Harley-Davidson will be moving operations to its facility in York, Pennsylvania, once its plant in Kansas City, Missouri, closes.
The motorcycle manufacturer announced in January that the Kansas City plant would close next year, stunning the 800 employed there, NBC News reported.
“We did everything Harley-Davidson asked us to do,” Tim Primeaux, a welder, told NBC News. “To have it all blow up in your face is kind of disappointing.”
Primeaux has worked at the Kansas City plant for 17 years. He told NBC News that, up until the closure was announced, he was sure he would retire from the company.
According to NBC News, Harley-Davidson repurchased 15 million of its shares, valued at nearly $700 million. The company announced a dividend increase and a stock buyback plan to reward shareholders.
Under the tax law passed in 2017, the corporate rate was cut down from 35 percent to 21 percent for corporations like Harley-Davidson.
Benefiting from the tax cut, Harley-Davidson says the dividend increase and stock buybacks are unrelated to the tax savings, NBC News reported.
A recent CNBC survey found that only 10 companies in the S&P 100 say they have specific plans to use the savings to boost worker pay, something Harley-Davidson workers hoped for, according to NBC News.
While Harley-Davidson gets ready to close the Kansas City plant, it is building a new plant in Thailand — which the company told NBC News is “separate and unrelated.”
However, some Kansas City employees believe their plant was closed to make money for the one in Bangkok, according to NBC News. Harley-Davidson said the closure decision was based on domestic sales being down and a need to “address the excess capacity in the U.S.”
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