• Harley workers approved new contract. The strike is over

    Harley workers approved new contract. The strike is over
  • Harley workers approved new contract. The strike is over

Workers at Harley-Davidson Corp.’s (HOG.N: Quote, Profile , Research) largest plant approved a new contract on Thursday, ending a three-week-old strike that cost the company an estimated $11 million a day, the workers’ union said.

Frank Larkin, a spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said the contract, which will raise workers’ pay 12 percent over three years, was approved by more than 80 percent of the voting members of IAMAW Local 175.

A call to a Harley-Davidson representative was not immediately returned.

The strike, the first at the motorcycle maker in 16 years, began on Feb. 2, after workers at the plant, which makes the company’s popular Touring and Softail bikes, rejected the company’s last offer.

Harley, which has a number of union contracts expiring over the next year, had been seeking a variety of concessions from the workers, including a new two-tier wage-and-benefit plan.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Harley said in a statement before the strike began that the concessions were necessary to help the company, which is enjoying growing sales and profit, avoid finding itself "in the same position that the Detroit auto industry is in now" 10 years down the road.

The walkout was already hurting Harley and its suppliers, with Harley warning that its first-quarter shipments would not meet forecasts and that layoffs at motorcycle component plants in Wisconsin that supply the striking plant were likely.

Analysts estimated that each day of the strike cost Harley $11 million in lost sales, and about one penny per share in earnings.

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