Mercury commits to Wisconsin following union vote


Now that the Mercury Marine union has approved a contract, the company says it will consolidate manufacturing in Fond du Lac, Wis., and will transition work from its Stillwater, Okla., facility in the next 18 to 24 months.

The company and union both announced last Friday that a labor agreement had been reached. It was the same agreement the union had previously rejected Aug. 23.

"We met with Mercury Marine top management and have a commitment that with this vote, the company will stay in Fond du Lac, Wis., and move more work to Fond du Lac over time," IAM Midwest Territory vice president Philip J. Gruber said in a statement. "Our members' vote for the company proposal, while being a very difficult decision, clearly says they are willing to work with Mercury to secure a sound future for themselves, the company and the community."

Mercury Marine president Mark Schwabero said the company will develop and execute a transition plan that balances the needs of employees, the communities and Mercury Marine's future.

"After weeks of intense discussions and completion of the voting process, we accept the union's ratification of our contract proposal," Schwabero said in a statement. "As we've stated throughout this important process, comprehensive changes to wages, benefits and operational flexibility are necessary for Mercury to effectively compete in a smaller and fundamentally changed marketplace."