Union workers in Fond du Lac, Wis., will have one more chance to vote on the contract proposal offered by Mercury Marine.
This latest turnaround came after Mercury officials met Tuesday with representatives from the Midwest Territory of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Tuesday's agreement will allow union members to vote Thursday and Friday on exactly the same contract proposal previously considered and rejected Aug. 23 by voters.
Mercury's deadline for acceptance by the union of the company's "best and final" proposal was originally set for midnight last Saturday. However, because of questions surrounding the voting process, Mercury said it would allow another vote.
"Hundreds of employees expressed a desire to voice their true feelings, and that's something we can't ignore," said Mark Schwabero, president of Mercury Marine, in a statement. "Obviously this is a difficult situation for all employees in Fond du Lac and Stillwater."
If results from the Aug. 23 vote would have stood, work from Fond du Lac would have moved to the company's plant in Stillwater, Okla.
Meanwhile, employees and community leaders in Stillwater are expressing disappointment and frustration over Mercury's apparent flip-flop, according to an article in the Stillwater NewsPress.
"I think we are all a little bit frustrated," state Rep. Cory Williams told the newspaper. "It's like Fond du Lac gets two chances and Stillwater gets none."
However, Stillwater Chamber of Commerce president Larry Brown says he is not giving up.
"We will regroup the Stillwater team and what the options are that we might have to move forward with this deal," he told the newspaper.
"We still believe the financial and long-term success going forward resides in Stillwater ... We don't give up easy," he added.