In Washington, union rips Harley-Davidson for closing Kansas City plant while opening in Thailand

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Leroy N. Soetoro

May 28, 2018, 1:33:25 PM5/28/18
More manufacturing killed by socialist labor practicing unions.

A labor union for Harley-Davidson Inc. employees was in Washington, D.C.,
on Wednesday, complaining about Harley’s plan to close its factory in
Kansas City, Mo., while opening an assembly plant in Thailand.

The world’s largest manufacturer of heavyweight motorcycles has said it
will close the Kansas City factory despite pleas from some members of
Congress to keep it open and retain about 800 jobs.

Harley says it’s moving the Kansas City work to the company’s plant in
York, Pa., creating about 400 additional jobs in York.

But in a meeting Wednesday with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-
Calif., members of the Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
said at least some of the work was headed to Thailand.

“Part of my job is being moved to York, but the other part is going to
Bangkok,” said Richard Pence, a machinist at the Kansas City plant.

Harley-Davidson has denied there’s a connection between Kansas City and

“The plant under construction in Thailand is a separate and unrelated
issue. Part of our long-term strategy is to grow our international
business to 50 percent of our annual volume by 2027. The Thailand facility
will allow us to be competitive and provide riders greater access to our
brand and our products in an expanding global marketplace,” the company
said in a statement.

Harley-Davidson also has a motorcycle assembly plant in India, where it
builds the company’s popular Street-model bikes for foreign markets.

“Increasing production capacity in Asia is consistent with the company’s
long-term strategy to focus on growth internationally. It is not intended
to reduce U.S. manufacturing,” the company said.

The shutdown of the Kansas City plant doesn’t affect Harley’s
manufacturing plant in Menomonee Falls, which builds motorcycle engines,
according to the company.

But that case is tough to accept in Kansas City, where the company has
assembled some of its most popular motorcycles since 1997.

“I am being directly affected by a corporate decision that I had no say
in,” said Pence, who has worked at the plant for 21 years and has the
highest seniority ranking in the facility.

Pence, who works in machine maintenance, said engineers from the plant are
going to Thailand to help set up that operation, with trial production
runs expected this summer.

He believes that some of the Kansas City plant’s equipment, too, will be
shipped to Thailand.

“They are going over everything now, getting ready to crate it up,” he

About 35 percent of the bikes assembled in Kansas City are destined for
outside of the U.S., according to Pence, although Harley would not confirm

Asia has been one of the company’s fastest-growing markets, but over the
years it’s also been a market with steep tariffs on U.S.-made motorcycles.

“We have been fighting tariffs for the 21 years I have been employed with
the company. But tariffs are just a fact of life,” Pence said.

The union is critical of Harley for investing in Thailand while also
receiving tax cuts under President Donald Trump’s new corporate tax plan.

“These companies are taking tax breaks with one hand and handing out pink
slips with the other,” said International Association of Machinists and
Aerospace Workers President Bob Martinez Jr. “I’m going to call it like I
see it ... this is a corporate ambush on working people."

“They should be reinvesting in America,” Pence, the Kansas City employee,

"We’ve found that this issue of corporations getting a tax break from the
Republican tax law and then laying off workers is pretty widespread," said
Henry Connelly, spokesman for Pelosi.

Harley-Davidson has said the Thailand plant will assemble bikes from
components produced at the company’s U.S. facilities.

Harley’s U.S. sales have been sinking in recent years as baby boomers
begin to age out of riding and fewer younger people step up to take their

“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.

Unless there's a huge rebound in motorcycle sales this year, Pence said,
the company isn’t going to reverse its decision on shutting down the
Kansas City plant.

“I think there’s going to be a big layoff in August and an even bigger one
in October. After that, we will basically have a few hundred people left
to finish out the Sportster line through the next model-year next spring.
Then, that will be it for us,” he said.

“It’s sort of like the horse is out of the barn now.”

If he stays at Harley until the factory ceases production in 2019, Pence
said, he will receive a year’s severance pay.

“But if another job falls in my lap before then, I will have to forfeit
that severance and leave, just like a lot of my co-workers have already
done,” 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

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.
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