’t be choosers, and pretty much every American in this economy should consider himself or herself a beggar. I have little patience for people who regularly complain about their job, its pay, their benefits or even working conditions. They should get another job if they’re that upset.
Now, should businesses annually give merit, if not cost of living adjustment, raises? Absolutely.
Should exceptional workers expect such compensation adjustments? Unquestionably.
But in America, where there’s clean drinking water, abundant food supply, the right to vote and equality — no forced genital mutilation here — let’s not miss the forest for the trees.
Similarly, I have little respect for women who pull the “got to have a doctor or lawyer” line. Yeah, that’s love — not — and besides, in America, whether they marry a doctor, lawyer, teacher or plumber, they don’t know how good they have it.
Incidentally, as I write this, “Father of the Bride, Part II” is playing on TBS, and Steve Tyrell sings appropriate lyrics in “Give Me the Simple Life.”
“Just serve me potatoes and mashed potatoes — give me the simple life.”
Ultimately, that’s all that matters, isn’t it? Eggs and orange juice. Lasting friendship and pen pals. Hop Scotch and merry-go-rounds. Potlucks and bridge games. Fantasy football teams and band recitals. Hugs and kisses. Living, laughing and loving.
Living, but not the need to live large, because there’s no such need. “A house that rings with joy and laughter, and the one you love inside,” as Tyrell sings, are all we really need. And your perspective drives whatever form those things take.
Incidentally, George and Nina Banks, “the bride’s” parents, live anything but the simple life. But I digress.
This is America, and we are blessed — regardless.
Be grateful for that, and for the service members who fight to preserve our freedoms.
Thomas Boni is the Editor of the Crestview News Bulletin.
Email him at email@example.com, tweet him @cnbeditor, or call 682-6524.
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