Harley-Davidson & Labor Unions Edge Closer to Keeping Production in Wisconsin

09/07/2010 @ 12:12 pm, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

Harley Davidson & Labor Unions Edge Closer to Keeping Production in Wisconsin Harley Davison Softail Fat Boy 635x476

After putting Wisconsin on notice that it was shopping around for other places to build its motorcycles, Harley-Davdison has reached a tentative agreement with local labor unions that would keep the Bar and Shield brand in The Cheese State. Harley and union officials have not disclosed the terms of the deal, but both the Harley-Davidson and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers are recommending approval of the deal. The terms of the deal are expected to be released next week, so union members can vote on the contract on September 13th.

Harley-Davidson was looking to cut $54 million in labor costs from its Wisconsin production, citing that it could find those savings easily by moving production elsewhere. Although we don’t know the terms of the deal, one can expect similar concessions to the ones made at the York, Pennsylvania plant in December of last year. While Harley-Davidson expects workers to accept the deal, the company is prepared to act swiftly if a rejection of the deal comes back, which likely means moving production to its other facilities.

Source: Dealer News

Comment:

  1. Mark says:

    Go ahead Harley, make my day! I dare you to move your production out of Milwaukee. If you do that, it will certainly be the end of you. How dare you even make that threat. HD workers have faithfully and dutifully carried out their end of the bargain for a long time and now you are trying to once again boost your stock price on the backs of the very people that brought you this far.
    How many Mexican made Harley’s do you think you’re going to sell? How much cheaper are these going to be? They will have to be at least the 1/2 price, because most of the people that could afford one, and actually want to buy one, are now out of a job of are working for much less than previous years.
    How does big business in the country expect to keep selling their products here when they keep outsourcing their own customers jobs?
    Re-instituting import tariffs will eliminate this problem once and for all!

  2. gnmac says:

    Screw the unions…freakin’ manifestation of communist scum ideology…it’s sad that an ‘icon’ of traditional American rebellion and patriotism has to bow to marxist union bull****!

  3. Mark says:

    @gnmac dear god, listen to what you are saying! When you say “screw the unions” you are saying screw the workers. Unions are the most basic forms of democracy. Workers elect their representatives to act, speak, advocate and negotiate on behalf of the majority of their members. How much more democratic can you get.
    The anti-union crowd loves to wrap themselves around the flag and speak about our great democracy, but when it’s time to put their actions into words, their true colors appear. They would prefer a society made of a small wealthy ruling class, ruling over a very large class of poor serfs.

  4. gnmac says:

    Look at who “represents” the workers in the union – pro-marxist/socialists…The same people who helped back socialist administrations like FDR and Obama. Unions were born of 19th century European socialism, period. Before Marx and his ‘community organizers’, people practiced the puritan work ethic of one’s own determination and talent to pursue life, liberty and happiness for one’s self and family. Now we just have the union bosses, who together with ACORN and CPUSA, lead in the corrosion of the puritan work values that founded this nation. Not to mention that the insane $$$$$$$$ the unions demand cause many native corporations to move ops overseas where HD’s and Chevys can be made at more competitive prices for the consumer and return better investment for shareholders. Bottom line, sure on the the surface the unions may ‘protect’ the workers (until they are needed as pawns in the socialist revolution that Obama, Soros & Co are rapidly working towards in the US) but at the end of the day, it walks like a communist skunk, talks like a communist skunk, and damn straight it smells like a communist skunk; so it IS a communist skunk. It’s no wonder HD can’t modernize its line, it’s spending so much on the commie unions so they can host their red flags when Obama officially becomes dictator for life!

  5. gnmac says:

    Oh, oh one more ity bity little fact…SEIU just happens to be very very cozy with the Obamunists…so yeay, one more reason to feel all lovey dovey about unions :(

  6. Isaac says:

    Hey I saw that exact bike on Sons of Anarchy tonight!

    and Mark …. Isn’t what you are saying happening now? Look at the economic crisis, naturally occuring? I think not.

  7. Tom says:

    Funny now that Harley, and some cult members on this board, love to cite that Harely is reaching the young demographic and yet…..yet, they are still going broke and threatening to move. Profitable companies that actually have positive cash flow and not just marketing don’t threaten to move.

    Oh, and since people like gnmac hate unions, he is free to move to China and enjoy their “liberal ACTUAL Communist” working conditions.

  8. Chris says:

    gnmac pull your head out of your ass. Have fun at your next Glenn Beck Palin rally.

  9. gnmac says:

    Have fun when Obama & Co. turn your beloved democracy into post-WWII China and Russia :)

  10. gnmac says:

    BTW, thanks Chris, Restoring Honor was a great rally…an inspiring day to see so many Americans gathered to recapture The American Dream that our forefathers founded this great nation on.

