Unions representing Harley-Davidson workers unanimously recommended approval of a new labor contract that would save hundreds of jobs in Wisconsin at the Milwaukee and Tomahawk plants. The contract content was disclosed to all concerned Harley workers two hours ago at 10 am this Tuesday September 7, 2010. Click here to read the full 65-page proposed contract.
To Summarize. Under the new 7-year proposed labor contract agreement, there would be 2 types of workers. 1- Regular employees with no general salary increase in the second, third and fourth years of the contract. In the sixth and seventh years of the contract, base wage rates may be increased subject to what are the prevailing area wages. 2-Lower Paid Casual Employees for seasonal and other volume-related reasons. Harley fixes no limit on the number of casual employees the company may hire at any time, but no more than 30% of the total regular bargaining-unit hours worked in a calendar year. These casual employees would not be receive any benefits of any kind including, but not limited to, medical insurance or retirement benefits. They can be terminated without cause.
Employees who volunteer to leave the company as part of Harley proposed workforce reduction could receive a $12,000 one-time check, would forfeit their seniority, and would have no further rights to be recalled by Harley-Davidson.
To succeed in the future, Harley-Davidson needs to reduce costs and because of seasonal production of engines and parts needs more flexibility from its workforce. The tentative agreement may prevent Harley from moving some Wisconsin operations out of the State. A final vote by the United Steelworkers, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers is scheduled for September 13. Harley-Davidson says that whatever the outcome of this vote, the company will honor its current labor agreements until they expire.