Harley-Davidson has reached a preliminary collective bargaining agreement with workers at their Kansas City plant, according to the Kansas City Business Journal.â€¨â€¨
The union had been in talks with management since January, after an internal study in late 2010 led company officials to threaten to move jobs to their York, PA plant to improve efficiency.
The Journal points out the company appears to have developed a tactic of playing their various plants against one another; in 2009, Harley-Davidson won concessions from workers in York, threatening to move their jobs to Kansas City or a new plant if efficiency wasn’t improved, and in 2010, Milwaukee workers agreed to a new contract under a similar threat.
The deals revolve around Harley-Davidson’s plan to hire part-time workers on an as-needed, part-time basis at $16.75 per hour, instead of full-time union wages that start around $30 per hour.â€¨â€¨
The Kansas City union (about 675 members) will vote on the deal next Monday after reviewing the details today. There’s no word yet if the negotiations will result in job cuts at the Kansas City plant, but the union concessions at the York and Milwaukee plants meant not only the introduction of a part-timer workforce, but also left some employees with pink slips.