Harley-Davidson laying off another 118 in York County
Harley-Davidson will be laying off another 118 employees in York County and moving those jobs to its factory in Kansas City, according to a company spokeswoman.
Bernadette Lauer said the layoffs — affecting mostly hourly workers — will begin June 23 and continue through the end of July.
This latest round of layoffs, which Lauer said accompanies a decision to stop producing the company's Softail motorcycles in York, will leave the company with about 800 employees remaining at the Springettsbury Township plant.
Lauer said the company is moving these jobs to Kansas City in an effort to manage its production capabilities and reduce redundancies.
Harley eliminated more than 100 union positions at the plant late last year in a move the company said was because of lagging sales.
Kevin Schreiber, president and CEO of the York County Economic Alliance, said it's unfortunate any time an employer has to announce layoffs, but he's hopeful the move will give Harley the competitive advantage it seeks.
The alliance needs to step in and help the displaced workers find new jobs, Schreiber said. He added that other manufacturing companies in the county have had trouble filling open positions.
In late 2015, the factory's employees signed a new union contract that included wage increases every year from 2016 to 2022.
Union president Brian Zarilla said at the time that the agreement was a small step in mending the relationship between York employees and Harley-Davidson after the company threatened to move in 2009.
Before 2009, the company's workforce included nearly 2,000 union employees in the county.
Schreiber said that nationally, the employment landscape for manufacturing companies has drastically changed during the past decade with advancements in robotic technology.