A steel workers union at Harley Davidson has overwhelming rejected a new contract offer today.
The USW Local 2-209 from the Milwaukee area joined workers from the Tomahawk area represented by USW Local 460 to reject a new labor agreement.
While the deal was voted down, an anonymous source with USW Local 2-209 told WTMJ the workers are not planning to strike.
“We’re on the same contract we were before,” a longtime employee told WTMJ. “We are going to work and the deal will be renegotiated with another vote.”
The current contract between the union and Harley Davidson, which took effect in 2012, was set to expire April 1. They’ll continue to work under the same contract with an extension.
“This isn’t really a thing about money,” the longtime employee said. “The language of the contract is really bad on certain issues. It’s basically the same contract with a couple grains of sugar on it.”
One group of Milwaukee-area workers represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers’ Lodge 78 did ratify a new five-year labor agreement.
“We are disappointed with the decision by our employees represented by USW Local 2-209 and Local 460 and will continue with production as usual at all of our facilities,” said Michelle Kumbier, Chief Operating Officer of Harley Davidson.
In a release to WTMJ, the company says the contract to employees provided a competitive wage increase in each year of the five-year agreement as well as a $2,250 signing bonus.
In addition, the company proposed no changes to health care and introduced two separate incentive plans, significant pension enhancements for current employees and a retirement incentive for those who are eligible to retire.
“We believe the offer is competitive while continuing to provide a stable production environment as we focus on achieving our strategy to build the next generation of Harley Davidson riders globally,” Kumbier added. “We look forward to a return to further negotiations.”