Workers from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Lodge 1947 (IAM Lodge 1947) on Saturday rejected a labour contract presented by Mercury Marine. Designed to retain workers, the contract was presented four years ahead of the end of the existing agreement. Union representatives and Mercury executives had reached a tentative agreement last week before Saturday’s vote by union members.
Ben Elizondo, a business representative with IAM Lodge 1947, said the deal could have brought higher wages and helped Mercury compete for talent in a tight labor market, according to the Fond du Lac Reporter.
Elizondo said the union and company have decided to pause negotiations. "We'll move forward and we'll do the best we can to protect jobs in Fond du Lac," Elizondo told the paper.
Mercury and other companies in Wisconsin have struggled to fill job openings during a time of record low employment. The paper reported that the new contract might have helped Mercury compete in the labour market.
“We are disappointed in the vote because we worked together to reach a competitive and comprehensive agreement for our workforce," Lee Gordon, the company's director of global public relations and communications, wrote in a statement. "Mercury Marine and its employees will, therefore, continue to work under the terms and conditions of the current agreement.”