Harley-Davidson Inc.’s Springettsbury Township plant will shut down for the four days before July 4 so the company can make changes to the plant’s machinery, said plant spokesman Michael DiMauro.

All plant employees except those involved in the changeover will be off work beginning Monday, June 30, DiMauro said. Since Friday, July 4, is a holiday, the plant will be closed for the week.

Employees were notified of the scheduled shutdown earlier this week, DiMauro said. The days off will be unpaid, but employees can take vacation time.

"That’s usually a pretty popular week for people to take vacation anyway," DiMauro said. "Unlike last fall’s four-day shutdown, which was meant to slow production in response to reduced motorcycle shipments, this shutdown has nothing to do with sales."

Instead, the company will be making changes to its fabrication system, which creates the parts that go into the assembled motorcycles. Only the York plant will be affected.

"It’s not volume-related at all," DiMauro said. "The plant has had similar shutdowns before, but not in the last few years."

Tom Boger, representative of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Local Lodge 175, said he did not have any comment on the shutdown. The union represents most of the plant’s more than 3,000 employees.

The Milwaukee-based company saw revenue drop 1.3 percent in 2007, it said last month. CEO Jim Ziemer said a downturn in the U.S. economy was to blame, though international sales have been growing.

The company’s expectations call for revenue growth in 2008, when Harley plans to ship more motorcycles in the first quarter of the year than it did during the first quarter of 2007.

The company’s stock prices have been dropping for much of the last year. The price per share was $37.65 at the end of the day Wednesday, compared to $69.91 a year before.

Anthony Kodack
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