Union workers at Harley-Davidson’s Wisconsin plants have approved a seven-year contract that keeps work at the Tomahawk and Menomonee Falls plants, although at a price.
The deal creates a two-tier workforce similar to what the Motor Co. has at its plants in the York, Penn., area. It preserves some full-time, union jobs, but transitions some to part-time, seasonal, “casual” positions.
“It doesn’t feel good now, but we’re happy we kept jobs in Milwaukee,” Mike Masik, president of United Steelworkers of America Local 2-209, told the Milwaukee Small Business Times. “My people will be at work tomorrow and will be making quality engines and transmissions … This contract has no guarantees. [The company] only said that they will stop their search for a new spot. (The lack of a guarantee is a) big concern.”
Had the contract not been approved, Harley’s board of directors would have met tomorrow to begin the process of moving production out of the state, a letter from CEO Keith Wandell warned the unions.
“They put the people’s back to the wall. “[The workers] had to do it [approve the contract],” Masik said.
The new force of “casual” workers will not receive benefits and will be paid $16.80 an hour, compared with $30.50 plus benefits for regular, full-time employees.
Posted by Holly Wagner at Dealer News