Harley staying in Wisconsin after wage, benefits deal

Two-tiered wage program helps Milwaukee keep iconic plant, as rumored move to Kansas City is idled


The Business Journal of Milwaukee reported that

The unions have agreed to unanimously recommend ratification of a company proposal to preserve about 1,700 jobs in the state.

The Milwaukee-based heavyweight motorcycle manufacturerhad said that it might move its Wisconsin powertrain manufacturing operation to Kansas City if it couldn’t work out an arrangement with its unions, the United Steelworkers of America and the International Associations of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Harley employs 800 people, including 675 hourly workers, at its Kansas City production plant. It also has additional land available near the plant if it wished to build a new facility.

The company announced Friday that it had struck a deal with its unions, but didn’t release additional details at that time.

The two-tier worker setup includes a group of “regular” employees and a second group of new workers, or those rehired or recalled from indefinite layoffs lasting more than six months.

Tier 1 employees would be paid between $30.50 and $34.38 an hour during the first year of the agreement, depending on job classification. Tier 2 employees would earn between $21.96 and $29.87 an hour in the initial year, depending on job classification.

The contract calls for no general wage increase in years two through four of the agreement for Tier 1 employees. In year five, all employees on the active payroll as of April 1, 2016, will receive a $1,000 lump sum. For years six and seven of the agreement, base wage rates may be increased for Tier 1 employees subject to market wage rate comparisons.

If ratified by the respective memberships, the new labor contracts would take effect in April 2012, when the current contracts expire.

Read more: Harley-Davidson contract limits wage increases, would keep work in Wisconsin - Kansas City Business Journal


Harley-Davidson Inc.’s union workers in Wisconsin factories are set to vote Sept. 13 about an agreement that would create a two-tiered work force.

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