New jobs for Milwaukee may be about to roar off, but don't write off Harley Davidson expanding in its hometown just yet.
While it looks as if a planned expansion by Harley — one that would add 200 new jobs — will not happen here, Wisconsin Secretary of Commerce Mary Burke says the state is still more than willing to help, “to see what more we can do to make this expansion happen in Wisconsin.” Harley sought concessions on wages and benefits from its Milwaukee workforce, but as UW Milwaukee economics professor John Heywood notes, members of the United Steelworkers union overwhelmingly rejected the plan. “Reading between the lines, the membership felt Harley was at a very profitable juncture and were not feeling this was what they wanted to do,” says Heywood.
Burke says the state has been in contact with Harley management since Monday's vote. Heywood says it's impossible to say for sure, but there remains a slim chance the union may take another look.