The struggle between Mercury Marine and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 1947 sounds like the story of the scorpion and the frog.
The union knows that the more it fights the givebacks the company asks for in its contract, the greater the likelihood the headquarters’ plant in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, is going to be downsized and eventually closed. But the union continues to fight, because that’s what unions do, like the scorpion that bites the frog that is transporting him across the river, dooming them both to die. It’s what scorpions do. Mercury faces wicked competition these days from Yamaha and Honda in the marine space, and moving from unionized, $20 per hour Fond du Lac to non-union Stillwater, Oklahoma, makes economic sense for the Brunswick owned company.