Harley-Davidson, Kansas City Unions Have Contract Ready For Vote

The Kansas City Star

February 23, 2011 – Harley-Davidson and negotiators for its Machinists and Steelworkers unions said Tuesday that they had a proposed contract for the Kansas City plant.

Its terms were not disclosed and will be discussed with union members starting today. A vote by the rank and file on the proposal is set for Monday.

The current contract will expire in July 2012. The plant near Kansas City International Airport employs about 800, with about 675 of them hourly workers.

When the negotiations began Jan. 26, officials for Machinists Local 176 said the company was seeking about $25 million in annual cost savings at the Kansas City plant. Local 176 represents most of the plant’s union workers, but members of Local 760 of the United Steelworkers also work at the plant and would be covered by the proposed agreement.

In late 2010, Harley said that without a revamped agreement, operations in Kansas City could be moved to its plant in York, Pa. The company has negotiated new concessionary contracts with its York and Wisconsin plants, similar to what Harley said it was seeking in Kansas City.

The 358,000-square-foot Harley plant was built in 1998 and produces the Sportster, Dyna and VRSC families of motorcycles.