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Report: Harley-Davidson union seeks Trump’s help to keep KC plant open

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers continues exerting pressure on Harley-Davidson Inc., in an effort to try and save the Kansas City Assembly Plant. But the company remains firm in its plans to shut it down, according to a report from the Kansas City Business Journal. 

On behalf of IAM's more than 600,000 members, IAM president Robert Martinez Jr. sent a direct letter asking President Donald Trump, asking him to intervene, stop the closing and save about 800 jobs in Kansas City.

"For decades, hard-working Machinists Union members have devoted their lives to making high-quality, American-made products for Harley," Martinez wrote in the March 7 letter, which the union released Friday. "Their skill and dedication to excellence have helped make Harley the successful, trusted brand that it is today. Indeed, IAM members at Harley-Davidson have made it an American icon. It is a disgrace that Harley-Davidson is not showing these workers the same loyalty they have shown (the company) over the years."

Martinez expressed shock that the Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer is closing American plants while it builds a new production plant in Thailand, supporting jobs there and also at plants in Brazil and India.

On the other hand, Harley said the overseas plants were a separate issue to the overcapacity in the United States. Harley is trying to sell more motorcycles overseas, and it's more economical to build the motorcycles in or near those target countries, to avoid shipping costs and tariffs.

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One comment

  1. The problem isn't the Union but rather the absolute fact that Harley is in trouble as their sales their downturn. They don't have a product that younger folks want anymore. Pure and simple lack of interest in the product and a company that has been unable to develop something that sells.

    The point about tariffs is important. When those countries import bikes into the US there is no duty while anything we make is taxed heavily(50% and more) to the point that Harley has been forced to build in those countries if they want any chance of being successful. Whether you're a Trump supporter or not these specific trade deals cost Americans their job. With no tariff there is not much incentive to build here. Transportation costs are a red herring. I am experienced in shipping containers and it is not all that expensive on a relative basis.

    • First Name: Kevin
    • Last Name: Mahoney
    • Email Address: kmx888@aol.com

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