Missouri U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt, and Congressmen Sam Graves and Emanuel Cleaver II joined together to urge Harley-Davidson to reconsider plans to close its assembly plant in Kansas City.
“When Kansas City beat out 30 other cities across the country as the company was looking to build a new facility in 1996, it came with a considerable incentive package from the city, Platte County, and state of Missouri,” wrote the delegation to Harley-Davidson CEO Matthew Levatich. “We understand that the domestic and global sales environments are key drivers in business decisions like this. But we also believe Harley-Davidson’s Kansas City Assembly Plant and its workers produce a top-quality product that can compete with any other facility in the United States or around the world. We urge you to reconsider the decision to close the plant.”
Meanwhile, more than 800 members of IAM Local 176 and USW Local 760 have approved an agreement with the company, outlining new language, pay and severance benefits until the 2019 scheduled plant closing.
The new agreement includes changes in language issues for the betterment of the hourly workforce. Workers will receive a 3-percent wage increase, plus a 0-3 percent local plant incentive if all financial and non-financial performance targets are met. All full-time employees will receive a ratification signing bonus, plus a severance package based on their years of service. Employees will receive six months of continued medical benefits from their last date of employment, at no cost to the employee. And, workers have the option of transferring to the York facility.
“Although an agreement has been approved, we will continue to fight for our membership and urge Harley-Davidson to reconsider its decision,” said International President Bob Martinez. “I am deploying all resources necessary to help our members.”