The question on a lot of minds seems to be if Mercury Marine’s employees union will take a second vote on proposed contract changes. Machinist’s Local 1947 chief negotiator Dan Longsine says he’s researching whether the union can do that. A meeting with company president Mark Schwabero Tuesday failed to produce any changes in the proposal, which was voted down by union members last Sunday.
Usually the union needs changes to a contract if membership already voted on it before a second vote can be cast. Longsine says more than 70 percent of those voting Sunday turned down proposed concessions. However he says some members are having second thoughts and many are expecting a second vote. Schwabero says the company is forging ahead with plans to move manufacturing jobs to Stillwater, Oklahoma, but if union members approve the contract changes they would keep operations in Fond du Lac. The contract offer is good through midnight Saturday.
City officials forged an incentive package Wednesday night designed to keep Mercury Marine’s corporate headquarters in Fond du Lac, but still harbor hopes that manufacturing jobs will stay as well. City Council President Tim Lakin says residents he’s spoken with are disappointed that the union voted down the company’s proposed contract changes Sunday.
Veteran City Councilman Jim Nintzel says if Mercury leaves Fond du Lac it will have devastating financial impacts on taxes, water bills and more. The County Board will work on an incentive package tonight.
Contributed by Bob Nelson-KFIZ