Harley-Davidson sees labour unrest ahead of contract expiry

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is reporting labour unrest among Harley-Davidson employees in the final days of the labour contract at the company’s Wisconsin powertrain manufacturing plant.

According to the newspaper, workers at the Menomonee Falls plant have staged protests, even as their current labour contract is due to expire in coming days, with no replacement signed yet. The current deal has been in place since 2012. It saw the company hire more seasonal employees who might not work a full 12-month year, and who receive lower wages without health and retirement benefits.

WISN 12 reports the protests have taken place over worker’s dinner breaks, in front of the factory.

Harley-Davidson builds the engines and transmissions for its Big Twin, Milwaukee-Eight and Sportster bikes at the Pilgrim Road plant in Menomonee Falls. which are then shipped to the final assembly plant in York, Pennsylvania.

This is not the first upheaval in Harley-Davidson’s American workforce in recent months, as the company shut down its Kansas City plant (adding more jobs at its Pennsylvania plant), and also angered some union members with its plans to open a new manufacturing facility in Thailand.

So far, we have not seen anybody talking about any production delays as a result of the labour unrest, though.

When asked about the labour issues, Harley-Davidson’s corporate media relations manager told CMG that “I will confirm that we have been in contract negotiations only, and for that reason, will not comment further at this time.”

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