Feb 02, 2018

A Once Bankrupt Company, Hostess Brands Rises to Award Thousand-Dollar Employee Bonuses – Crediting Tax Reform Claire McCaskill Tried to Stop

Post by Freedom Partners

Arlington, VA — Kansas City-based Hostess Brands Inc. is providing its employees one-time payments of $1,250, comprised of a $750 cash bonus and $500 in the form of a 401(k) contribution, citing the pro-growth Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law by President Trump.

The benefits “come after a painful history for Hostess’s workforce. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and was temporarily shut down, sending all of its employees packing. Hostess was resurrected … but with a fraction of its former staff,” Bloomberg reported.

The extra money should be welcome news for hardworking Missourians living on tight budgets and seeking greater financial security to save and plan for the future. But for lawmakers like Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), tax reform amounts to “scraps” for working people.

Bonuses and bigger paychecks are “not going to be helpful to the vast majority of people in my state that are sitting around the kitchen table trying to figure out how [to] come out even at the end of the month,” Sen. McCaskill said.

Her ally in the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), said income increases for paycheck-to-paycheck workers are “crumbs” and “pathetic.”

Hostess joins other Missouri employers rewarding their workers with higher pay and other benefits including Bank of Advance, Commerce Bancshares, Dynamic Fasteners, Great Southern Bancorp, Kansas City Southern, Mid-AM Metal Forming, Stifel Financial Corp., Kansas City Power & Light and Central Bank of St. Louis, which operates 13 full-service community banks and employs more than 2,500 people across four states.

Freedom Partners spokesman Michael Bars issued the following statement: 

“Claire McCaskill can’t celebrate success stories like Hostess because she put partisan politics before her constituents, fighting to block the very opportunity and growth now reenergizing both businesses and workers in her state. Most people understand that billions of dollars in new investment, more jobs and bigger paychecks are much more than ‘scraps’ and ‘crumbs’ for hardworking Americans.

“Freedom Partners remains committed to educating the public and spreading the word to ensure the benefits of tax reform are realized despite the misleading comments and out-of-touch dismissals from ‘no’ votes like McCaskill.”

Freedom Partners, along with Americans for Prosperity, is launching a full scale, multimillion dollar education campaign that will demonstrate the tremendous benefits of pro-growth tax reform and show how the new tax law is directly helping Americans improve their lives. The nationwide effort will be sustained throughout 2018.

U.S. BUSINESSES LIKE THOSE IN MISSOURI ARE PLEDGING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN NEW INVESTMENTS & SIGNIFICANT BONUSES FOR EMPLOYEES DUE TO TAX REFORM MCCASKILL TRIED TO BLOCK; MORE TAKE HOME PAY & MORE JOBS 

Hostess Brands Inc. Will Give Employees A $750 Cash Bonus And A $500 401(k) Contribution. “Hostess Brands Inc., feeling flush after last month’s tax overhaul, will offer bonuses to workers — including free snacks. The company, which makes Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos, is providing its employees one-time payments of $1,250 — with $750 in cash and $500 in the form of a 401(k) contribution. In taking the step, Hostess cited last month’s tax legislation, which slashed the rate for U.S. corporations. It’s also offering a year’s worth of free food to workers — though they won’t be able to eat all the Ding Dongs they like. A representative from each of Hostess’s bakeries will choose a product each week, and the employees will be able to take home a multipack of that item. The company also makes Hostess CupCakes, Fruit Pies and Donettes.” (Nick Turner And Craid Giammona, “Twinkie Maker’s Response to the Trump Tax Overhaul: Free Snacks,” Bloomberg, 1/31/18)

  • Hostess Executive Chairman C. Dean Metropoulos: “The Company’s Management And Board Take Great Pleasure In Sharing The Company’s Success With Our Employees.” “’The recent tax reform changes have given us the opportunity to review our benefit and compensation structure,’ he said in a statement. ‘The company’s management and board take great pleasure in sharing the company’s success with our employees.’” (Nick Turner And Craid Giammona, “Twinkie Maker’s Response to the Trump Tax Overhaul: Free Snacks,” Bloomberg, 1/31/18) 

Central Bank Of St. Louis Will Give All Full-Time Employees A $1,000 Bonus And All Part-Time Employees A $500 Bonus. “Central Bank of St. Louis employees will get a special bonus as a result of the new federal tax reform. Central Bancompany, Inc., which employs more than 2,500 people across four states, announced Friday that full-time employees would receive a $1,000 bonus and part-time employees would receive a $500 bonus.” (Stephanie baumer, “Central Bank of St. Louis employees get bonuses thanks to new federal tax reform,” KMOV, 1/5/18)

