Hostess, the United Center and working over Thanksgiving

Talking Business on The Morning Shift

November 20, 2012

A new life for Hostess?

A bankruptcy judge has delayed the food company's planned shut down, telling them yesterday they had to go back to trying to work things out with their baker's union, which apparently the company hasn't spoken to since August. Hostess spokeswoman Anita-Marie Laurie said the company would follow the judge's request, saying it would be a "confidential" mediation with the baker's union. She said the judge had adjourned their hearing until 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Business professor Jim Shein said he thinks Hostess has basically gotten "a lot of free publicity" since it said it was shutting down on Friday. He calls the latest installment in this corporate saga the "case that keeps on giving", as he's used it in his management classes for years. By the way - when he asks his students to take on the role of equity partners, the company and unions - they usually can't figure out a solution, either.

DePaul to the United Center?

Crain's Chicago Business is reporting a sweet deal the United Center is offering DePaul University to get their male Blue Demons basketball team to relocate: free rent for ten years, among a host of other perks. This comes on the heels of Friday's announcement that the Chicago Bulls will relocate a new practice facility near their home stadium. No word yet on whether or not the Blue Demons will go with the United Center, or an alternate site near McCormick Place.

People's Gas to the Northeast

A few dozen People's Gas employees have volunteered to give up their holiday to head east to help bring the gas back to people still without because of Superstorm Sandy. While it's common for electric utility companies to share workers after a natural disaster, it's more unusual for the gas company. Spokeswoman Jennifer Block said the workers volunteered for the two-week assignment, which began last week and will go through the holidays. While Northeast gas company National Grid picks up the worker's tab while they're there, Block said the workers are sleeping in tents and leaving their own families "so others can have a good Thanksgiving.".