Harley Davidson was a success story in your “Rust Belt” series, but I understand that their workers were recently given unpaid leave. How do you reconcile this?

BY busadmin  December 10, 2007 at 11:19 AM EDT

Question/Comment: You used Harley Davidson as a success story in your “Rust Belt” series, but I understand that their workers were recently given unpaid leave. How do you reconcile this?

Paul Solman: Because the workers still have good-paying jobs. Unpaid leave is pretty standard in manufacturing, which experiences inevitable ups and downs. If there were a lot of unpaid leave, then Harley wouldn’t be such a success. But talking to the workers, they seemed pretty happy with the way things have been going for many years. And compared to other U.S. vehicle manufacturers. … Hey, I’m taking a train back from New York to Boston as I write this, and the guy across from me, one Gerry Heggie, just heard me muttering about Harley-Davidson and showed me an article about the company on page 20 of the Nov. 26 issue of Barron’s. The headline reads in part: “Its long-term prospects are bright. No wonder some savvy investors are hopping aboard.”