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Harley-Davidson Asks for Volunteers for Layoffs



    Getty Images
    MILWAUKEE, WI - AUGUST 30: A parade of 10,000 motorcycles pass spectators lining the rooftop of the Teamsters hall August 30, 2003 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The parade was held to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle company. Over 250 thousand Harley-Davidson riders are expected to make a pilgrimage to the Milwaukee area August 28-31 to help celebrate the anniversary. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

    *Update: A representative from Harley Davidson reached out to Inc. Well to point out inaccuracies in the Reuters report on which this blog was based. The spokeswoman said work force reductions at three Wisconsin plants began on December 5.

    Harley Davidson seeks volunteers -- perhaps those nearing retirement -- to raise their hands. Once the company has an idea of how many volunteers they've collected, they will look toward involuntary layoffs. The target date for the layoffs is April 2012 -- as stated below.

    Inc. Well regrets the error.

    Harley-Davidson plans to lay off nearly 250 employees from three Wisconsin plants.


    To be fair, this isn't a complete shock, as these layoffs were telegraphed in September 2010 in a new seven-year contract with about 950 union workers.

    Also, Harley-Davidson spokeswoman Maripat Blankenheim told Reuters that these layoffs will not go into affect until April 2012. Reuters also adds that:

    While profitable, Harley-Davidson has seen a substantial decline in volume from the high levels experienced in the middle of the previous decade. When the deal with the USW and IAM was struck last year, Harley-Davidson's U.S. retail sales were on their way to an 11.7 percent decline from a difficult 2009.

    Read a further analysis over at Reuters.

    David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a columnist for EGM. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.