FOND DU LAC - Mercury Marine and the union leaders say there will be anothervote on a labor contract originally offered by the company onAugust 19.
Mercury and The International Association of Machinists andAerospace Workers says the vote will take place Thursday andFriday.
Union spokesman Mike King says company executives and unionleaders met Tuesday and prepared what he called a supplement withsome clarifications regarding the package of concessions.
In a release provided by Mercury Marine Tuesday evening, thecompany says the vote will be on the “exact same contractproposal previously considered and rejected by voters on Aug.23.”
“Hundreds of employees expressed a desire to voice theirtrue feelings, and that’s something we can’tignore,” said Mark Schwabero, president of Mercury Marine.“Obviously this is a difficult situation for all employees inFond du Lac and Stillwater.”
The union has said that on Aug. 23 it overwhelmingly rejectedthe deal the company called its “best and final” offerto keep the jobs from moving to a nonunion plant in Stillwater,Okla. A second, last-minute vote took place after the deadlineexpired at midnight Saturday and the results were nevertabulated.
Over the past several days state and local officials haveencouraged the IAMAW to meet and discuss a revote on thecompany’s “best and final” contract proposal.
According to the release from Mercury Marine union members canvote from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. either day at the IAMAW hall in Fond duLac.
Some union members, however, are not excited about another vote,while others say they are ecstatic.
"I think a lot of people think of it as your first vote is forpride your second one is necessity," said Rick Schmidt, a MercuryMarine employee and union member.
The company nor the union are answering questions from themedia.
Just how the company and the union agreed on another vote isn'tspelled out in their respective statements, but some say thepressure in town during the last few weeks played a role.
"I think that the community stepped up. I think all the workersstepped up. Company, union, it doesn't really matter what side itis," said Schmidt.
But some say the contract was voted on, and shouldn't be broughtup for another vote.
"I was hopin' that it wouldn't come to that, to the revoteagain," said Steven Wiskow, a Mercury Marine employee and member ofInternational Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers,Local 1947, "It's caused a lot of commotion at work and throughoutthe city and everything else and it just keeps on adding morefrustration to it."
Steven Wiskow has worked at Mercury Marine for 33 years. Hevoted against the last contract, and plans to vote no again.
But others see the vote, as a second chance to keep Mercurymarine in Fond du Lac.
"We're pretty confident just from the response we've had fromother members that we're going to pass this thing, Mercury's goingto stay right here in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin," said Fred Toth, aMercury Marine employee and union member.
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