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News From USW: Union Explains New Harley Davidson Contract Proposal with Membership

MILWAUKEE, Wis.--News From USW: Following the rejection of a tentative labor agreement on Oct. 16, 2006, between United Steelworkers (USW) Local 2-209 and Harley Davidson, the union is returning to its membership with a revised tentative agreement that is expected to add more than 100 new jobs and protect the existing 1,600 jobs coming under jurisdiction of the Local, according to Jim Wheiland, president of the Local.

Our primary goal all along has been to convince the company to invest in Milwaukee and expand its production here, rather than build in another state, he said. The revised proposal represents an increased investment by the company in Milwaukee and answers a lot of our members concerns about the previous offer.

We appreciate the efforts of Gov. Jim Doyle and the state of Wisconsin, who have worked diligently with Harley Davidson and our union to pursue all available means to keep the jobs in Wisconsin, Wheiland said.

We are among the highest skilled and best paid manufacturing workers in Wisconsin and we produce the best motorcycle in the world, he said. Our priority is to protect the 1,600 jobs we have here at our present wages, and to convince the company to expand production in Milwaukee and add more jobs for people in our community.

Representatives from the Local and International union are holding informational meetings with the membership on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the offer. The union is withholding details until the members receive the information. A ratification vote is scheduled for Nov. 14.