Harley-Davidson to union: Cut Costs or We're Moving

Comprise or Die for Harley-Davidson Unions

While the company has done better than Wall Street suits expected in the first quarter of 2010, the company management is still looking for ways to trim the fat.  Thursday, April 29th, Company officials told the union that significant cuts would have to be made or it would move all its Milwaukee manufacturing operations to other states.

This announcement does not include the headquarters or recently opened museum.

According to company spokesman Bob Klein, “cost gaps” totaling $54 million must be filled, the largest of which pertain to labor costs and scheduling flexibility. Klein says, “Our preference is to keep the production operations in Wisconsin, but as part of due diligence we will also explore alternate U.S. sites.”

The plants in Menomonee Falls and Tomahawk account for slightly more than 1,400 jobs in Wisconsin.

In the recent past, HD management won concessions from its unions in York Pennsylvania after threatening to move out of state.  The unions say that while the plant remained in York, its members were forced to sign a 7 year contract that cut more than half of its 1,900 jobs.