Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Harley-Davidson reaches initial agreement with unions

Posted By on Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 6:00 AM

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Harley-Davidson has reached an initial collective-bargaining agreement with its unions at the motorcycle maker's Kansas City plant, according to the Kansas City Business Journal.

We don't know what this agreement entails exactly, but details should become public after the unions meet with their members today and vote on the deal on Monday. 



Harley-Davidson was threatening to bolt Kansas City unless plant

employees bowed to wage and

other concessions. The company even went so far as to hint at merging

the Kansas City plant's operations with

those in York, Pennsylvania, a threat that Harley-Davidson has been

using in other cities where its plants are located. 

Similar threats have reportedly led to job cuts in in Milwaukee (about

325 full-time employees) and York (about 950 employees) with Harley

replacing them with the "Flexible Workforce Program," which allows

the company to hire "part-time on an as-needed basis." So instead of

paying a full-time worker about $30.50 an hour, the company gets cheaper labor

for $16.75 an hour. But there's no word on whether there will be job losses in Kansas City.

Threats like these tarnish the outlaw image that Harley once may have been able to claim.

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