Harley, USW locals reach agreement

Company says deal has been ratified

Harley-Davidson headquarters
Harley-Davidson Inc.'s headquarters in Milwaukee.

Last updated on May 14th, 2019 at 08:27 am

Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. and two United Steelworkers local unions in Wisconsin said Monday morning the two sides had reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.

Union members from USW Local 2-209, which represents around 730 workers at Harley’s Pilgrim Road plant, and USW Local 460, which represents 280 workers at the company’s Tomahawk plant, voted on the contract Monday.

By early afternoon, Harley had released a statement indicating the USW workers had ratified the agreement. Union officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Harley riders near the company’s headquarters in Milwaukee.

The two unions previously rejected a new five-year contract earlier this month, although both sides agreed to continue negotiations. The previous contract ended on March 31 but was extended through 11:59 p.m. April 14.

Another Harley union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers’ Lodge 78, which represents around 90 workers in the Milwaukee area, accepted the new contract on April 1.

Harley said the contract voted on by the USW workers on Monday was substantially the same as the one ratified by the IAM members.

In previous statements, Harley touted a 14% wage increase over the life of the contract, along with no changes to health care in the first year of the deal, pension enhancements, incentive plans and retirement incentives for those eligible for retirement.

The unions, however, said the company was “out of touch” with workers in the plants and had made the negotiations about economic issues only. Union officials said non-economic issues like the treatment of seniority, use of temporary labor and surge production practices were among the critical issues to them.

Note: This story has been updated to reflect Harley’s statement regarding a ratified contract

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

No posts to display