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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 February 2007, 12:16 GMT
Wage deal could end Harley strike
Striking Harley-Davidson workers
The firm's staff have yet to vote on the proposals
Iconic motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson has reached an outline agreement to end a two-week strike at its largest US factory.

Harley gave no details of its offer to workers but said it expected staff to vote on proposals in the next few days.

About 2,800 workers at Harley's plant in York, Pennsylvania downed tools on 2 February in protest at proposed changes to salary and benefits conditions.

Although its profits are rising, Harley is worried about long-term prospects.

Cost burden

It is concerned that the burden of rising pension and healthcare costs could erode its competitiveness in the same way as it has affected the leading US car companies.

Analysts believe the strike has cost Harley up to $11m (5.6m) a day in lost sales, while also hurting the company's many suppliers.

Unions representing the striking workers confirmed that a tentative agreement had been reached and that picketing at the plant was expected to stop this weekend.

The strike was triggered by workers' decision to reject a three-year pay and benefits deal, which union officials said created a 'two-tier' system of remuneration.

The walkout has dented shipments of models such as the Touring and Softail which are made at the factory.

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