Monday, August 31, 2009


"I am angry and disgusted with our union. They fought us tooth and nail all week long in our effort to get a re-vote," said Fred Toth Jr., an IAM member and Mercury Marine employee.

Toth, like other members of the International Associatation of Machinists employed by Mercury Marine, will likely be unemployed soon. Last Sunday, a majority of members rejected their employer's 'last, best and final offer' and, after they realizing their employer was indeed serious about closing their plant, asked their union for a re-vote. All they got was the run around until the last minute.

Unfortunately, the Machinists union delayed letting its members conduct a re-vote until the day the company's offer was expired...too late to have all its members vote.

According to the Journal-Sentinel:
A second vote on a labor contract at Mercury Marine Inc. came to an abrupt halt Monday afternoon when union officials said there was no longer anything to vote on.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers called off the vote mid-afternoon Monday rather than allow it to continue until 6 p.m. as had been scheduled.

"The union has no other options but to consider (the company's) last, best and final offer to have been removed from the table, and the current (labor) agreement remains in full force and effect until June 23, 2012," a statement from IAM District 10 headquarters said.

Union, not company, blamed...
Toth said he did not blame the company or Lodge 1947 for the cancellation of the second vote, but he was upset with District 10 officials in Milwaukee.

"As far as I am concerned, they failed their membership," Toth said.

District 10 officials would not comment beyond what was in their written statement.

Then came the classic duck 'em and dodge 'em response from the Machiists' union bosses:

Michael King, a spokesman for the IAM Midwest Territory office, declined to discuss the second vote.

"To discuss what happened, when we didn't initiate it, may not necessarily be in our best interest," King said. [Emphasis added.]

For background on this story go here, here, and here.

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1 comment:

  1. The Machinist Union needs to take a long, hard look internally at the way things are being run within the Union. In this hard economy "bargaining" should be left for wages and insurance, not for the jobs themselves. The representatives get paid whether union members have a job or not, so they sacrifice nothing. In a recent district meeting, the Union once again asked for a raise in the dues. Unbelievable! When union members are taking pay cuts, increased insurance premiums, and sometimes loss of jobs, to ask for a raise in dues is disgraceful! When District 121 and District 10 merged, District 121 brought along with them membership and money. The representatives gave themselves a $10,000 a year raise. And yet they are asking for more money from the very people taking the cuts! Things need to change. Not replacing representatives when they retire is not "making cuts." All that does is cut the representation to the union members who right now are most in need of that representation. Maybe paying the reps mileage even after they get a raise, the requirement of the reps taking "refresher courses," and having a lawyer (non union member) on retainer to decide whether or not a grievance goes to arbitration when the reps are well versed in arbitration should be closely looked at. Changes need to be made, and not with the members. Come on IAM, step up!


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