No progress in Mercury talks

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No progress was made Tuesday in talks between Mercury Marine and union officials.

The two sides met, but no changes to the proposed contract were made and the union did not say if a second vote would be conducted, according to Mercury. The company reiterated that this was not a negotiating session, but the conclusion to a meeting requested last week by union representatives.

Union members last weekend rejected Mercury's "best and final" contract proposal, prompting the company to confirm repeated earlier statements that rejection of the contract would result in work leaving Fond du Lac, Wis., for the Stillwater, Okla., plant.

Union officials said the company's proposal would eliminate pensions, jobs and health care for thousands of Wisconsin workers and their families. The union said Mercury repeatedly claimed a 'yes' vote would preserve jobs and keep the company headquartered in Fond du Lac, but the company refused to make that commitment in writing.

The proposed contract offer expires at midnight Saturday.

"We will continue to run the Fond du Lac manufacturing facility under the terms of the current contract, which is not competitive in this market environment, and will now develop a comprehensive plan to shift manufacturing jobs to Stillwater," Mercury president Mark Schwabero said in a statement.

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