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Harley temporarily lays off 440 amid plant strike

February 13, 2007
Filed under Features

On Monday, Harley-Davidson Inc. temporarily laid off 440 employees at plants where key motorcycle parts, such as engines and windshields, are made as a strike at its largest production plant entered a second week.

About 240 employees were temporarily laid off at a production plant in Tomahawk, Wis., Bob Klein, a spokesman for the company told the Associated Press. About 200 workers were laid off at plants in southeast Wisconsin as well. The company could lay off an additional 300 workers in that region.

The temporary layoffs in Wisconsin were both voluntary and forced, Klein told the AP, though he declined to say how many were forced. He said it’s unclear when the employees will return to work at the plants.

“It just depends on how long the strike lasts,” Klein said.

The strike has caused many outside Harley suppliers to instate their own temporary layoffs, the AP reported. Stambaugh Metal, a York, Penn., company that polishes the metal used in Harley motorcycles, said it has laid off 35 of its roughly 50 workers. Surtech Industries, which finishes metal for bikes, has laid off nine full-time and 10 part-time workers. A Tenneco plant in Lincoln, Neb., that makes exhaust products for Harley bikes is laying off about 35 of its 100 employees.

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