Harley-Davidson workers say plant closure after tax cut is like being stuck in a bad dream

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Leroy N. Soetoro

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May 28, 2018, 1:33:35 PM5/28/18
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Good! Tired of hearing those noisy pieces of crap anyway. Hope the whole
company goes under.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2018/05/27/harley-
davidson-layoffs/647199002/

YORK, Pa. — Harley-Davidson workers across the USA are reeling from the
planned closure of the motorcycle maker's Kansas City plant, yet it is
expected to reap huge financial benefits from the federal corporate tax
cut.

The Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer benefited from the tax cuts
enacted Jan. 1, then announced cuts of 350 jobs across the company in late
January. On Feb. 5 , it approved a half-cent dividend increase and buyback
of up to 15 million shares.

Harley’s U.S. sales have been sinking in recent years as Boomers decide
they are becoming too old to continue riding and fewer younger people step
up to take their place. As a result, Harley said it was forced to cut
excess factory capacity.

“Unfortunately there is nothing that could have been done to address the
pressure of excess capacity we have in the U.S. market,” Harley said in a
statement.

The company maintains that the dividend increase and stock buyback are
unrelated to the tax savings.

Workers say they are dismayed.

“We did everything Harley-Davidson asked us to do,” welder Tim Primeaux
said in an NBC News interview that aired last week. "To have it all blow
up in your face is kind of disappointing.”

When Harley-Davidson announced in January that it would slash 800 jobs
upon closing the Kansas City plant by fall 2019, Primeaux said he and
other workers were in a state of "shock and awe."

“It was like I was in a bad dream, just stuck in it," Primeaux told the
network.

In May 2017, Harley-Davidson had announced it was adding 118 workers at
its Kansas City plant to consolidate Softail cruiser motorcycles and
laying off the same number of workers at its Springettsbury Township
facility near York, Pa.

Now with the Kansas City closure, 450 full-time, casual and contractor
positions will be added in Pennsylvania, yielding a loss of 350 jobs
overall.

Days after it announced the plant closure, the company announced the
dividend increase that would reward shareholders and cost the company
about $846,000.

The stock buyback plan, which has the effect of boosting share prices, was
another expense of $696 million at the time, both to benefit shareholders.
That came on the heels of the company's corporate tax cut from 35% to 21%
percent and its previous announcement last year that a new motorcycle
assembly plant in Thailand would open later this year.

Harley has said the opening of the Bangkok plant is unrelated to the
Kansas City closure

Rick Pence, who has worked at the Kansas City plant for 21 years, isn't
buying that.

"They are sending our jobs overseas. Absolutely," said Pence, a machine
repairman.

Milwaukee-based Harley has similar operations in India and Brazil, where
complete motorcycles are assembled from kits. The Thai tariff on
motorcycles assembled in the United States is about 60%, according to
Harley.

“By opening this plant, we expect our regional (Asian) operations to help
reduce those costs,” Harley spokeswoman Katie Whitmore said last year.

Company executives were asked multiple times what it would take to keep
the plant in Kansas City, according to Kevin Amos, president Local Lodge
176 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
whose members work at Harley-Davidson's Kansas City plant. He also has
worked 17 years for the bike maker.

He said he was under the impression workers were doing everything to keep
the company in Missouri.

“We thought we had met the mark. Clearly we didn’t,” Amos said.

The workers agreed they have loved working for Harley-Davidson, and Pence
said he felt like he had won the lottery when he got hired.

Primeaux still is holding hope company leaders will change their minds and
keep the plant open in Kansas City — not just for himself, but for his
three daughters.

“If my girls want to work there, it’s a good place to work,” he said to
NBC News.

When Harley-Davidson received news of the tax cut in September, House
Speaker Paul Ryan said reform meant companies like Harley would be able to
keep jobs in America.

In January, a CNBC survey of the 100 largest companies by market
capitalization determined that's not happening, and only 10 of those
companies said they planned to use the tax savings to boost worker pay.
Harley, part of the S&P 500, is not in the S&P 100.

But Primeaux isn't holding the survey results against Congress or
President Trump.

“I blame the company more than I blame the president," he said.

Unions kill more jobs.

--
Donald J. Trump, 304 electoral votes to 227, defeated compulsive liar in
denial Hillary Rodham Clinton on December 19th, 2016. The clown car
parade of the democrat party ran out of gas and got run over by a Trump
truck.

Congratulations President Trump. Thank you for cleaning up the disaster
of the Obama presidency.

Under Barack Obama's leadership, the United States of America became the
The World According To Garp.

ObamaCare is a total 100% failure and no lie that can be put forth by its
supporters can dispute that.

Obama jobs, the result of ObamaCare. 12-15 working hours a week at minimum
wage, no benefits and the primary revenue stream for ObamaCare. It can't
be funded with money people don't have, yet liberals lie about how great
it is.

Obama increased total debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion in the eight
years he was in office, and sold out heterosexuals for Hollywood queer
liberal democrat donors.

Anonymous

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May 28, 2018, 6:31:42 PM5/28/18
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In article <XnsA8F06B6B42...@0.0.0.1>
"Leroy N. Soetoro" <leroys...@hrc-rejected.com> wrote:
>
> https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2018/05/27/harley-
> davidson-layoffs/647199002/
>

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