USW Members Vote to Ratify New Harley-Davidson Contract
MILWAUKEE, April 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union voted on Monday, April 15, to ratify a new five-year contract with Harley-Davidson that covers workers at the company's facilities in Milwaukee and Tomahawk, Wis.
The new contract provides a signing bonus, wage increases and enhancements to retirement benefits for more than 1,000 USW members. The contract also includes job security measures sought by members of USW Local 2-209 in Milwaukee and USW Local 460 in Tomahawk. The wage increases, which total 14 percent over the life of the agreement, are the first raises for the workers in seven years.
"It's certainly a positive step to see a pay increase, but this contract was always about more than just economic issues," said USW District 2 Director Michael Bolton, who led the negotiations. "It was also about making sure that these hard-working union members continue to have a strong voice in their workplace."
The two sides reached a tentative agreement on April 10 after twice agreeing to extend the previous contract and continue bargaining. Workers voted on April 1 to reject a previous contract offer by the company and then agreed to extend talks through April 14.
Among the issues the union was determined to address was job security. The new contract includes a commitment from the company to invest $65 million in its Milwaukee facility and $10 million in its Tomahawk facility.
"These investments should ensure the long-term viability of our facilities," said USW Local 2-209 President Mark Eilers. "We look forward to working with Harley over the next five years to continue our shared success."
The USW was determined to make sure that good, family-supporting jobs remained in their communities, said USW Local 460 President Darrin Ernst.
"This contract isn't just about us," he said. "We will always fight for a better life, not just for ourselves, but for our families and for our neighbors throughout Wisconsin."
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors.
For more information: www.usw.org.
R.J. Hufnagel: (412) 562-2450,
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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)