Buell Motorcycle will be idling its East Troy plant during the months of November and December. During that time, employees will receive 8 days of paid vacation (and be essentially unemployed the rest of the time), but will retain their full medical benefits. The move by Buell isn’t all that uncommon for manufacturers who are experiencing a slow down in production, but surely sucks that “Happy Holidays” cheer out of the non-unionized shop.
Instead of paying the marginal costs of having a plant open that’s only producing at a fraction of its maximum capacity, a company will instead choose the lesser of two evils, and eat the fixed costs of having the plant closed temporarily. However, a two month idle is an uncommonly long duration, but none-the-less should help lighten-up the budget at Buell…at the expense of their work force and company morale.
Buell’s last day of production will be Oct. 30th, with workers expected to return to their jobs on Jan. 4, 2010.
The East Troy plant isn’t the only production facility in the Harley-Davidson family to go into shutdown mode. In fact, East Troy would appear to be getting off light when compared to the rest of the factories.
Harley-Davidson has also announced that it is also temporarily closing its Wauwatosa plant, as well as 14 other factories, for 14 weeks, which basically constitutes the entire 4th quarter of 2009.
Source: The Business Journal