Harley Davidson Assembly Plant
Let’s go for it Mel. What we need to do is set up offshore tattoo removal franchises. Package tours to the Cancuns of the world with ink-erasing included. Everything done on the cheap, and no legal worries about the occasional botched job.
I can understand Paul’s frustration about getting the same arguments every time this comes up. Still, several facts need to be repeated. Union and non-union jobs alike went offshore. Factories in Mexico, where workers got $2 a day, were moved to China, where workers got $1 a day. Because China is a communist country, workers were able to survive (barely) on those wages because basic housing, food subsidies, health-care costs, etc. are paid by the government.
Does anyone know what the average hourly wage is at Harley? How about at VW, the 3rd largest car maker in the world? I’m guessing wages at VW are higher, the work week is shorter, more vacation time, health benefits, etc., and yet VW seems to be going gang-busters.
My understanding is the entry-level union wage at GM is below $15 an hour, and less than the beginning pay at non-union plants in the South. In Wisconsin the public employees agreed to a wage freeze and lower wages, and already were making less than those in equivalent position in the private sector. So the dispute is not about saving money. That has all been widely reported, even on Fox, but I guess it still hasn’t sunk in everywhere.
Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian companies, as well as those in other parts of the world, including most of Europe, seem to be planning for the long-haul. In the U.S. the short-term view prevails. In 10 years, if Harley is successful, it will be paying more taxes and higher wages in India than if it had stayed in WI. If it’s still around it will be looking for another move. By then the quick-buck execs behind the India strategy will be at other corporations, retired, or dead.
If Harley were a Japanese company it would have branched out into tractors, lawnmowers, snowblowers, ATV’s, snowmobiles, generators, outboards, etc. That would have ruined it’s image, of course, but so will foreign-made bikes. Yamaha started out making musical instruments, but wasn’t afraid to try its hand at other things.
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