Harley-Davidson to layoff up to 250 union workers

MILWAUKEE -- Both Harley-Davidson and the union that represents its workers both knew pink slips were coming, and the reality is starting to set in for the work force.

Many Harley-Davidson workers considered unemployment as part of a work agreement reached with the company back in 2010.

Up to 250 union workers could see layoffs, and the company doesn't know when or if the final decisions will be made. The company did ask for employees to take a voluntary layoff.

Business Journal Reporter Rich Rivito says the union representing Harley workers aren't sharing how many employees may get laid off.

Both sides hope enough employees will volunteer to avoid forced layoffs. Rivito says, "In talking to management, there were very confident that they would not have to do involuntary layoffs here in Southeastern Wisconsin."

A union representative wouldn't talk about how many agreed to take pink slips, but told us he expects Harley-Davidson to fill product demand with less expensive seasonal workers following the layoffs.

Rivito says this round of layoffs could be the last. He believes the company's worst days may be in its rear view mirror and their workforce is efficient and lean.