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Motorcycle demos build excitement during York Bike Week open house at Harley-Davidson factory in Springettsbury Township York Dispatch

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Harley-Davidson Inc.'s assembly plant in Springettsbury Township will reopen Friday after being idled for more than two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Harley-Davidson is following the latest Pennsylvania guidelines which allow for production beginning May 22,” said Markist Booker, a spokesperson for the Milwaukee-based motorcycle giant, in an email Wednesday. “We are following a phased approach to resuming production."

Gov. Tom Wolf last week cleared York County to move to the yellow phase of operation that day, lifting some restrictions for businesses.

More: Harley-Davidson suspending operations at Springettbury Twp. plant

More: Harley-Davidson CEO to leave struggling motorcycle maker

Booker did not provide the number of employees returning to work Friday, and the union representing the employees, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Local 175, could not be reached.

According to the IAM website, the following first-shift areas will report to work Friday:

  • First shift maintenance – 6 a.m.
  • First shift fabrication – 6:30 a.m.
  • First shift quality rotation groups 2 and 3 – 6:30 a.m.
  • First shift paint – 6:45 a.m.
  • First shift materials (south) – 6:30 a.m.
  • All team leaders (first and third shifts) for assembly and materials – 7:15 a.m.
  • Second and third shift maintenance will get a call with their return to work date.

All assembly production on first shift will resume at York Vehicle Operations on Tuesday. And all employees in fabrication, paint, assembly, materials, quality and supporting areas on third shift will resume production with their shift starting Sunday, May 31, according to the website.

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On March 18, Harley-Davidson announced it would be "temporarily suspending the majority of production at its U.S. manufacturing facilities," including at the Springettsbury Township plant. The decision came after an employee at the company's Pilgrim Road Powertrain Operations facility in Wisconsin tested positive for COVID-19.

The plant in Springettsbury had about 950 employees in 2018 when the company announced it would add an additional 450 there because Harley-Davidson was shuttering its facility in Kansas City. The Springettsbury plant had about 2,000 employees a decade earlier.

 — Ron Musselman can be reached at rmusselman@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @ronmusselman8.

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