The new seven-year contract goes into effect in April 2012 after the current contract ends. It would lock salaries for four years and may lead to hundreds of job cuts. Employees had little choice in agreeing to the deal however as Harley-Davidson had said it would move production out of Wisconsin if the unions could not agree on a contract.
“Today’s vote by Harley employees is good news, but this was a tough decision for Harley and for hundreds of workers. Harley has faced real challenges in these difficult national economic times, but through hard work and cooperation this Wisconsin icon will continue operations in this state,” says Governor Jim Doyle. “The State has made keeping Harley in this state a top priority, and we provided a very competitive incentive package to help ensure Harley’s jobs stayed in Wisconsin. I want to thank everyone who came together in difficult times to make this possible.”
Workers at Harley-Davidson’s facility in Menomonee Falls, Wis., represented by the United Steelworkers of America Local 2-209 and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Lodge 78, have ratified the contract. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, USW Local 2-209 voted 619-507 in favor of the new agreement. The Machinists union represents approximately 135 workers but the specific results of its vote were not released.
USW Local 460, representing approximately 325 workers at Harley-Davidson’s factory in Tomahawk, Wis., also voted on the proposed contract but the results have not yet been announced.
Harley-Davidson’s board of directors will meet on Sept. 14 to approve the deal or decide whether to relocate.
H-D, Union Reach New Agreement