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Harley-Davidson restarts US production, faces ‘new normal ’

Harley-Davidson (MGN)
Harley-Davidson (MGN)(WKYT)
Published: May. 22, 2020 at 9:11 AM CDT
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Harley-Davidson Inc. is resuming production at its U.S. manufacturing plants after suspending production for about two months.

The Milwaukee-based motorcycle company shut down production in March after an employee at its factory in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, tested positive for the coronavirus. Harley-Davidson also saw motorcycle sales drop in the economic fallout from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the Wisconsin factory where the worker tested positive for the coronavirus is expected to return to full staffing after Memorial Day weekend. The engine and drivetrain facility employs about 1,000 people.

The Menomonee Falls factory plans to bring all hourly employees back after the Memorial Day weekend for full production, Ross Winklbauer, a Steelworkers subdistrict director, said Thursday. Currently, about 125 U.S. Steelworkers union members are back at the plant.

The company has staggered work start times and installed barriers between work stations to address the coronavirus.

“It’s going to be a new normal for them,” Winklbauer said.

Harley-Davidson said in a statement it has begun a planned phased approach to resuming production in its facilities, “following the guidelines of public health and regulatory authorities and keeping employee health and safety front and center.”

“At all of its facilities, Harley-Davidson has implemented enhanced safety measures, protocols to support social distancing and is bolstering its already-rigorous cleaning and sanitation practices,” the company said.

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