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Dignity that is delicious

Tastykake brand, organized by IBEW 98 in Philly, revives a crumbling Navy Yard and gives pride back to a once proud industry

Alexis Barrau's picture
Jun 21, 2016

Starting with an abandoned industrial site, Tastykakes has built the foundation for a successful bakery.  Based in Philadelphia with 20 store locations, Tastykake has taken over the downtown metropolitan area with their sweet goods. Philip Baur, the cofounder of Tasty Baking Company, was born to bake. His father owned the Bauer Brothers Bakery in Pittsburgh where young Baur learned the basics of snack making, great taste, good value and running a good union shop.

According to betterwagesbetterbenefits.org the IBEW represents more than just electrical workers. Professionals from all walks of life enjoy the better wages and benefits thanks to IBEW membership. Tastykake Baking Company falls in the wide range of employees that have chosen the IBEW to represent them. 

Tastykake has flourished into a top baking company in part due to their union workforce. Their headquarters in the heart of Philly, has expanded to dominate a whole neighborhood in the city. They have expanded so much that John J. Dougherty, Business Manager of IBEW Local 98 is looking to extend the subways to the Navy Yard where over 140 businesses are located, including Tastykake, Penn State University, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Sb1 Federal Credit Union. “I’m worried about economic development because of jobs, said Dougherty. “Would I like to see more lights on my block and more families with young kids? Yes, but it’s about jobs”. Without the expansion of public transportation to the Navy Yard, Local 98 worries that a successful union employer will suffer. Economic development plays a significant role in major cities such as Philadelphia.

Funding for an extended subway that runs through the Navy Yard can cost up to $500 million. According to PhillyMag, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation President John Grady touted the Navy yard as a success story, and the numbers back him up: 5,000 Navy personnel were still employees when the yard shut down in 1995, but now 11,000 people, including 2,500 Navy personnel, work for 145 companies housed at the Navy Yard. Two-thirds of those companies are new or new to the city.

Having better transportation access to Navy Yard allows more people to have jobs. Companies like Tastykake will have the opportunity to expand their horizons as a major baking company. Being able to surpass other high ranked baking companies like non-union Hostess, opens doors to take over the market.

After the death of product Twinkie and layoff of 18,500 workers, after a crippling strike, at Hostess the company and their quality fell apart. After trying to revamp the company in 2013 things haven’t been so sweet for Hostess. Not to mention the new taste of Twinkies really sucks.  So next time you're at the supermarket, skip the non-union Twinkie and grab a Tastykake.

For a list of other union made in the USA tasty treats, check out Labor 411.

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