Update: See the Fond du Lac Reporter coverage for updates.
I come from down in the valley
where mister, when you’re young,
they bring you to do
as your daddy done.
- Bruce Springsteen, The River
The vote happens today. And an American corporation, Mercury Marine (a division of Brunswick Corp.) has made clear it is prepared to unleash an economic hurricane on Wisconsin communities with no regret.
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, is the focus of press coverage universally stating the 1,000s of jobs and millions of dollars depend on the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) union vote today.
It's up to the union, they say with no mention of the deranged character of the Brunswick Corp. that would devastate a community with premeditation and in cold blood.
The company has eroded the number of workers and the union at its Fond du Lac site for the past several years. Now, it's time to really kill.
This union vote could sound the death knell for some 800 union workers left at Mercury Marine and for the local union that has fought for its rights and benefits.
Just like NewPage and GM before it, Mercury Marine is putting corporate greed before the good of the Wisconsin community in which it has resided for lifetimes.
Everyone in Fond du Lac knows someone or even generations of families who have worked at Merc. But that doesn't seem to count for much nowadays.
Fondy will see a signal moment in its life today but please note that it is corporate greed and betrayal that ought to be on trial and not the union members of (IAM) Local 1947.
It is Mercury Marine that has given the workers an untenable choice. It is the company that wants to move all its operations to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to be in a non-union state, even though the city of Fond du Lac and the state of Wisconsin have been loyal and faithful partners.
You see, Mercury Marine has announced in effect that workers, Fond du Lac, the Fox Valley, and Wisconsin can all go to hell if Merc doesn't get the union vote they want on a new contract.
If Merc abandons the state of Wisconsin and its workers, no one will be surprised: And Fondy will be just another devastated community where hard-working people are tossed aside by corporate America with no sense of loyalty or decency.
If, as seems likely, the union votes for a contract at the point of a gun [right], Merc should be remembered for its deranged character displayed.
A lot of sweat is being poured into this union vote today--from the workers, the city, the county, the State but the company has made up its mind already.
It doesn't care--it will stay or go dependent solely on where labor will be cheapest and the hell with the people and community loyalty.
Contemplating economic genocide is pathological and make no mistake, if Merc moves out of Fond du Lac, many in the community will be destroyed, left to face bankruptcy and worse.
But don't expect many to bring up the moral obligations that industries owe the American public.