  • Central Bank Of St. Louis Chairman And CEO Bryan Cook: “We Are Excited For The Opportunity To Reward Our Dedicated And Hard-Working Employees With This Special Bonus As A Token Of Our Gratitude For All That They Do For Our Customers, Businesses, And Communities.” “’The economic development that should ensue as a direct result of the new tax reform legislation will positively affect the more than 66 communities we serve.’ said Bryan Cook, Chairman and CEO of Central Bancompany, Inc. ‘We are excited for the opportunity to reward our dedicated and hard-working employees with this special bonus as a token of our gratitude for all that they do for our customers, businesses, and communities.’” (Stephanie baumer, “Central Bank of St. Louis employees get bonuses thanks to new federal tax reform,” KMOV, 1/5/18)

Mid-AM Metal Forming Will Give All 140 Bonuses Due To The Passage Of Tax Reform. “Mid-AM Metal Forming is giving its 140 employees cash bonuses. The local company is one of many companies, like Jet Blue and AT&T, giving employees a bonus because of the tax law reform. … The company does metal stretch forming, bending, metal fabrication and painting services, according to the news release, serving aerospace, automotive, marine and architectural purposes. It is unclear how much the bonus will be.” (Cortlynn Stark, “Mid-AM Metal Forming to Give Employees Bonuses,” Ozarks First, 1/6/18)

  • Mid-AM Metal President Steve Johnson: “We Have Very Dedicated Employees That Assist In Making Us A Success. We Are Excited To Surprise All Of Them With This Reward.” “’Mid-AM Metal Forming is excited about the positive implications the tax reform package will have both on the manufacturing industry and its employees,’ President Steve Johnson said in a news release. ‘We have very dedicated employees that assist in making us a success.  We are excited to surprise all of them with this reward.’” (Cortlynn Stark, “Mid-AM Metal Forming to Give Employees Bonuses,” Ozarks First, 1/6/18)

Commerce Bancshares Is Giving All Full-Time Employees A $1,000 Bonus And Eligible Part-Time Employees A $250 Bonus Due To The Passage Of Tax Reform. “Citing the new federal tax reform legislation, Commerce Bancshares is giving thousands of its employees a $1,000 bonus. The parent company of Commerce Bank, which has corporate offices in Clayton and Kansas City, said 3,450 full-time employees, or 75 percent of its workforce, will get the $1,000 bonus. Eligible part-time employees will get a $250 cash bonus.” (“Commerce Bancshares giving employees $1,000 bonus, citing tax cut,” St. louis Post-Dispatch, 1/2/18)

  • Commerce Bancshares Chairman And CEO David Kemper: “This New Law Makes The Banking Industry More Competitive And Allows Us To Reward Our Core Employees Who Work Hard Every Day To Provide Superior Service To The People And The Companies We Serve.” “’The new tax reform legislation should be very positive for economic growth and capital investment which will benefit the banking industry,’ chairman and CEO David Kemper said in a statement. ‘This new law makes the banking industry more competitive and allows us to reward our core employees who work hard every day to provide superior service to the people and the companies we serve while building long-term customer relationships so important to our communities and shareholders.’” (“Commerce Bancshares giving employees $1,000 bonus, citing tax cut,” louis Post-Dispatch, 1/2/18)

Missouri Based Great Southern Bancorp Inc. Will Give All Full-Time Employees A $1,000 Bonus And All Part-Time Employees A $500 Bonus As A Direct Result Of Tax Reform. “A Springfield-based banking company plans to give one-time bonuses to more than 1,200 employees following the federal tax overhaul recently approved by Republicans in Washington, D.C. Great Southern Bancorp, Inc., says it will pay $1,000 in cash to all full-time employees and $500 to part-time workers who were employed by the bank on Dec. 31. In a news release, Great Southern specifically cited the federal tax reform legislation that Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law in December.” (Will Schmitt, “Citing GOP tax reform, Springfield bank to pay bonuses to all employees,” Springfield News-Leader, 1/4/18) 

  • Great Southern President And CEO Joseph W. Turner; “We Are Pleased To Take Advantage Of The Unique Opportunity Presented By The Tax Reform Legislation By Rewarding Our Associates With This Special Bonus.” “’The recently passed tax reform package should have positive implications for the U. S. economy, which we expect will benefit the banking industry, including Great Southern,’ said Joseph W. Turner, president and CEO, in a statement. ‘We are pleased to take advantage of the unique opportunity presented by the tax reform legislation by rewarding our associates with this special bonus. Our associates work hard every day to build winning relationships with our customers and communities and this bonus underscores our appreciation for their commitment to Great Southern.’” (Will Schmitt, “Citing GOP tax reform, Springfield bank to pay bonuses to all employees,” Springfield News-Leader, 1/4/18)

