Workers at Harley Davidson’s engine plant in Menomonee Falls have approved a new contract. On a 55-to-45-percent vote, union workers voted in favor of the deal that will freeze employee pay, cut hundreds of jobs, and bring in more part-time workers.
United Steel Workers Local 2-209 President Mike Masik says members weren’t very happy about the contract, but they didn’t have much choice either when considering the alternatives.
Harley Davidson had been threatening to move production out of Wisconsin completely, without the concessions. That would have resulted in over 1,300 jobs leaving the region. Even with the deal, Harley officials have said at least 200 jobs at the Menomonee Falls plant could be cut.
Masik warns that workers making less money will still have an impact on the local economy, because they’ll have less to spend. He’s also concerned the agreement might not protect workers and their benefits, since it only guarantees the company will stop searching for alternate locations to move production.
Union members at Harley’s plant in Tomahawk are also voting Monday afternoon on a similar proposal.