Sunday, August 30, 2009

Union Voting Dispute In Fond du Lac Helps Company Shut The Plant

I'm not sure how or why union officials failed to get the second Mercury Marine contract vote scheduled in Fund du Lac to comply with the contract offer deadline.

Finger-pointing and debate about what happened, and importance of the letter of the law and procedure will go on for years, perhaps in court.

But management's swift enforcement of the midnight Saturday deadline to end and void the do-over vote demanded by rank-and-file workers tells me the company wanted to move to non-union Oklahoma as soon as possible.

Common sense in an environment of negotiations and mutual discussion - - the essence of collective bargaining - - would have provided a method to extend the a few hours because there was confusion already about the availability of a second vote.

Management may have the letter of the contract on its side, with a union leadership to bash, but killing off a community's largest payroll with "na-na-na-na-na-na" finality through Gotcha politics is pretty revealing.

It's akin to a traffic cop issuing a ticket to someone clocked at 46 mph in a 45-mph zone because the law says the officer could write it.

Discretion and common sense says otherwise, but this was a fight Mercury Marine management wanted to win, and they may have, but at great cost to its reputation and a good chunk of the Wisconsin and Fond du Lac economies.


Anonymous said...

Come on. That is the companies fault? The union was told the deadline was Saturday at Midnight. I don't think the union took the company serious, hence the need for an extension. The two had been in negotiations for how long already? The company holding the union to what they agreed to doesn't make the company the bad person here. The union agreed to that deadline. Hold the union accountable. If the company was so bad and ready to move not matter what, then they wouldn't have negotiated to begin with and give the union options.

Anon Jim said...

The union membership might of wanted to have a 2nd vote, but the Union did not.

Because if the Union did, there would have been one before the deadline.

Vic said...

since it is clear the the running of a company is not a democracy (it would have been interesting to get the stockholder's perspective) corporations should not be treated as persons.

Steve said...

Merc. has nothing to be ashamed of. Fact is that WI has just passed a law the forces Merc. to pay corporate income tax on all profits that it makes regardless of where the profits come from, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, China... It does not matter. Their corporate office is in Wisconsin, so they owe the tax to WI. This is a huge incentive to move the corporate office to Oklahoma. This is what they tried to do. I do not blame them and I live in Wisconsin.