Kansas City Southern: “KCS Awards Year-End Bonus In Response To Passage Of U.S. Tax Bill.” “Kansas City Southern (KCS) (NYSE: KSU) announced today that in response to congressional passage of The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, it will immediately share some of the benefits with qualified, non-executive employees of its subsidiaries in the U.S. and Mexico in the form of a one-time $1,000 bonus payable by the end of 2017.” (Press Release, “KCS Awards Year-End Bonus In Response To Passage Of U.S. Tax Bill,” Kansas City Southern, 12/21/17)

  • Kansas City Southern President And CEO Patrick J. Ottensmeyer: “KCS Wants To Share The Benefit With Our Employees, Who Work So Hard To Serve Our Customers …” “’Kansas City Southern is pleased with the passage of this legislation and optimistic about what it could mean for our customers, investors and growth in the U.S. economy, as well as trade growth with Mexico. KCS wants to share the benefit with our employees, who work so hard to serve our customers and increase shareholder value,’ said KCS president and chief executive officer Patrick J. Ottensmeyer.” (Press Release, “KCS Awards Year-End Bonus In Response To Passage Of U.S. Tax Bill,” Kansas City Southern, 12/21/17)

Missouri Based Stifel Financial Corp. Will Give Employees A $1,500 Bonus Due To The Passage Of Tax Reform. “Stifel Financial Corp. Chief Executive Ron Kruszewski played Santa Claus two days before Christmas, telling most of the financial company’s approximately 7,000 salaried employees that they will receive an extra $1,500 bonus funded by expected benefits from the new tax law. The St. Louis-based financial firm, whose biggest revenue source is its Stifel Nicolaus retail brokerage network, joined a range of companies quickly announcing they would leverage expected benefits of the Republican-sponsored tax overhaul bill passed last week to build goodwill with workers and with the bill’s congressional backers.” (“Stifel Gives Staffers Special Tax-Gift Bonus,” AdvisorHub, 12/26/17)

  • Stifel Financial Corp. Chief Executive Ron Kruszewski: “’This Additional $1,500 Payment Is In Recognition Of Your Hard Work And Efforts This Year To Make Stifel A Success.” “’This additional $1,500 payment is in recognition of your hard work and efforts this year to make Stifel a success, as well as the positive environment that we anticipate the tax legislation passed this week by Congress will create for Stifel,’ Kruszewski wrote in personalized emails to salaried employees that greeted them by their first names.” (“Stifel Gives Staffers Special Tax-Gift Bonus,” AdvisorHub, 12/26/17)

Missouri Based Dynamic Fasteners Will Give Employees Up To $1,000 In Bonuses, $200 For Each Year They’ve Been With The Company. “As workers across the nation anticipate taking home more money in their pay next month as a result of federal tax reform, a company here is joining a growing number of businesses in paying its employees a tax cut bonus. Tax reform benefits are reaching ordinary workers at Dynamic Fasteners. The company sells sheet metal screws and rivets for metal buildings. And the owner anticipates more metal structures being built as the economy takes off. … ‘We are giving a maximum of $1,000 per full time employee,” Perz said. “It’s $200 for each year or partial year that you’ve been here. If you’ve been here four years and a day you get the thousand dollars. Part time employees get half of that.’” (John Pepitone, “Raytown company pays workers a tax reform bonus,” FOX 4, 1/24/18)

“Bank Of Advance In Advance, Mo., Paid $1,000 Bonuses To All Staff.” (“Banks Continue Post-Tax Reform Bonuses, Wage Hikes,” ABA Banking Journal 1/11/18)

Missouri Based KCP&L Announced Plans To Pass $100 Million In Tax Savings Onto Its Customers Due To The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act. “Today KCP&L announced its intention to file rate update cases with the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) and the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC) to pass approximately $100 million in annual tax savings to customers, resulting from federal tax cost reductions. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which decreased the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017 and became effective on Jan. 1, 2018. KCP&L is committed to passing 100 percent of the benefit from this tax cut on to customers. … The full impact of this tax change will take several months to determine, as any proposed change to customer rates requires the approval of the KCC and MPSC. In addition, in determining how the tax reduction will impact rates, the company will request that regulators review and update all costs necessary to serve its customers.” (Press Release, “KCP&L to Provide Federal Tax Reduction Benefits to Customers,” KCP&L, 1/18/18)

  • President And CEO Of KCP&L Terry Bassham: “The Federal Tax Cut Has Significant Benefits Which Should Be Passed On To Our Customers In Full.” “’The Federal Tax Cut Has Significant Benefits Which Should Be Passed On To Our Customers In Full. We Look Forward To Working With Our Regulators And Stakeholders On The Best Way To Do That.’” (Press Release, “KCP&L to Provide Federal Tax Reduction Benefits to Customers,” KCP&L, 1/18/18)

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