The union whose strike led to the bankruptcy of Hostess last year has just been awarded government benefits from a program few qualify for.
Last year, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union refused to accept concessions that would have kept Hostess in business. The company had tried to cut costs as it faced high labor expenses, rising ingredient costs, and decreasing sales. The Teamsters union accepted the concessions, but the Bakery union would not, choosing to strike. Unable to continue operating, Hostess filed for bankruptcy.
Now those who helped bring down an American icon will receive generous, taxpayer-funded benefits from the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. These generous benefits come in addition to existing unemployment insurance, job placement, and job training programs. TAA benefits include:
- Up to two years of job training in an approved training program,
- Up to 52 weeks of Trade Readjustment Allowances for workers in job training,
- Job search and relocation allowances,
- A refundable “health care tax credit” that covers 65 percent of a worker’s health insurance premiums in qualifying health plans, and
- A two-year wage insurance program that partly replaces workers’ earnings if they accept lower-paying jobs.
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