As we report often, detailed and objective analysis of each side’s alternative to reaching agreement (what we call CNA or Consequences of No Agreement) is the central point of business negotiation planning. Regardless of our feelings about whether management or labor did the right thing here, we can learn a lot from their respective negotiation strategies.
It seems that the union either didn’t do a thorough job of completing CNA analysis for Hostess brands or they did so and attempted to bluff or didn’t want to pay objective attention to what facts they were up against. Apparently, Hostess saw taking the entire company down and selling off the assets as better than taking whatever deal the union was offering and the union didn’t see or believe that.
Long term effects to union and management remains to be seen. What will happen to the 18,000 union members now out of work? What will the value of the brands be as they are sold off? It looks like, in round one that the union lost.
Would appreciate your comments on both side’s strategies below. Keep in mind that strategy analysis is really focusing on who had a better outcome in the short and long haul. The moral analysis of each side’s motives is a separate and certainly spirited discussion (as evidenced on my personal Facebook page).