Mercury union leader criticizes compensation for salaried workers

FOND DU LAC, Wis. — The head of Mercury Marine’s union is criticizing a decision by the company to offer its salaried workers “variable compensation” pay, according to a report in the Northwestern of Oshkosh, Wis.

“It doesn’t sit good with anybody here,” Mark Zillges, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 1947, told the paper.

The compensation, which is similar to profit sharing and is tied to performance goals for 2009, upset Zillges because of the major concessions hourly workers made last year to keep Mercury in Fond du Lac.

“If we’re going to be in this misery, it should be for everybody,” Zillges told the paper.

Company spokesman Steve Fleming told the paper that all salaried employees in Brunswick Corporation, not just Mercury Marine, have elements of variable compensation built into their compensation package. In 2009, he said, Brunswick did not pay any portion of variable compensation.

Fleming said the incentives from the city, county, state, as well as the changes that came from concessions during contract negotiations, “do not fund the (variable) compensation and are not in any way related to it.”

The decision to award the variable pay was made by the Brunswick board of directors. A dollar estimate on the amount of variable compensation has not been released.

To read the Northwestern‘s complete article, click here.

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