Harley Wants to Cut Jobs, Union Must Ratify Agreement

A new labor agreement for Harley-Davidson workers aims to replace 25% of the union jobs at the company’s two plants in the Milwaukee Wisconsin area.  According to published reports,  employees learned the details of the new agreement yesterday.

The Tomahawk plant produces items such as windshields, side-cars, and other accessories for Harley bikes. and employees roughly 275 full-time employees.  The company wants to replace a number of them with seasonal workers to make production more flexible to market conditions. Harley says it needs to cut millions in labor costs in order to keep making motorcycles in Wisconsin.

The unions at both plants will vote Monday September 13th on the multi year contract that will take effect in 2013.  If the agreement is rejected, company officials have said it will move production out of state.  Economic development officials from Florida and Tennessee have been courting the motorcycle manufacturer recently in hopes that if the union rejects the contract, they can lure the new plants to their respective states.