Skip to comments.After 107 years in Milwaukee, Harley-Davidson could leave
Posted on 08/04/2010 2:09:43 PM PDT by Justaham
It's the roar that made Milwaukee famous the distinctive throaty rumble of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. But that much-loved racket could be rumbling away to another state if the company cannot bring down its labor costs.
Harley-Davidson warned employees in April that it will move its Wisconsin manufacturing operations elsewhere if it cannot cut millions of dollars at the factories that build the bikes known as "Milwaukee Iron."
Harley's corporate headquarters would remain here, but that's small consolation to a community that has already endured repeated blows to its civic identity.
Loading stock quotes Index Last Change HOG 27.84 +0.45 +1.64% Quotes delayed 15+ min. "When you think of Milwaukee you think of beer, brats and Harley-Davidson," said Steve Daily, a researcher at the Milwaukee County Historical Society. "Right or wrong, that's what it is."
But that's been changing. For example, the corporate parent of beer giant Miller parent moved its U.S. headquarters to Chicago in 2008 after joining its domestic operations with Molson Coors Brewing Co. Then there was Schlitz, which billed itself as "the beer that made Milwaukee famous" until financial and labor problems forced it to sell out to a Detroit company in the 1980s.
That leaves Harley-Davidson Inc. as the city's lone signature brand. It's also a magnet for tourists, many of whom want to visit the factories where Harley engines are made.
"We get asked frequently where the plants are," said Paul Upchurch, the president of the VISIT Milwaukee tourism bureau. "A lot of people around the world associate Milwaukee with the home of Harley."
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
right to work state?
Bring it to Texas like Caterpillar did. No income tax, right to work and business friendly climate.
Texas. No better state for a harley factory.
“Labor costs” is cost for Union intransigence.
They should move to Sturgis, it’d be a great PR move and save everyone a drive.
I’m pretty sure the California can be ruled out.
India might be a good place to move. or South Korea.
Change their mission statement to become a yacht builder, then move to Rhode Island.
Seriesly, didn’t I see a Harley plant whilst touring Pennsylvania a few years back?
They were just talking about moving some production to Tennessee (right to work state) but I believe it went to Conn?
We can’t get rid of “Diamond Jim” fast enough. The damage is really deep, while we could make a comeback it will be hard. We need some strong business minded people to run our state create some low tax enterprise zones and give the corporations some new credits to encourage a return to the land of cheese. The only good news is we’re working real hard to retire Russ in the senate....old uncle Herb is next.
(Company spokesman Bob Klein said Harley wants to remain faithful, but its production schedule needs to be more closely aligned with seasonal demand, a change that would require approval from labor unions.)
Of course, the writer had to wait to literally the last two words of the article to mention the labor unions, although, they are probably the most important aspect of Harley’s decision.
“Harley Moves Offshore to India and Japan.”
That’s OK - Milwaukeean’s (?) can always work for the Gov’t or the SEIU
Agree..... Btw what will if anything this card check crap do to us here in Texas. Will right to work trump the federal version Peeelosy wants to pass ?
I could say the same about Daytona, Plus Daytona actually has some folks living there. Ya ever been to Sturgis when the Ralley isn’t ongoing?
Diebold faced the same problem in Canton, Ohio.
They now make Diebold stuff in Mexico and the unions be damned. And Canton now has folks formerly making 25 and hour delivering newspapers and pizzas.
Good question. Dunno.
Milwaukee, much like Detroit, is known for heavy voter fraud during elections, often impacting who takes the states electoral votes by hiding behind the overwhelming black, welfare population. Why is it that cities with a heavy union presence are so heavily tilted toward voter fraud. Coincidence - I think not.
Harley, may close it’s York plant, too. Thanks unions.
Harley could line up skilled people that want to work there for $12-15/hr!
Where ya been hidin Patton ?
Glad yer back.....
You already know the answer to that one my friend.
South Carolina would be a great place for them. They could locate right next to the new Boeing plant being built there.
Don’t forget the skilled labor force, excellent transportation system, and plenty of open land just waiting to be built upon. Texas rules!
Bring it to Wichita KS the air capital of the world then we would own the air and the highway.
I’m exempt yet fight anything union...here at the widget works.
Come onnnnnnn November !
Not sure what "Peeelosy" can do now. Her power appears to be ebbing, I think November is going to be the deathknell for their arrogance. Right to work is a State issue, so I suspect it will remain intact.
Seriesly, didnt I see a Harley plant whilst touring Pennsylvania a few years back?
See post 22, the York PA plant is being shut down incrementally for the same reason as Milwaukee...
I’m voting for Daytona... cheap land , no unions and it would be a nice 45 minute ride to work for me (except during bike week when it would be 4 hours).
After the move people can visit the Chinese I-Phone plant on the same trip.
Thanks - had to find a new contract...
“We cant get rid of ‘Diamond Jim’ fast enough. The damage is really deep, while we could make a comeback it will be hard.”
Gee. You’d NEVER know it by our media coverage, would you? Actually, even the lefty media in this state doesn’t say much about him...which speaks volumes, LOL!
Got my call to attend training to work on the Walker and Johnson campaigns. Can’t WAIT to get started. I think a true ‘Housecleaning’ is going to happen this fall. :)
I am an escapee from that sad sack of a state...I know the tune all too well...
Isn’t this deja vu for Harley? I thought years ago they went through this same thing with the union demanding higher wages while turning out a shoddy product. Harley was about to go out of business.
Management then made all the union members stock holders, basically owners of the company, and they immediately turned the situation around. They then built Harley into the company it is now, with a fine product and a sterling reputation.
Am I misremembering or did all those guys die out and now the union wants a redo?
Nope. You’re remembering correctly. :)
I have met a few people from Wisconsin here in Texas. They are dyed in the wool union Democrats. When I would discuss politics with them they would only reply, “All I know is that I made money when the Democrats were in office.” I would ask in return, “Then what in the Hell are you doing down here?” Blank stare.