Fox Business reported that Harley-Davidson has announced its motorcycle parts production will continue in Wisconsin. The company, Fox Business added in a separate article, has been restructuring since orders dropped considerably during the recession. The goal is increased profitability.
The company ratified three new seven-year labor agreements, after union members, represented by United Steelworks (USW), and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), cast their vote.
Motorcycle engines and transmissions are manufactured at the Menomonee Falls plant, near Milwaukee, and components for the motorcycles, such as saddlebacks, are created at the plant in Tomahawk. A study earlier this year most likely gave Harley-Davidson and union representatives figures to work with in determining if the products could continue to be made in Wisconsin, while staying competitive with other plants that perform the same operations.
Striving to create more flexibility in its facilities to adjust for seasonal and other production fluctuations, Harley-Davidson and union representatives were able to maintain the same provisions. A competitive compensation package has been designed, even though the company will be able to achieve the flexibility it is seeking.
The Milwaukee-area plant is being cut 26%, with about 250 fewer full-time, hourly, unionized employees than the existing contract prescribed. Approximately 700 union full-time, hourly employees will remain. There will 75 fewer employees, a cut of 27%, in Tomahawk, which will retain 200 full-time, hourly union workers. Anywhere from 150 – 250 casual workers will be available for seasonal spikes.
The new contracts take affect in April 2012. An anticipated $50 million should be saved in 2013 operating expenses. Harley-Davidson, USW, IAM, and the employees are quite pleased the operations will continue in Wisconsin.
Jennifer Booton, Harley -Davidson Maintains Production in Wisconsin
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