1. I don’t think that the deal that Harley-Davidson made with the union is too one-sided for several reasons. The first reason is that while half the jobs had been cut and a quarter of the remaining jobs received pay cuts, this measure cut a considerable percentage of operating costs and ensured that the plant still continues to operate. The 2009 economic recession shut down many companies and thousands of people lost their jobs; if Harley-Davidson did not take these measures, everyone at the plant loses their job. The second reason is that since Harley-Davidson planned to modernize the plant with the goal of opening up more jobs, this opens opportunities to workers who lost their jobs to return when the motorcycle market becomes lively again. The third is reason is that this is the deal that is sustainable for the company. In comparing it to negotiations of other companies to their workers unions, it should be remembered that every company – its solvency, operating costs, liabilities, liquid assets, return on investment, profit margins, etc. – is different. It is possible that the deal GM made with its union may not be workable in the case f Harley-Davidson in terms of keeping the plant in operation.
2. If I was a Harley-Davidson or GM employee and union member, I would have voted for the deal. The end goal of the negotiations is really to keep the plant in operation with, as much as possible, no lasting negative effects on the union members. As an employee I should understand that some sacrifices should be made now to make sure that, long-term, there would still be opportunities for the majority of the members.
Social Security is a government mandated aid in which the employee and employer contributes a certain amount based on the employee’s salary. The coverage of the Social Security is flexible; it gives a benefit to the employee’s family in the event of the employee’s death, and it also provides a retirement benefit for the employee. The Medical coverage (Medicaid/Medicare) is a medical assistance program that ensures that the employee can at least afford his basic medical coverage. The family and maternity leave are paid leaves in the event of giving birth and allowing the mother to recuperate and care for her newly born child.
Among the three mandatory benefits, I would value most the Social Security because it provides employees the means to at least maintain their standard of living after retirement.
The three voluntary employee benefits given by companies are Life Insurance, Medical Coverage for dependents, and Paid Holidays.
Life insurance is a plan that provides a specific agreed upon amount of money to the insured’s beneficiaries in the event of the insured’s death. Medical coverage for dependents is basic coverage for the medical needs of the employee’s dependent; for example, the employee does not have to pay in cash for the medical expenses of his children if it is already covered by a medical insurance provider. Paid holidays are a specific number of days wherein an employee can go on vacation or simply not go to work and still get paid.
Among the voluntary benefits, I would value Life Insurance the most mainly because of the fact that everybody dies and it is just a question of when. Having life insurance lessens the worry of what might happen to one’s family in the event of their death, untimely or not.