Fading hopes over Mercury Marine’s future in Fond du Lac have evolved into guarded optimism as the company and union announce another vote on proposed contract changes. Mercury executives and representatives of the Midwest Territory of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers emerged from a meeting yesterday with a decision to allow union workers to have another vote.
Fond du Lac City Manager Tom Herre says he’s remained hopeful over the past few weeks that there might still be a good resolution for the city. Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation President Brenda Hicks-Sorensen urges residents to give union workers some space as they make an important decision that not only affects their future, but the community’s.
Fred Toth was involved in a previous re-vote effort that ended with voting being interrupted before its completion. Toth says there’s been a lot of misunderstanding about the contract changes the company had proposed.
AUDIO: Toth on misconceptions by members (MP3 :18)
Another re-vote organizer Felipe Rodriguez says believes concessions will pass but advises union members to “vote with your heart.”
Thursday and Friday members of Machinists Lodge 1947 will be voting on the same contract proposal they rejected on August 23. At stake is 850 manufacturings jobs that the company says will be consolidated to Stillwater, Oklahoma if contract changes are not approved.
Contributed by Bob Nelson-KFIZ