Harley and Union Reach Agreement In Wisconsin

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by threesteps, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. threesteps

    threesteps Junior Member

    Saw an item in the news that the Union and Harley reached agreement on a contract proposal. The report indicated this would keep the jobs in Wisconsin. Folks in Wisconsin must be smilin'.:D

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    Smitty901 is really talking about this tax "restructuring" method the Wisconsin legistlature implimented, no tax increase..."--just changed calculation...!

    Written By: Brien Farley
    Published In: Budget & Tax News > August 2010
    Publication date: 06/09/2010
    Publisher: The Heartland Institute
    Harley-Davidson Inc.’s announcement that it might move its operations out of Wisconsin to cut $54 million in manufacturing costs has many people pointing to the state’s onerous tax laws, in particular a policy enacted in February 2009 known as “combined reporting.”

    Combined reporting requires companies like Harley, with operations in many states, to combine all profits earned nationally so they can be taxed at the rate of the state in which the company is headquartered. In the first quarter of 2009, Harley reported losses of $22.5 million due to a “change in tax laws.”

    Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle (D) attributed Harley’s announcement to the recession. He labeled Republican legislators’ complaints blaming combined reporting as “absolutely untrue” and “ridiculous.” The governor’s office did not respond to requests to elaborate.

    “The governor’s spin ignores fiscal reality,” said Steve Baas, government affairs director for the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce. “We can all argue about the particular straw that broke the camel’s back, but you cannot argue that a $22 million dollar tax hike was not a significant part of the load.

    “With over $2 billion in new taxes passed this last legislative session, it is not safe to assume combined reporting is the only tax hike contributing to Harley’s $22.5 million loss, but it is fair to assume it’s the biggest part of it,” Baas added.

    ‘Punitive Tax Law Change’
    Todd Berry, president of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, agrees combined reporting was likely the principal tax change in the 2009 budget that influenced Harley’s decision.

    “A punitive tax law change that puts a company's existence at risk would obviously spur a response,” said Berry.

    He cites a number of other factors as well.

    “Particularly in this economic environment, there are a range of factors that could impact corporate decision making: Individual income and capital gains tax hikes on high-bracket management; Wisconsin’s reputation as more regulatory than elsewhere; the more inflexible workforce situation here, due sometimes to union reluctance to modify contracts; the state government's history of fiscal instability; and a perception that state politicians have been less sensitive to business conditions,” Berry said.

    Other Losses Possible
    Wisconsin State Representative Kevin Petersen (R-Waupaca) emphasized the human impact should Harley leave the state.

    “Besides 1,400 jobs at local plants, additional job losses could occur in companies supplying Harley-Davidson,” said Petersen. “Furthermore, with Wisconsin’s status as a global mecca for Harley owners, the state could incur a substantial hit on its tourism industry.”

    “Combined reporting hits hardest the ‘driver industries’ our economy needs the most,” said Berry. “You can generate a lot of cash in the short term with a tax like that, but we’re cutting Wisconsin’s tires in the long run.”

    Brien Farley (brien.farley@gmail.com) writes from Genesee, Wisconsin.
  3. Tramp60

    Tramp60 Member

    So lets see if I'm reading this right? The union has to negotiate lesser terms for it's members. Who are already feeling the pinch of the rising cost of,,,,,,,,everthing, and, the local government still gets their money. How easy it is for them to forget what union labor has done for this country! I'm glad to here that H.D is staying in Milwaukee. If nothing else, for the employees and their families. Good for them. But I'll tell ya, I'm a union employee and I get real tired of listening to the coorporations and government blaming unions for their short falls. It's those union wages and benefits that draw the quality craftsmen. Think about it, no pay, no benefits, what do you get? China? I better shut up before I get banned. I like this place.
  4. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

    The reason being is the ultimatum. If union can not work something out so that the corporation can continue at big profit margins with cutting costs by cheapening manufacturing and lowering the cost of employee benefits, shortening life span of product they tend to move to a more favorable state or out source. Profit is management #1 concern not quality or employees. Is this not the tactic used to bust unions also?
  5. threesteps

    threesteps Junior Member

    Wow! That is one tough tax. I agree more than just the tax impact HD's decisions in negotiations, but it sounds like the state of Wisconsin needs to lighten up on it's taxes.
  6. Charlies Harley

    Charlies Harley Active Member

    Maybe Harley Davidson will find tax relief in Canada. LOL :newsmile100::newsmile100::newsmile100:
  7. sprinklerfitter669

    sprinklerfitter669 Junior Member

    Just another form of union busting, by corporate America.
    On the CEOs get to live decent lives making millions.
    I feel for my kids, when there is only going to be super rich and poor.

    The CEOs will realize, that they will be out of jobs, because nobody will be able to afford their product, which will be cheapened by unskilled labor
  8. jim1102

    jim1102 Member

    So true
  9. Iceman24

    Iceman24 Well-Known Member

    May not be fair, but at least it's a step in the right direction. W/today's economy everyone's lucky to have steady/some income. Don't agree w/all the politics b/c the big dogs rise to top - just hope things stay afloat & no more jobs are lost in the mix.
  10. Retrop

    Retrop Active Member

    Have the union members actually voted on the new contract and accepted it?