Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mercury Marine IAM Local Shoots Down Contract

WTAQ tweets that the Mercury Marine union voted by a wide margin to disapprove the contract offered by the company. MM management made it clear the consequence of such action would be to consolidate MM in Stillwater OK.

My understanding I was working on before was that a three stay in FDL guarantee was given to the Union and that told me MM was not planning on staying regardless of the results. However, I had forgotten part of the carrot was moving MerCruiser up to FDL, that is, the guarantee was genuine, which for a while I thought was not.

However, the Union rejected the contract and now it is up to Mercury to follow through on its threat to move their operations to Stillwater. I suspect they will.

My understanding of the new contract was that it froze pay at current levels, asked employees to take on a bigger share of insurance costs, and started to move from a pension plan to a 401K style plan. A lot of companies are taking pay cuts — not just pay freezes. As for the last two items those are standard ways of doing things now-a-days. So, union guy, loses his job, non-union guy loses his job, and FDL residents who are not employed or otherwise affected by MM get the shaft.

I know we'll see all sorts of letters and whining about the greed of corporations — fact is though — clear warnings were given and the union chose to ignore them. I will not shed a single itty-bitty tear for IAM and its members.

BTW, here is the WTAQ report.