Unions Leaders Support Harley-Davidson Proposed Lower Paid Casual Workers Labor Contract. Read It.

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.

26 Responses to “Unions Leaders Support Harley-Davidson Proposed Lower Paid Casual Workers Labor Contract. Read It.”

  1. 1 raycwheeler Sep 7th, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    turn out the lights when you leave the country.

  2. 2 Harley Sad Sep 7th, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Next, Harley will manufacture its models with even cheaper workers in India, China, Mexico. Don’t get emotionally attached to your employer. He doesn’t care your efforts, devotion…and pain. It’s all about executives and shareholders money.

  3. 3 TodT Sep 7th, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    lower paid casual employees……hmmmm.

  4. 4 Ashley Sep 7th, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Reality check. America’s manufacturing industry is shrinking at full speed. The service idustry is where you children should be if they want any professional future.

  5. 5 Lyle Sep 7th, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    There’s already many different industries using “casual labor” including heavy contruction and agriculture. Why have the extra costs associated with giving temporary workers health benefits and a higher wages? And I expect to start at a lower wage when starting a new job. If someone dosen’t want to work under these conditions, they won’t.

  6. 6 Keith Stone Sep 7th, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Leaving the station, next stop India, then Mexico, and a shopping excursion in China ……………. you ready?…. sad!
    You guys are seeing this right?

  7. 7 Big Sep 7th, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Keith, if H-D wanted to move to China or India, why wouldn’t they just do it at the end of the current labor contract rather than go through all these negotiations to keep the jobs in Wisconsin? I think your conspiracy theory needs some rethinking.

  8. 8 fuji Sep 7th, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    In short.
    You may work for the company but !
    You will never be able to afford a new Harley.

    Riding on your Special edition Yamaha Star. ” Blue collar edition ” Or ?

    Suck it up and be Loyal. No future other than Harley pride. I feel for those that have to sacrifice so much
    I wish you well.

    My affection for the company isn’t a secret. Nada ! There’s no surprise to the fact or outcome of the down side of this story.
    Just imagine what would have happened if the Union had not stepped in and stood their ground. LOL

  9. 9 golfish Sep 7th, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    I’ve been a Teamster for more then 30 years. I’ve seen a trend over the past 10 years on all contracts voted in by members. Mostly, its screw the new guys coming in. If our Fathers, Grandfather and Great Grandfathers did this we’d all be screwed.

  10. 10 sdbiker Sep 7th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Or you lose your job….Everyone has to make sacrifices. Everyone says it’s all about the executives and no one cares about the little guy. Well, when you make less bikes than previous years you can’t afford to give raises or keep the same amount of staff on. Dealers, Motor Company, suppliers, everyone has had to let people go and cut back. It sucks but as my dad always says “Life ain’t supposed to be easy.”

  11. 11 Bill Sep 7th, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    So, a brand new person that tightens a nut or installs a seat makes 22 bucks an hour? Hmm? No wonder Harley is broke.

    The pay scale ranges from $21.96 to $36.14. Sign me up. Oh, except the fact the union takes part of my pay for “defending” my job. I will stay in my non-union job thank you.


  12. 12 Keith Stone Sep 7th, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Mr. Big

    Its not a conspiracy theory, its business.. And they are not moving their, Its a much bigger picture than that, and much more drawn out. I’m sure you know all about the India dealership and cost cutting efforts here in the US. The agreement they have entered into is just the start of a long term change. As you have read, this is just the first leg of change over the next seven years… There new CEO is not even a bike guy, he is a business man. Being paid to make big changes. Here they come. More to come!

    I love Harley and wish them the very best. I feel for all the employs, having to enduring the new changes. There are allot of intelligent and successful business people that read this forum. I think they would agree the future is going to look much different than the past for HD. The bottom line is to make money. In some aspect unfortunately, people go down the wrong path in the quest for the quick buck…. They need a solid long term plan, with some new killer bikes that make scenes, now and in the future. Some of these changes in business and in bikes will piss people off but they are at a cross roads, pick your poison.

  13. 13 mad$andy Sep 7th, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    I bet now that they are lowering the labor cost, Retail price should follow? I’ll start holding my breath now.

  14. 14 fredp Sep 7th, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Like i said a month ago, Welcome to Harley “Made in India” To BIG, need to build those factories overseas first. Keep the USA worker thinking he’s got a job. What a weak union at H_D. They know the writings on the wall. Save what’s left for the senior guys. Maybe get a couple more years out of the job.

  15. 15 RUB Sep 7th, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    fredp , your right on the money . the clock is ticking ……………………

  16. 16 bigitch Sep 8th, 2010 at 1:56 am

    wanna save money?
    quit making so many models.
    reduce the inventory to keep the value high.
    eliminate half or three quarters of the management.
    make the managers left actually work instead of sitting around thinking of ways to lay off trade labor.
    quit producing all those bullshit motor company clothes and bangles for the biker.
    start standardizing your parts

  17. 17 Tim P Sep 8th, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Wow i must be on the wrong website. I have been told that Cyril’s Blog had mainly industry professionals. People who owned or ran businesses. I do not hear a comment from one person who actually ran a business or did a payroll. since when is a businesses business to only provide jobs? A business is in business to make money, this is what makes then great. When the Davidson & Harley boys started tinkering in the shed in 1903 they goal was not to maintain thousands of employees for life, they wanted to make money and the came up with a decent product people wanted and still do. Harley builds a decent product that many people can afford. that is how they make money. Labor is one of the largest costs that a company has, they are always trying to reduce it. If you own a business you are trying to keep as much money in you cash register as possible. You pay a fair wage, buy products at a fair price and charge a fair price to your customers, do a better job then your competition of taking care of your customers, be honest, fair and you make money. Not that hard. For you people who only can bad mouth business and call them evil and greedy I am sorry you sound a lot like that Marx, or Lenin, or Mao, or Adolph, or Obama guy. Stop the class warfare crap. Business is good, it employees people, it gives people great products and services. the old saying comes to mind pay me so I can pay him so he can pay then so they can pay me.

