Traditional news sources have reported that nothing was changed in the union contract. Only that terms were clarified. To sweeten the pot before the expected and final vote scheduled for today, Mercury Marine has pledged to move additional work from Stillwater to Fond du Lac to consolidate operations. Either somebody blinked or somebody was made an offer too good to refuse.
After the city and county of Fond du Lac and Wisconsin put together incentives to keep Mercury Marine jobs in Wisconsin, new word comes that Mercury Marine and the (IAM) Local 1947 [now updated] may strike a deal not only retaining manufacturing jobs but actually moving jobs from Stillwater, Oklahoma, to Fond du Lac.
So what’s different? Call me a skeptic, but I don't believe the statements coming from either side of the contract. Unless State and Fond du Lac officials buckled. Which obviously seems more likely to be the case.
FDLReporter Excerpt:Since they insist the contract remains the same, did state and local officials promise to make up for the difference in the worker’s pay cuts and concessions by subsidizing them (instead of corporate MM) with collections from a new county sales tax? Or, worse yet, were the tax payers put on the hook to line the pockets and parachutes of the corporate fatcats? Is this what they meant by “Through the efforts of state and local officials”….? While MM maintains the contract is identical to the one the union resoundly rejected only a week ago?
Aug.30,2009 -- If Mercury Marine accepts local government's incentive package to keep its headquarters in Fond du Lac, a county sales tax would likely be imposed for the first time to help pay the costs.
This is only speculation on my part prompted mainly by the sketchy details and the sudden reversal by Mercury Marine. I hope that's all it is.
"It's sad that we have laws allowing states to try and compete with each other like this," Michalski said. "This is all about jobs and people doing things like making house payments, buying groceries, and just trying to survive."