  11. Mark says:

    gnmac, what you are really saying is:

    “an inspiring day to see so many Americans gathered to destroy The American Dream that our forefathers founded this great nation on”.

    Tea Baggers like you are the perfect type of citizen for the radical right, under-educated, gullible, and easily misled. You guys are tools for the very people that could care less about you and have pissed on you for the last 30 years. Wake-up for god’s sake!

  12. gnmac says:

    Well that’s great to hear…I’m guessing you’re from the same new left camp that has been trying to brainwash me while I’ve been in college for the last 2.5 years, trying to turn me into the perfect greenwashed union-loving social spending/bailout supporting community organizing democrat that Washington would love to clone by the billions. And since I’m well educated in both sides of the US coin, be it social, political, economic, cultural; I think I can quite well call my self a well-rounded independent who is just damn fed up with the Fed and I would rather be pissed on by the pro-laisse faire far right reps than by the pro-marxist far left dems. Hey, I did vote for Obama…just like all the gullible misled college kids :) I’ve just woken up now and realized I love America as it was meant to be, not as some in power want it to become. And that’s saying a lot because…well, I was born and I have lived in Communist Russia…now how do like those apples :)

  13. Mark says:

    So you voted for Obama, and now just 18 short months later, you think he’s the Anti-Christ and a closet Communist. This certainly doesn’t reflect well on your judgment and reflects the shallowness of your understanding. My guess is that you voted for Obama because someone told you to, and now you think Obama is a Communist because Glenn Beck told you he was. You have proven my earlier point.

    I suggest you study up on the real history of our country and cancel your Glenn Beck academy courses. Study up on the roaring 20′s leading up to the great depression, monopoly capitalism, corporatism, study the policies of FDR. Those policies turned this country into the most powerful economy in the world by creating and nurturing the greatest middle class the world has ever seen.
    Then look at how Ronald Regan and the right wing slowly but surely broke apart this foundation over the last 30 years, resulting in the 2nd Great Republican Depression we have today.

  14. Chris says:

    Mark your just scratching the surface with this kid, Hell he hasn’t even entered the work force yet but he knows that unions which built this country’s middle class are the devil.

  15. Bill Smith says:

    Well well! It appears as though we have a real spat brewing here. Gnmac and Mark – are either of you gainfully employed? Where do you find time for this brashing/bashing?

    Let’s incentivize the entire HD organization to seek shelter in Japan/Italy then just maybe, they’ll design and produce a product that competes with the metric/Italian products. HD needs SO much more than an alternate product assembly location!

    Maybe a merger with Navistar or CAT will bring the “reality check” that HD needs while retaining a few good men/woman here in the US.

    I’m wondering why/how the Japanese and German manufacturers build plants here and thrive in the competitive US auto market???

  16. gnmac says:

    Look at the post-WWI inflationary fed spending and excessive tax policies of America’s first “progressive” Woodrow Wilson that led to the depression of 1920…and the subsequent budget (in half to be exact) and tax cutting of Wilson’s successor, Harding, that led to the industrial and economic success known as the “Roaring 20′s”. Then, look at how the “holier than thou” FDR intro’d the biggest social and fed spending campaign in US history that only prolonged the Great Depression while oddly enough – even in the latter years of the depression the unemployment rate was still over 20% (thank God for WWII reinstalling industry and uniting Americans, leading to the explosion of economic growth in the 50′s) which was the byproduct of his admin stalling the depression for political purpose. You may say that there is a second “depression” today, but look at Obama’s failure to actually let the private sector and the natural flow of the economy change the tide (as Reagan did, among other positive actions), instead choosing to give more control of the economy and private sector over to the Fed (just as Wilson, FDR, Mao, etc. did). 18 months in, the unemployment rate still hovers around the same 9-10% nationally, our auto industry is either owned by the White House or the Italians, our mortgages are owned by the White House (Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae weren’t “bailed out”, they were simply bought out by the Gov), our financial industry is regulated all the way to the point of ass-wiping, the White House has control to shut down any business they want to, we are a $trillion in debt to China let alone this adminstration has exponentially increased our debt to some $40-ish trillion (even commando Bush didn’t do that with all his defense budget spending), our education system is run by a self-professed anti-American former domestic terrorist (Bill Ayers), the White House own the freakin’ media save for Murdoch & Co., and Obama would love to have the shut-off button for the internet and of course our entire private energy sector (you really want to pay an arm and both legs to fill you beloved motorcycle?).

    BTW, I voted for Obama because I got tired of spending $billions every week in Iraq and Afghanistan when people in my own country were trying to keep a roof over their head…and some Chi-town senator said that would part of something he called “fundamental transformation”…and I guess I can feel a bit happy that he has delivered on the promise to pull military ops out of Iraq and get out troops back home. And I still feel that way, regardless of whether the White House is blue or red.

