York Town Square

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York countians skilled in growing hogs – both those with hooves and with tires

Harley-Davidson workers examine a tentative agreement between the company and the union at the York (Pa.) Expo Center. (See colorful Harley mural below.) Also of interest: York workers traditionally have made big, heavy things and York County chainsaw artist about Harley carving: ‘I had an inspiration for the bike and America’ and All Made in York posts from the start.

York, Pa., was locked in mortal battle with Shelbyville, Ky., over who would win rights to assemble Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Harley’s union in York viewed a tentative contract with the company that was considered key to retention of work in its current Springettsbury Township plant.
The outcome?
Harley-Davidson subsequently decided to stay in York County, with an anticipated job cut of about 50 percent.
A pundit in the York Daily Record/Sunday News newsroom pointed out an interesting twist.
Harley workers were perusing their new tentative agreement in and around the Toyota Arena.
So workers who proudly make these venerable American-made bikes were finding out about a piece of their financial futures at a venue sponsored by a Japanese automotive manufacturer… .

Harley-Davidson is featured on one of the 18 Murals of York.
One can take this interesting scene further.
The Toyota Arena stands at the York Expo Center, formerly the York Fairgrounds.
The Expo center was – and still is – a symbol of the York Fair and all that annual event has indicated about York County’s venerable agricultural might for about 250 years. York County historically was in the top 100 American markets in value of agricultural products sold.
So we have a scene where employees of a big, heavy manufacturer are using a facility that celebrates York County’s big, heavy contribution to American agriculture. And the development represented by Harley on prime agricultural land is indicative of a land-use battle that has raged in York County for decades.
But all this goes to show the versatility of county workers who deftly grow hogs – both the animals and the bikes.
For more than 40 posts on Harley-Davidson’s history in York County, click here.
Updated, 8/22/10.