Union rejects Mercury’s contract proposal

FOND DU LAC, Wis. — Union workers at Mercury Marine voted Sunday to reject a contract proposal that would have kept manufacturing jobs in Fond du Lac through 2016, according to a release from Mercury yesterday.

As a result, Mercury said it will consolidate much of its Fond du Lac manufacturing operations with its existing operations in an expanded Stillwater, Okla., facility.

Mercury expects consolidation to take between 24 and 36 months, according to the statement. Details of state and local support programs will be finalized over the next few days.

The company and the union negotiated for several weeks before the union announced it would send Mercury’s offer to a vote. Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers — the union that represents production workers at Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac — cast ballots at 9 a.m. Sunday.

Mercury said it will continue to operate the Fond du Lac facility under the terms and conditions of the existing contract, which expires in 2012.

“We appreciate the patient support of our employees and communities as we’ve gone through this process,” said Mark Schwabero, president of Mercury Marine. “This has been a very difficult and stressful process for all involved. We will work closely with our team in Fond du Lac to develop and communicate a transition plan for this 24-36 month process.”

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