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Harley-Davidson Says Congressional Plea Won’t Stop K.C. Plant Closing

February 25, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

MILWAUKEE, Wisc.—A plea by four members of Missouri’s congressional delegation reminding Harley-Davidson of the subsidies it got to open its factory in Kansas City won’t stop the company from closing the motorcycle assembly plant, a company spokesperson said Feb. 19. Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt, along with two House members, sent Harley CEO Matt Levatich a letter Feb. 16 noting that when the company picked Kansas City as the plant’s site in 1996, “it came with a considerable incentive package from the city, Platte County, and the state of Missouri.” Harley spokesperson Michael Pflughoeft said Feb. 19 that the company had not yet seen the letter, but the decision to close the plant was based on “reducing excess capacity.” If there was any possibility of unions or elected officials convincing it to reverse the decision, he added,  “we would have reached out to discuss options.” “I’m sick of seeing our jobs disappear or turn into part-time work,” said International Association of Machinists President Robert Martinez Jr. “I am employing every resource necessary to assist Kansas City and our membership.” The closing will eliminate about 800 jobs, with about half going to Harley’s York, Pa. plant. Read more

February 25, 2018

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