Mercury Marine Gives Union Members a 3rd Chance....
September 2, 2009 10:19am CST
Mercury Marine has more than bent over backwards to give Union Members a chance to keep their jobs. Because of reduced sales of their boat motors, the leadership of Mercury Marine have been considering the idea of consolidating production to only one factory instead of the two they run now. However, they also knew that closing either the Wisconsin or the Oklahoma facilities would be devestating to each city. They asked the union representing the workers in Wisconsin for pay and benefits concessions, which would help to financially justify keeping that factory open. The union balked at the whole concept of pay or benefits concessions, insisting that the company was being unreasonable even asking. I guess they think the workers should get paid the same even if there is a lot less work for them to do (fewer orders for motors = fewer motors need to be manufactured). It came down to a vote on what the company insisted was the "final, best offer". The offer included no cuts in pay for existing employees, a 20% reduction in pay for new hires and layed off workers returning to work. It would also require the workers to pay a bigger share of their medical insurance and a 7 year pay freeze. It came down to a vote by the union members. The workers voted to reject the offer and Mercury Marine announced that the Fon du Lac, Wisconsin facility would be closed. All operations (including the corporate headquarters) would be moved to Oklahoma. The union cried foul, saying that the company had a responsibility to Fon du Lac. Apparently the union is great at pointing out someone else's responsibilities, but doesn't feel any need to respect their own responsibilities. The company agreed to talks with the union leaders, but insisted that it would not include any changes to the offer. The outcome was, the company agreed to allow another vote... For a week and a half the union insisted that they would only hold another vote if the company change the offer. 2 hours before the deadline, the union agreed to hold a vote. When the deadline came, the company said that they would honor the votes of everyone in line, but no later comers. The vote count came in favor or accepting the company's offer. The problem is, most of the votes were from people who showed up long after the deadline came and went. The union leaders cried foul again, saying it was proof that the company never intended to keep the Fon du Lac factory open. I guess they didn't think anyone would notice that the union leaders called a vote knowing there wouldn't be time to get all the votes in before the deadline. Mercury Marine announced that the move would begin as soon as possible. Even though the union leaders have never once showed any kind of responsibility, fair play, or even maturity in this matter; they complained that the members were confused about what they were voting on and begged the company for another opportunity to vote. A 3rd vote is scheduled. No one really knows what the outcome of this vote will be. To me, the workers have no excuses here. They knew from the beginning that they were voting whether to keep their jobs or not. If they vote against the concessions this time, they deserve no pity, no respect and absolutely no unemployment compensation. The unions keep harping on "fairness" to the workers of Fon du Lac. But what about fairness to the people of Oklahoma? They are every bit as entitled to these jobs as the people of Wisconsin. They are depending on Mercury Marine to follow through with their announcements. It's the same old union corruption. The union bosses don't give a flying flip about the people of Fon du Lac. The union thugs are going to get paid no matter the outcome. If I worked at Mercury Marine in Fon du Lac, I would vote to accept the concessions... then, once the factory is saved, I would call for a vote to kick the union out!
• United States
3 Sep 09
The last person the Union is concerned about is the worker. My clouin is a member of the State Municipal Workers Union and they reciently settled their contract. They ended up with a $0.50 per hour raise. The breakdown is $0.25 goes to the Union for increased dues, $0.10to the Union Insurance fund, $0.05 to the Union Retirement fund, and $0.10 to the worker. Maybe the workers should look back to 1985, An Auto Parts Company went under - labor strikes, a leather tanning Company went bankrupt and the rail road pulled out. Today the Rail Road is the only one still going because the employees bouth it out. Maybe that is what the Mercury Marine employees have in mind and kick the Union out.
• United States
3 Sep 09
now, I don't know much - as in ANYTHING about Wisconsin, but I suspect that its a union state, meaning you have to belong to a union to have a job basically, not like Texas (or Oklahoma for that matter) being "right to work" states, meaning that you DON'T have to belong to the union to have a job - which is WHY many former union jobs have moved South to "right to work" states. But, isn't that the case of the union, cutting off their noses to spite their faces?