Harley-Davidson workers contend plant closure after taxation cut is like being stranded in a bad dream

SPRINGETTSBURY TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Harley-Davidson workers opposite a USA are disorder after a new news suggested a plant closure and layoffs were designed as a association approaching to reap outrageous financial benefits from a sovereign corporate taxation cut.

The Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer benefited from a taxation cuts enacted Jan. 1, announced cuts of 350 jobs opposite a association in late Jan and on Feb. 5 authorized a half-cent division increase and buyback of adult to 15 million shares.

“We did all Harley-Davidson asked us to do,” welder Tim Primeaux pronounced in an NBC News interview that aired Wednesday. “To have it all blow adult in your face is kind of disappointing.”

Primeaux has worked during Harley-Davidson’s plant in Kansas City, Missouri, for 17 years. 

► May 21: Loud Harleys: Is motorcycle sound honeyed peace or out-of-control din?
► May 11: Harley-Davidson to boat work to Thailand from U.S. plant, kinship says
► May 10: Shareholders ask questions, though media kept out of annual meeting

When Harley-Davidson announced in Jan that it would condense 800 jobs on shutting a Kansas City plant by tumble 2019, Primeaux pronounced he and other workers were in a state of “shock and awe.”

“It was like we was in a bad dream, only stranded in it,” Primeaux told a network.

In May 2017, Harley-Davidson had announced it was adding 118 workers during a Kansas City plant to connect Softail cruiser motorcycles and laying off a same series of workers during its Springettsbury Township trickery nearby York, Pa.

Now with a Kansas City closure, 450 full-time, infrequent and executive positions will be combined during in Pennsylvania, agreeable a detriment of 350 jobs overall. 

Days after it announced a plant closure, a association announced a division boost that would cost a association about $846,000 and a batch buyback devise that was another responsibility of $696 million during a time, both to advantage shareholders. That came on a heels of the company’s corporate taxation cut from 35 percent to 21 percent and a prior proclamation final year that a new motorcycle public plant in Thailand would open in late 2018.

The association maintains that a division boost and batch buyback are unrelated to a taxation savings and a Bangkok plant is separate to a Kansas City closure. 

Harley-Davidson has pronounced shutting a Kansas City plant was a tough preference though required since U.S. sales are down and a association indispensable to residence additional capacity.

► Apr 24: Harley-Davidson distinction falls as U.S. motorcycle sales sojourn weak
► Apr 20: Harley-Davidson seeks 8 interns to float motorcycles for a summer

Rick Pence, who has worked during a Kansas City plant for 21 years, isn’t shopping that. 

“They are promulgation a jobs overseas. Absolutely,” Pence, a appurtenance repairman, pronounced to NBC News

Milwaukee-based Harley has identical operations in India and Brazil, where finish motorcycles are fabricated from kits. The Thai tariff on motorcycles fabricated in a United States is about 60%, according to Harley.

“By opening this plant, we design a informal (Asian) operations to assistance revoke those costs,” Harley mouthpiece Katie Whitmore pronounced final year.

Company executives were asked mixed times what it would take to keep a plant in Kansas City, according to Kevin Amos, boss Local Lodge 176 of a International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers whose members work during Harley-Davidson’s Kansas City plant. He also has worked 17 years for a bike maker.

He said he was underneath a impression workers were doing all to keep a association in Missouri.

“We suspicion we had met a mark. Clearly we didn’t,” Amos said.

The workers concluded they have desired operative for Harley-Davidson, and Pence pronounced he felt like he had won a lottery when he got hired. 

Primeaux still is holding wish association leaders will change their minds and keep a plant open in Kansas City — not just for himself, though for his 3 daughters. 

► Mar 14: Harley-Davidson going all-in on electric motorcycles
► Mar 6: Harley-Davidson responds to hazard of EU tariffs on a bikes

“If my girls wish to work there, it’s a good place to work,” he pronounced to NBC News

When Harley-Davidson perceived news of a taxation cut in September, House Speaker Paul Ryan pronounced remodel meant companies like Harley would be means to keep jobs in America. 

In January, a CNBC survey of a 100 largest companies by marketplace capitalization dynamic that’s not happening, and only 10 of those companies said they designed to use a taxation assets to boost workman pay. Harley, partial of a SP 500, is not in a SP 100.

► Mar 1: Harley-Davidson invests in Alta Motors electric bike company
► Feb. 18: Harley still to tighten Kansas City plant notwithstanding Missouri commission plea

But Primeaux isn’t holding a consult formula opposite Congress or President Trump.

“I censure a association some-more than we censure a president,” he said.

Contributing: Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Follow Candy Woodall on Twitter: @candynotcandace


► Feb. 9: Harley-Davidson tries to recover a poise factor
► Feb. 7: Harley recalls scarcely 175K bikes in U.S. since brakes can fail
► Jan. 30: Harley-Davidson shutting Kansas City plant as motorcycle sales fall
► Jan. 17: Harley-Davidson needs to rev adult Millennials about motorcycles
► Dec. 26: Amid sales drop, Harley-Davidson wants to learn some-more to ride

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