  18. 18 Buck Private Sep 8th, 2010 at 7:30 am

    bigitch, I’m sure the exec’s LOVE the profit from the motorclothes division. Even the items on the discount racks are expensive. $ 60 for an ugly pullover? $ 120 for a lightweight raincoat? $ 30 for an ugly t-shirt that no one else would buy? And $ 320 for a new small H-D neon clock with a small oval neon ring? The’re probably making more off of that Chinesee stuff than paying Detroit wages and Detroit/Wall St. Exec’s salaries to build a bike. They’re relying too much on the Sportster and old Springer designs. Where is the new design dept? I can almost predict the 2012 line now. Not much selection on the dealers floors that I can see. How about something new like a Chopper/ Stretched Bagger (insert no pizza boxes or antenna’s here) kind of like a cross between the looks of a Big Dog K-9 and a Jim Nasi stretched bagger kit. If you look in Hot Bike and Baggers mags thats where everythings headed. That would be a big canvas to have the CVO do a NEW style paint job on. Any word on 110 motor problems?

  19. 19 jonesy Sep 8th, 2010 at 9:29 am

    The worst thing in the contract is the introduction of tier 2 employees. What kind of union is that? We got ours, now screw you, new guy? They should be ashamed. The UAW did that too and it just goes to show the unions have no principles. They’re not even looking out for each other anymore. Now it’s all about the people who had jobs before 2007 and those who didn’t. I’ll be damned if I’ll do the same job as the guy next to me for 10 bucks less an hour!

  20. 20 martin Sep 8th, 2010 at 9:44 am

    ALong with that Carmichael/Lynch the marketing firm Harley has used for 31 years for it’s Ad’s resigns Harley’s account,Last week,so maybe the T-Shirts will be coming down in price?

  21. 21 fredp Sep 8th, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Tim P. Harley will build a great product, at fair prices, and good warranties, and at decent labor rates. (from overseas) I don’t see anyone crying about some Triumphs being built in Thailand. Heck, Triumph was even voted most dependable bike a few years back. There are many business people on this sight, who actually know the score.
    Is Harley’s top guy a biker? No? $$ and cents my friend.

  22. 22 Brett Sep 8th, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Reality is…Unions are a thing of the past. Pensions are a thing of the past. Working 20 years or more for 1 company is a thing of the past. America being a country that produces goods is a thing of the past. We are no longer an industrial country.

    America is going to be a bunch of insurance companies & other office professionals. You either are at the top of the ladder or you make between $13 & $20 an hour. Our companies are not top heavy…too many chiefs not enough indians & they are unwilling to change it. Harley is just one of the few holdouts who hasn’t gone this route over a decade ago.

  23. 23 BAJerry Sep 8th, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Just think how much better off we would be if Ronnie Rayguns hadn’t bailed them out in the 80′ remember all the lawyers calling and sending threating letters to anybody that used Harley Davidson, hog, etc. in their adds and even trying to patent their sound. The aftermarket would have done just fine. They can’t even build a bike that will go over 25,000 miles without major problens, chain tentioner springs and the nylon pads for example. Besids they stole all their “new technoligy” from the aftermarket anyway..What do you think a cut in wages and less quality controll is going to do to the final product. I bought my last new Harley in 2000, and most of the parts I have bought have been aftermarket..I advise anybody looking to buy a bike to buy aftermarket clone bikes, or an other made in the U.S.A. brand, you get more for your money..

  24. 24 gravey158 Sep 8th, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    sure is a long time before the next raise. to bad the cost of living won’t wait for your next raise. am a Teamster here in Canda, as a shop stewart we are only looking to sign a three yr. deal. things can only look better in a yr or so. then the co. makes more money and the works don’t get to share in any profit that they helped make. we did that 5 yrs ago and got ourselves screwed, so no more for us. But Good Luck to all menbers, i do hope this works for you.

  25. 25 Woody Sep 8th, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    This would be a lot easier for the workers to deal with if it wasn’t for genius moves like MV recently. If they saw similar wage adjustments from the top it’d be different. That said, workers got raises when the money was rolling in, perhaps it isn’t unreasonable for a cut during bad times. As one who’s been there I would gently advise them to vote yes. A job is a great thing to have while looking for a job 😉

  26. 26 M Sep 9th, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Buck Private. You ask why Harley hasnt created “something new like a Chopper/ Stretched Bagger (insert no pizza boxes or antenna’s here) kind of like a cross between the looks of a Big Dog K-9 and a Jim Nasi stretched bagger kit?” Lets see… it is not a profitable risk, MAybe? WHere are people like Big DOg and THunder Mountain in this economy? Just in case u havent noticed the market for customs is not there in this economy. Harley continues to create a good product and introduce new models to intice new and different buyers. they are not in the business to create the radical custom, and that is probably why they have been around for 107 years

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Cyril Huze