It would seem that Harley-Davidson has yet another problem on its hands. The workers who build the company’s bikes are now working with an expired contract. The worker’s union contract expired yesterday, and they turned down Harley’s proposed new contract.
At the moment, there isn’t supposed to be a strike. An anonymous source told the radio station WTMJ that there is no talk of a strike at this point. That hasn’t stopped some workers protesting outside of work hours and on their lunch breaks. At this point, the workers haven’t let the protests disrupt production, but that could change if a contract isn’t signed.
Right now the workers will continue working under the current expired contract until a new agreement can be met. Harley-Davidson seemed to feel the deal it proposed was a fair one. It gave pay raises, signing bonuses, updates to the pension plan. No updates were made to the existing health care policies, but two new options were added under the proposed deal, which would have been in place for five years. Workers shot it down, so now it’s back to the drawing board.
The previous deal expired on April 1, after being in place for seven years. Some of the unrest over the new contract can likely be contributed to the closing of the Kansas City plant and the move to shift production to Thailand.
That move by Harley comes after the tariffs imposed by President Trump triggered additional tariffs from others around the world, making it hard for Harley to sell bikes abroad. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out. Hopefully, it turns out well for the sake of both parties.