Wisconsin Manufacturing News

Harley will keep production in Wisconsin, receives $25M tax credits; Global manufacturer to establish operations in Pleasant Prairie

Harley will keep production in Wisconsin, receives $25M tax credits

The board of directors of Harley-Davidson Inc. voted last week to continue production operations in Wisconsin after a seven-year labor contract that was ratified by its Wisconsin employees in three labor union local chapters on Monday.

The new contract, approved by members of United Steelworkers of America Local 2-209 in Milwaukee and Local 460 of Tomahawk and members of the International Association of Machinists Lodge 78, will establish a two-tier workforce in 2012 but will keep the company’s production work in Wisconsin.

“Change is never easy, and we have asked our employees to make difficult decisions. However, we are pleased to be keeping production operations in our hometown of Milwaukee and in Tomahawk,” said Keith Wandell, president and chief executive officer of the company. “Together, we are making the necessary changes across our entire company to succeed in a competitive, global marketplace while continuing to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers.”

The Wisconsin Department of Commerce is providing Harley-Davidson Inc. with a $25 million Enterprise Zone tax credit over nine years, which will be a performance-based incentive linked to jobs and capital investment at the company and purchases from their in-state suppliers.

“Through hard work and cooperation, Harley-Davidson will keep its production operations open in Wisconsin, and keep hundreds of jobs in this state – both at Harley and their suppliers,” Doyle said. “This has been a challenging time for Harley and its great employees, and I want to thank everyone who came together in difficult circumstances to ensure this iconic Wisconsin company stays in Wisconsin.”

Based on the new ratified labor agreements, the company expects to have about 700 full-time hourly unionized employees in its Milwaukee-area facilities when the contracts are implemented in 2012, about 250 fewer than would be required under the existing contract. In Tomahawk, the company expects to have a full-time hourly unionized workforce of about 200 when the contract is implemented, about 75 fewer than would be required under the current contract.

The company also expects its Wisconsin production workforce to include 150 to 250 “casual” employees on an annualized basis to cover seasonal volume spikes, vacations and other absences as the new labor agreements are implemented.

The new contracts are expected to generate about $50 million in annual operating savings for the company in 2013, the first full year of the agreements. The company expects to incur approximately $85 million in additional restructuring charges related to the new contracts through 2012, of which about $55 million will be cash charges.

When fully implemented, the company expects previously announced restructuring activities, together with the implementation of the new contracts at the Wisconsin operations, to result in one-time charges of $515 million to $545 million, and annual ongoing savings of $290 million to $310 million.

Global manufacturer to establish operations in Pleasant Prairie

Mondi Akrosil LLC, a Menasha-based division of Mondi Group, which has corporate headquarters in the United Kingdom and South Africa, plans to purchase the former Permacel factory in Pleasant Prairie.

The company plans to employ between 30 and 100 employees at the facility.

The 168,879-square-foot facility is located at 7201 108th St., Pleasant Prairie, in the LakeView Corporate Park. Permacel, a dsubsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Nitto Denko Corp., closed the plant last year putting about 100 people out of work.

Mondi Akrosil is a manufacturer of silicone-coated release liners for pressure-sensitive products. An example of the company’s products is the removable backing on stickers and nametags.

Mondi Group is a producer of packaging and business paper. Mondi Group employs 31,000 people in 31 countries.

The Pleasant Prairie Plan Commission on Monday approved site and operational plans for Mondi Akrosil.

Mondi Akrosil’s Pleasant Prairie operations will complement the company’s existing facilities in Menasha and in Lancaster, Ohio, village officials said.

The company plans to take ownership of the property and begin equipment installation and operations within the next few months.

The company’s decision is another commercial development triumph for Kenosha County, which continues to lure away businesses from elsewhere.


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