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.”
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IAM International Bob Martinez traveled to Minnesota this weekend to deliver a message of solidarity to more than 900 IAM Local 623 members in St. Cloud.
Electrolux, a Sweden-based freezer and refrigerator manufacturer, recently announced plans to close its St. Cloud manufacturing plant by the end of 2019.
“Electrolux has been operating in St. Cloud for 30 years and these workers deserve dignity and respect from Electrolux and we are demanding that the company rescind its decision to close,” Martinez told delegates to the Minnesota State Council of Machinists. “The IAM is taking a stand against these companies who are turning their backs on U.S. workers.”
The IAM, as well as Minnesota politicians, are urging Electrolux CEO Jonas Samuelson to immediately reconsider the company’s decision to leave St. Cloud.
Electrolux management offered no advance notice of the plant closing before its Jan. 30 announcement.
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IAM Local 176 members in Kansas City, Mo. are asking questions of how their employer, Harley-Davidson, decided to shutter its facility there by early 2019. The closure affects 572 Machinists Union members at Harley and Syncreon
Members recently sat down with the Kansas City Business Journal to talk about how to deal with Harley-Davidson plans to shut down its Kansas City plant and express their disappointment with how Harley-Davidson handled the closure announcement.
The company hasn’t shared any details about how the shutdown will be handled, said Joe Capra, directing business representative for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).
“All we know is there will be layoffs in phases, but it tears a family up not knowing how that will happen,” said Capra. “We’re demanding those answers now so we can let our people know and they can plan their lives.”
IAM International President Bob Martinez
to Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens urging him to organize meetings with other elected officials, local labor leaders, business interests, community groups and Harley-Davidson to discuss the many issues surrounding this closure announcement.
“Since 1993, hard-working Machinists Union members have devoted their lives to making high quality motorcycles for this company,” said Martinez. “Their loyalty, skills, and dedication to excellence have helped make Harley-Davidson the successful, trusted brand that it is today. It is a disgrace that Harley-Davidson could not show these workers the same loyalty they have shown the company over the years.”
Martinez and the IAM are employing every resource necessary to assist the Kansas City membership.
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