Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mercury Marine

It looks like Mercury Marine, a manufacturer of outboard motors and the largest employer in Fond du Lac, will be closing down their Wisconsin headquarters and moving to Stillwater, Oklahoma. And the Union that represents it's hourly employees in Wisconsin is solely to blame.

The company asked the union to accept some concessions, including giving up a 2% pay raise in the coming years, and requiring new employees, and employees returning from a layoff to accept at 30% cut in pay.

The International Association of Machinist, Aerospace Workers and Morons Lodge 1947 voted against the concessions, and so the company is going to consolidate it's manufacturing efforts at their non-union facility in Oklahoma. Apparently, the union thinks it's better to not have a job, than to withstand the insult of a pay cut.

From what I have gathered from the news coverage of this affair, the union thought Mercury Marine was bluffing, called the bluff, and lost. But it's not just the union employees losing out. Many salaried workers at Mercury Marine's Fond du Lac plant will lose their jobs, and several local Fond du Lac manufacturing firm that supplied Mercury Marine with parts will have find new clients, or (more likely) shut down, and put more people out of work.

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