    Oh Snap – BTW I have been in the “work force” since I was a high school sophomore, both in several family small businesses as well as a multi-million dollar international aviation company – so thank you, I have been making my own cheese and paying my own taxes, all the while keenly studying politics and history in high school (private conservative curriculum as well as public liberal curriculum) and college (super liberal private curriculum). So seriously, making me out to be some illiterate country jock hick who hasn’t worked a day in his life and is freakin’ oblivious to the hopes and fear of this nation (and you probably think I “cling to God and my guns” too, don’t you?) is an empty and lazy attack. This is the kind of simple polarizing that is killing this nation’s hope of returning to the prosperous, positive roots is was born out of. I’m not polarized, I’ve been both in the red camp and in the blue camp so I can speak all around out of both sides of face until the s*** is up to my waist if I want to… But, I know you will probably remain unconvinced – so, see you in November.

  17. Corey says:

    Harley doesn’t have a union issue, Harley has a management issue. Harley has relied too long on its herritage rather than improving the product. Also decisions such as Buying MV Agusta then selling them for a buck. Harley got swindled on that deal. Also, not giving Eric Buell the support he needed to develop a proper sportbike.

    Yes, Harley has a heritage, but also they need to develop some modern all new products, and market them to a wide range of people. Until they do that, they will continue on their decline and go the way of former companies such as Packard, Studebaker, and Indian.
    Maybe Harley will get lucky, with a hostile takeover, and save the company. It’s time for Harley to move into the 21st century. There is a way to build a beautiful cruiser, that’s modern and American. Victory is doing it.

  18. Mark says:

    There were three successive Republican presidencies prior to the crash of 1929, this was the height of laissez faire capitalism when an elite handful pick pocketed the American people. The same thing happened during the last 10 years. This country is run by a handful of financial and corporate elite. The only reason we don’t have 15-20% unemployment just like the early 30′s is because of the social safety nets put in place by FDR.

    6 banks control 62% of our nations wealth?
    3 health insurance companies control 75% of the health insurance market
    4 companies control 75% of the food we eat
    The small family farmer is being eaten alive by the corporate farms, owned by the same 4 companies.
    3 cable companies control 80% of our cable systems
    News media is now considered entertainment and is no longer separated from the advertising departments in our media.

    All this didn’t happen over the last 18 months, this has been brewing for 30 years.
    It’s no surprise that the top 1% have increased their wealth by 200% over the last 8 years, while the average American worker has seen a decline in their wages over the same period.

    This country is run and controlled by big business. They have monopolized their industries and fixed prices, this is what is killing our middle class. They have no moral obligation to the greater good of any one country or people. They can rape and pillage one country and then move on to the next.
    The only power that can counter this is the collective power of we the people, or in other words, government. Government is not the bad guy, it just so happens that it has been infiltrated by corrupted by corporatists, just like the corporations planned. Our job is to remove them and elect representatives that will once again make this economy work for the people instead of just the corporations.

    If you think that increasing governments ability to represent the interests of the people is somehow Communist or Socialist, you are pissing on the foundation and constitution that this country was built on.

    BTW, a fact. 80% of the failed sub-prime mortgages were issued by private banks, Fannie and Freddie accounted for only 20%. They have always been a pseudo government entity, they were not bought out by the government, they had stricter regulations to follow, which is why their default rate was much lower than the private banks.

    If you look at the GDP growth during the 30′s, it was increasing and recovering at a fairly sharp rate, prior to the start of WW2, another false myth claimed by the right.

    The right wing through Fox News has perpetrated a propaganda campaign unseen since WW2 Germany, the same old tricks of fear and hate that worked back then still work today, you are a perfect example.

    I’m done with this

  19. Mark says:

    Corey, I agree with you 100%. Harley management is to blame for their current problems, not the Union. Harley management created their own bubble, by offering credit to anyone that could sign their name, they did the same thing that banks did with mortgages, just so they could inflate their sales numbers and stock value, and bonuses too of course.

    I would much rather see HD sold to a private family owned company, who plan for the long term health of the company, rather than short term Wall Street stock gain. This is the problem with publicly traded companies, no one is interested in the long term, the CEO’s have a 3-4 year contract, the share holders come and go like the wind. All the stake holders are only interested in a short term quick profit. The only people that care about the long term are the employees.

    An interesting little tidbit is the fact that a publicly traded company in Germany must have at least 50% of the board of directors comprised of labor. Labor is always involved in every major company decision. One reason why Germany, with higher labor costs than the US is the second largest exporter in the world. It gave up the #1 spot just this year to China.

  20. irksome says:

    Unions: The people who brought you the weekend.

    Gnmac: You’re 20 f**king years old. Call us back when you’ve stopped sucking on your mama’s teat and actually had a life. Unions built this country and created the middle class.

    Harley: Nice blackmail attempt. You killed Buell, the last “Great American Motorcycle Company. You deserve everything you get. Too bad Wisconsin didn’t tell you to get stuffed.