Report: Harley-Davidson Laying Off Hundreds of American Workers, Sending Jobs to Thailand

Breitbart – by John Binder

Harley-Davidson, the iconic American motorcycle company, is set to lay off hundreds of American workers at its Kansas City, Missouri factory while creating jobs in Thailand.

After laying off nearly 200 American manufacturing workers last year, as Breitbart News reported, Harley-Davidson is expected to fully close its Kansas City manufacturing facility, leaving 800 workers out of work.  

Harley-Davidson executives say about 400 jobs will be sent to the corporation’s York, Pennsylvania manufacturing plant, but union workers allege  their jobs are being sent overseas to Thailand.

In remarks to USA Today, a manufacturing worker who’s been at Harley-Davidson for more than 20 years will lose his job at the Kansas City Harley-Davidson facility. He says his job is going to Bangkok, Thailand, where the corporation is expanding jobs.

“Part of my job is being moved to York, but the other part is going to Bangkok,” manufacturing worker Richard Pence told USA Today.

“I am being directly affected by a corporate decision that I had no say in,” Pence continued.

Harley-Davidson, though, claims that while its laying off Americans and expanding jobs in Thailand, the two projects are “unrelated.”

Harley-Davidson executives said in a statement:

The plant under construction in Thailand is a separate and unrelated issue. Part of our long-term strategy is to grow our international business to 50 percent of our annual volume by 2027. The Thailand facility will allow us to be competitive and provide riders greater access to our brand and our products in an expanding global marketplace.

Increasing production capacity in Asia is consistent with the company’s long-term strategy to focus on growth internationally. It is not intended to reduce U.S. manufacturing.

Harley-Davidson famously opposed President Trump’s pro-American tariffs on steel and aluminum, saying the decision would hit their profits, as Breitbart News reported. Harley-Davidson, though, was protected by tariffs in the 1980s under President Ronald Reagan, when he raised tariffs on imported motorcycles. At the time, Harley-Davidson was “delighted” by the tariffs.

In 2016, Harley-Davidson decided to contract the outsourcing firm Infosys, which is responsible for the displacement of hundreds of thousands of American workers who have had their jobs sent overseas.

As outsourcing expert Patrick Thibodeau reported at the time, Harley-Davidson uses the H-1B visa to outsource American jobs to foreign nationals, while also outsourcing their IT department.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder

12 thoughts on “Report: Harley-Davidson Laying Off Hundreds of American Workers, Sending Jobs to Thailand

  1. I own 3 Harley’s and they reside in my stable (shop/garage) and I look at them as the last of what America had any pride in and the people that love and ride them. Parts made over sea’s unions that aren’t for the working man and the no give a shit attitude by consumers. I rebuilt these hogs and used nothing but parts made in USA and what I made with my old American lathe and power tools and yes even the hand tools. Screw the oversea’s BS and the yuppies supporting them, real bikers are a real American breed and the rest of the world wishes it could be. When you see a biker flying the finger it’s not just for you but all azzho’s that are sell outs.

  2. It’s not just Harley, all have swallowed the globalization bluePill. I always get job offers from Harley Davidson Milwaukee. Apparently they have problems with employee turnover. It used to be a coveted place to work, especially with the major employee discount on a bike, not anymore. Companies profit goals and strategies these days are like a guy
    cutting off his own body parts to lose weight. The insane thinking for decades now has been that labor cost is the real enemy of corporate greed. Even when the pay for a hard working and honest American men to forge Craftsman wrenches by hand is in the low wage, Arkansas right to work for nothing range, the money grubbers felt compelled to spend many tens of thousands of dollars to figure out how to get a robot to do even that, to take away those men’s jobs. That American manufacturing plant which had many 25 and even 30 year veteran American workers is no longer operational.
    When two machines, that will spit out two fully machined Ford oil pans from nearly raw castings every 20 seconds, are built at $800K each, even then, they have to send one of the machines to Mexico for the non American, cheap labor. The American and unionized company that made those machines with many highly skilled American machinists, is no longer in business. Moral decency and American patriotism? Sorry, they’ve been judged as, no longer profitable, and therefore dispensable.

    1. It’s been my understanding that it is NOT the American wage or even the benefits that have driven corporations away, but the corporate tax structure! America is one of the highest on the planet (look at what happened to Ireland – no companies left there, save for Guinness…and the people left too; everyone who could afford to leave, did). So, if they can move the factory somewhere else, pay a “cheap” corporate tax and them send the product back into the US without a tariff or penalty, why the hell not? I get it…I understand it…I don’t agree with the moral compass, but I understand it.
      For whatever it’s worth…I’ve never been a Harley person. I prefer something European…quiet, smooth, nimble and balanced.

      1. Right Bud, but that all takes a government that is not for the people of America, but for the globalists, and their agenda to destroy our country.
        I’m talking about how easily our corporate leaders went along with it, apparently without much of a fight. I sensed a greater American patriotism and concern for the individual, along with his (and I do mean HIS) family, in an earlier corporate environment, even into the 1970’s. As that morality changed so did the rest of the business culture. Sure, we can blame it on high taxes, that would be really convenient, wouldn’t it?
        I have a Yamaha Stratoliner myself.

  3. I also have a few HD but none are new my newest on is 1998 roadking which I also put back on the road . Still working on a pan head . What I take from this they will be making the small bikes no one buys here . I not seeing the younger guys buying the touring models .

  4. I’ve been riding Harleys for over 53 years now. The bike I ride now is a 2008 Deluxe which is made well and is reliable. The BIG problem I see for Harley is the younger guys don’t want them. They all want crotch rockets. Every event I go to all you see are grey beards. I used to ride with around 12 friends but each year the number goes down because they get sick or die. Harley is in real trouble and I don’t see them lasting much longer here in the USA. The hundreds of thousands of bikes already built will last many years and the guys who will want them is diminishing. The cost of a new bike is twice the price of other bikes and the technology is way behind. Harley had a good run but I fear it’s all over now.

  5. I’ll keep my old tried and true US made HD
    They can build their crap mini bikes over in Thighland
    Ain’t gonna be no Hoggs being build over there
    Least not the big bikes that are built over here

    No one over here has anymore “fun” money or disposable income for joy toys like these anymore most are so deep in debt they can’t enjoy life or have a dime to spend on something that might be considered a Hobby

    For me many many years of my life , riding was my life .. but now much older and seeing the clowns they will give a drivers license to and all the texting and careless driving
    I pretty much stay back on country roads or don’t ride as much

  6. Since asians have a hard time pronouncing r’s.

    The new HD factory in Thailand will be pronounced.

    Drum rollll…..pleez….

    Holly Davisons.

    But look at the bright side….

    They could have outsourced it to North Korea.

    That’s. ..pronounced. ..Noeth Colia in Japanese.

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