Harley-Davidson, Wisconsin unions reach tentative deal

Harley-Davidson and its Milwaukee area labor unions have reached a tentative agreement to keep production jobs in Wisconsin.

Union members will get details Tuesday of a contract they are expected to vote on Sept. 13.

Company and union officials have not disclosed the terms of the deal, but H-D said in a press release that leaders of the United Steelworkers of America and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers are recommending approval of the deal.

Terms of the contract offers are expected to resemble deals the Motor Co. made last year with production workers in York, Penn. Those deals spared some full-time jobs but traded others off in favor of more flexible, “casual” workers.

Harley had threatened to move production out of Wisconsin if it couldn’t cut $54 million in labor costs.

“The proposed agreements provide a very competitive compensation package,” spokesman Bob Klein told the Journal Sentinel. “At the same time, they provide us with the flexibility and the cost competitiveness that we need to succeed in the future.”

The company says it will make decisions quickly after the vote. If workers reject the deal, it has threatened to move production out of the state, likely splitting the work between existing plants in Kansas City and York.

Posted by Holly Wagner at DEALER NEWS

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