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Harley: Wis. Union Approves Contract

Harley-Davidson Contract News

After Harley-Davidson threatened to move well over 1,000 jobs out of Wisconsin, union workers at the Menomonee Falls plant on Monday voted yes on a seven-year contract that will slash hundreds of jobs, freeze pay and assign additional work to part-time employees.

The plant, located in Southeastern Wisconsin, makes motorcycle engines; other parts, including windshields, are made in the northern Wisconsin city of Tomahawk.

It was reported that 1,140 union members voted, with 55 percent approval, 45 percent disapproval. These numbers easily display how split the workers are in making the decision on the contract that goes into affect in 2012.

This vote only affects the Menomonee Falls employees. Tomahawk employees will vote on an almost identical contract by Monday evening; there are two factories in Tomahawk where 325 workers are employed.

This vote came after The Motor Company’s new CEO, Keith Wandell, wrote a letter to the employees, urging them to approve the contract. He said it was their decision that would decide if they’d be a part of Harley’s future.

Keith Wandell wrote in the letter “We are on a course to build a competitive company for the future and a business that is sustainable long term. Nothing can get in the way of this objective.”

Also included in the contract was a one-time payment of $12,000, money from a previous grievance settlement. This lump sum of money will go to all active employees and laid-off workers who were eligible to be called back to work.

These contracts come after a major overhaul was planned for Harley so the Motor Company would remain profitable. Earlier in the year, Harley announced the lcosing of its factory on Capitol Drive and a Franklin facility.

Currently, Harley employees 1,435 people in the Milwaukee area, including 460 people currently laid off.

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