Feb 6, 2007

Constructive Opinion On The Harley Davidson Strike

Now, you Harley people don’t get me wrong. I think you deserve a much better contract and with the company making record profits, they should show their appreciation. BUT…

From the companies press release and confirmed by Harley employees:

“The company said its proposal included annual wage increases of 4 percent over three years. But part of the increase depended on the union agreeing to contribute toward health insurance coverage. Unionized employees currently pay no premium. It also would have doubled the company's 401(k) retirement plan contributions.”

...BUT. A four percent annual increase and doubling your 401s is more than fair, the two parts that everyone is having problems with are the takeaways. First and most important is the charge back for you health insurance, since I’m not privileged to what the charge back is, I’ll guess it’s equivalent to two percent or half of the raise. The second is the $2.50 reduction is starting salary. If that part is true, then a starting salary of $18.25 per hour just isn’t as bad as you guys are making it sound. My guess is that it’s the union trying to earn some of their keep. Unfair, yep but there is another side.

If you’ll look further down in this blog there are numerous articles about communities and States that make huge concessions to draw companies to their areas. Google just received over $18,000 per employee per year for 30 years, in reduced taxes, from North Carolina to get their 215 jobs. That’s over 100 million dollars. I feel that the union should get on the phone to Governor Rendall and every local and state Commissioner, Representative, Senator along with the BBB and all Development Groups in the area, to see what incentives local, county and state governments will throw into the kitty for Harley. Then they might feel like the union is working with them and more willing to take care of the crew at York.

The doors open for you to show everyone in the country how companies, unions and their people can work together.