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America The first tax cuts have not saved the Harley-Davidson plant in Kansas City
Wochit

Harley-Davidson workers in the US are affected by the planned closure of the motorcycle manufacturer's Kansas City plant, but is expected to realize huge financial benefits from the reduction in corporate tax.

Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer benefited from the tax cuts that came into effect on January 1, then announced cuts of 350 jobs across the company at the end of January, and approved a half-cent and a half cent increase on February 5 b uyback of up to 15 million shares.

Harley's sales in the US have dropped in recent years as the Boomers decide to get too old to continue and fewer younger people take their place. Harley said he was forced to cut excess factory capacity.

"Unfortunately, nothing can be done to counter the pressure of overcapacity that we have in the US market," Harley said in a statement. 19659011] The company claims that the dividend increase and the share buyback are not related to tax savings.

► May 21: Loud Harleys: Is Motorcycle Sound Sweet Harmony or Out-of-Control Thunder?
► May 11: Harley-Davidson delivers ship to Thailand from US plant, union says
► May 10: Shareholders ask questions, but media out of annual meeting

Workers say they are upset.

"We did everything Harley-Davidson asked us to do," welder Tim Primeaux said in a NBC News interview aired last week. "Blowing everything up is a bit disappointing."

When Harley-Davidson announced in January that it would strike 800 jobs by the fall of the plant in Kansas City by the fall of 2019, Primeaux said that he and other workers there were in a state of "shock and awe."

"It was as if I had been in a bad dream, just got stuck," Primeaux told the network.

"It was as if I was in a bad dream, just stuck"

Tim Primeaux, Kansas City, Missouri.

In May 2017, Harley-Davidson announced it would hire 118 workers at its Kansas City facility to consolidate Softail cruiser motorcycles and dismiss the same number of workers at its Springetsbury Township facility near York, Pennsylvania.

Now with the closure of Kansas City, 450 full-time, occasional and contractor positions are being added in Pennsylvania, resulting in a total loss of 350 jobs.

A few days after the closure of the factory, the company announced a dividend increase that would reward shareholders and cost the company around $ 846,000.

The stock buyback plan, which boosts share prices, was another $ 696 million expense at the time, both in favor of shareholders. Following the reduction of the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% and the announcement that a new motorcycles assembly plant would be opened in Thailand during the year, this followed.

Harley has announced the opening of the plant in Bangkok is unrelated to the closure of Kansas City

► April 24: Harley-Davidson earnings decline as US Motorcycle sales remain weak [Apr. 20, 2014] ► April 20: Harley-Davidson seeks 8 interns riding a motorcycle for the summer

Rick Pence, who has been working in Kansas City for 21 years, does not buy it.

"They send our jobs abroad, absolutely," said Pence, a machinist.

Mike Peel of Kansas City, Pennsylvania, USA, is wearing a new shirt on January 5, 1998 and is wearing a Harley-Davidson Sportster motorcycle at the Kansas City, Mo plant. The facility was officially opened in October 1998. (Photo: Cliff Schiappa, AP)

The Harley from Milwaukee has similar operations in India and Brazil, where complete motorcycles are assembled from kits. The Thai motorcycle rate in the United States is about 60%, according to Harley.

"By opening this plant, we expect our regional (Asian) operations to help reduce these costs," said Harley spokeswoman Katie Whitmore last year

According to Kevin Amos, President Local Lodge 176 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, whose members work at the Harley-Davidson plant in Kansas City, have been repeatedly asked by business leaders what it would take to keep the plant in Kansas City. He also worked 17 years for the bicycle builder.

He said he got the impression that workers were doing everything they could to keep the company in Missouri.

"We thought we had hit the mark, of course not," Amos said.

The workers agreed that they loved working for Harley-Davidson, and Pence said he felt like he had won the lottery when he was hired.

Primeaux still hopes corporate leaders will change their minds and keep the plant open in Kansas City – not just for themselves, but for their three daughters as well.

► March 14: Harley-Davidson goes all-in on electric motorcycles
► March 6: Harley-Davidson responds to looming EU tariffs on its motorcycles

"If my girls want to work there, it's a good job," he told NBC News.

When Harley-Davidson received the news of the tax cut in September, Parliament Speaker Paul Ryan said the reform meant that companies like Harley could keep jobs in America.

In January, a CNBC survey of the top 100 largest companies by market capitalization found that this was not the case, and only 10 of these companies said they planned to use tax savings to increase workers' wages. Harley, part of the S & P 500, is not in the S & P 100.

► March 1: Harley-Davidson Invests in Alta Motors Electric Bicycle Manufacturer
► Feb. 18 : Harley still closes Kansas City's work despite Missouri's delegation plea

But Primeaux does not hold the poll results against Congress or President Trump.

"I accuse the company more than I blame the president" he said:

Post: Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Follow Candy Woodall on Twitter: @candynotcandace

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