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  • Another York, Pa? Will it work twice?

    Harley-Davidson may leave Wis. if costs don't fall

    By DINESH RAMDE (AP) 2 hours ago

    MILWAUKEE Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc. warned its employees Thursday it could move its Wisconsin manufacturing operations to another U.S. state if it can't cut millions of dollars in costs.

    A recent analysis found a number of significant "cost gaps" that must be filled for the company to remain competitive, Harley spokesman Bob Klein said. The largest gaps involved labor costs and scheduling flexibility, Klein said.

    "We'll be talking with the unions about how to close those competitive gaps," he said.

    One of Harley's largest unions, the Local 2-209 chapter of the United Steelworkers International Union, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

    The Wisconsin plants at risk include its powertrain operations in Milwaukee. Those operations, with about 1,320 employees, are already being consolidated, and company officials have said the move would result in an unspecified number of job cuts.

    The other Wisconsin plant, in Tomahawk, makes components including motorcycle windshields. It has about 375 workers, Klein said.

    Even while holding discussions with union leaders, the company plans to look at sites in other states, Klein said. He declined to say which states, or how many sites, were under consideration.

    The announcement was first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

    Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett pledged in a statement to do everything he could "to ensure Harley-Davidson remains a proud Wisconsin company for generations to come."

    The Milwaukee-based company has been struggling with sluggish sales, particularly of its high-end bikes. It reported last week that its first-quarter profit plunged 72 percent from the same period last year, while revenue dropped 19 percent. Retail sales of its heavyweight motorcycles fell more than 18 percent worldwide, the company said, with sales in the U.S. falling by nearly a quarter.

    In December, Harley and its union agreed to a seven-year contract at its main motorcycle assembly plant in York, Pa. Under that contract, Harley would shut down one of two factories there and lay off nearly half the unionized work force of about 1,950 employees.

    Harley-Davidson has many factors working against it in the U.S., including an aging customer base and growing competition from rivals. The company has long said it is focusing more attention and investment in markets overseas, where it has more room for growth.

    Harley shares rose 83 cents, or 2.4 percent, to close at $35 on Thursday. Shares have traded in a 52-week range of $14.99 to $36.13.
    Herd # 76
    I didn't buy a Sportster because I wanted a Harley, I bought a Sportster because it's OLD S'COOL

  • #2
    I bet this is a ploy for the employees to take concessions. I have many friends who work at HD here is town, and they will all tell you they are way overpaid for what they do. I'm all for getting paid a decent wage, but the stories I hear about people sleeping at work on Sat and Sun just for the overtime, something has to be done. I hope they do stay here, they bring alot to Milwaukee.
    Justin, HERD member 00016
    97 Fatboy

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    • #3
      Again !
      Appalachian Redneck

      "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely, in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used and worn out, loudly proclaiming, "WOW!!! WHAT A RIDE!!!"

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      • #4
        Cooper Tires pulled that here a few years ago. Same situation, employees way overpaid and they know it. Most making $60K a year or better to work and sleep in a factory. So the city gave them free utilities, tax breaks ect. to keep them here. Now the taxpayers are paying for those guys to keep their jobs. Most think it was a ploy and it worked.
        Herd member #85

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        • #5
          It worked in York, so they probably figure lets do it again.
          Herd # 76
          I didn't buy a Sportster because I wanted a Harley, I bought a Sportster because it's OLD S'COOL

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          • #6
            when unions get too big and pull a power grab it always ends up hurtin someone.

            damn unions.. nuff said.
            HERD MEMBER #00028
            http://treadonthis.blogspot.com
            How about STFU and have a glass of MOO
            Member of the Moo Ton Crew- Ain't no Atheists at 100 up!!!

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            • #7
              Fug the unions!
              Spread the word! Learn about Jury Nullification! Help take back our country from
              our corrupt: judicial system, police system, and government! http://www.fija.org

              My website

              FTP FTF ACAB TOSIAR

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              • #8
                I agree, from my experience I see no good come from the unions except lost jobs.
                Herd Member #87
                US Navy Veteran

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                • #9
                  Course not having Harley in Milwaukee would just about be sacrilege wouldn't it?
                  Herd Member #87
                  US Navy Veteran

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                  • #10
                    I know alot of fuggars down here would eat shit and bark at the moon for a job like that,, wouldnt need no friggen union either, just decent pay. Which would be a lot lower too, cost of living is way less.
                    THE NEGATIVE ONE no better don't click
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-c...-ts=1422579428
                    How's my Spelin, CALL 1-800-BOSS to report my bad spelizin

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wndchsr View Post
                      Course not having Harley in Milwaukee would just about be sacrilege wouldn't it?

                      Yup, but in the end, do we really want to support that level of waste ?
                      I would be better to stuff the Union and move on...IMHO
                      U.S. Army "Retired"
                      (Disabled Veteran)

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wndchsr View Post
                        I agree, from my experience I see no good come from the unions except lost jobs.
                        Cheap ass product too, cut research/production costs to pay labor.
                        THE NEGATIVE ONE no better don't click
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-c...-ts=1422579428
                        How's my Spelin, CALL 1-800-BOSS to report my bad spelizin

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gruss View Post
                          Yup, but in the end, do we really want to support that level of waste ?
                          I would be better to stuff the Union and move on...IMHO
                          Yeah, the first step in my mind would be to throw the union out on its collective butt in my opinion. Vlade is right as well, most folks around here would kill for that kind of job and even take much less money than those guys are getting. Hell I would love to work at Harley if it was down here somewhere cause I aint moving up there.
                          Herd Member #87
                          US Navy Veteran

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by vlade View Post
                            Cheap ass product too, cut research/production costs to pay labor.
                            Anytime you go cutting R/D to make up for higher wage costs you are cutting off your nose to spite your face.
                            Herd Member #87
                            US Navy Veteran

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wndchsr View Post
                              Course not having Harley in Milwaukee would just about be sacrilege wouldn't it?
                              I don't know, Harley has lost a little bit of it's charm around here. It's still great to have them here, but it's not like it used to be. The unions are killing many local companies, we have seen many move on just to get rid of the huge labor cost. Is somebody really worth 26-32 per hour to install a couple of screws on the line? I suppose it all depends on who you ask, but I would say no. I will be watching to see how this plays out, it should be interesting.
                              Justin, HERD member 00016
                              97 Fatboy

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