FOND DU LAC, Wis. – Union workers at Mercury Marine have voted to give themselves a strike option should ongoing contract negotiations fail, according to a story in the The Reporter newspaper over the weekend.
Members of the International Association of Machinists, Local 1947, voted nearly unanimously – 99.8 percent – that the 1,600-member union should have the right to strike, union President Mark Zillges, told the newspaper.
Zillges said the outcome does not guarantee a strike, but notifies the company and union headquarters that a strike may occur so everyone can prepare. He said the union would continue negotiating its contract with Mercury Marine, but that if a solution can't be reached, the union may vote to strike.
"The vote (on Saturday) will not put us on the streets," Zillges told The Reporter.
The current three-year contract between the union and Mercury expires on June 21, Zillges said.
Mercury Marine spokesman Steve Fleming said contract discussions began in late January and told the newspaper he could not comment on the contract's conditions because of ongoing negotiations.
Fleming and Zillges said they have agreed not to release any details of a contract until it is accepted.
"It's our policy not to discuss negotiations while they are in progress," Fleming said.
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