Harley-Davidson plans to cut 115 jobs at the Springettsbury plant, according to Harley spokeswoman Bernadette Lauer.
Harley-Davidson Inc. plans to cut 200 regular and casual union employees in the fourth-quarter at plants across the United States, Lauer said.
At the Springettsbury plant, it affects 100 regular union positions and 15 casual union positions. The plant is located at 1425 Eden Road.
“We continually evaluate industry and market changes to provide the best products and services to our customers,” Lauer said in a statement issued to FOX43 News . “To that end, we are adjusting our production plan to align with 2016 guidance and we are making the necessary changes to right-size the company. ”
Workers’ union president Brian Zarilla said they believe the company’s surge model is the reason for the cuts.
“We’re kind of devastated by this because we feel that the message that coming from the company is not the correct message,” Zarilla said, who has been with the company for almost 28 years. “The past two year the surge program has not worked at all the company, and we thought the surge program was about to go away,”
According to Zarilla, the surge is when the company will hire extra manpower and ramp up production for a few weeks. After that time the extra help is no longer needed. The company said, the surge is not the reason for the changes.
Zarilla said other options could have been looked into such as retirement packages. He said about 250-275 of the more than 800 full time employees are eligible to retire. He said this would mean, no lay offs would have to happen.
According to Zarilla, the company did offer $15,000 severance packages to more experienced employees, but he said only a handful of workers will take them. This will mean newer employees face the possible loss of their position.
Lauer said the company will not discuss specific production numbers (to include number of units cut) at the individual plants. They expect to ship 264,000 to 269,000 motorcycles to dealers worldwide in 2016.
We reached out to Harley Davidson for an on-camera interview but they declined our request.