Stillwater, Oklahoma is saddened by the Merc vote and Mercury Marine's decision to move jobs up to Fond du Lac, instead of down to Stillwater.
But that didn't stop Larry Brown, president of the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce, from taking a shot at the (IAM) Local 1947 that he accused of being placed on a "pedestal."
It's called collective bargaining and negotiations; been around since the Wagner Act. Look it up, Larry.
The sacrifice that the (IAM) Local 1947 is making for their jobs, their families and the community - with a big assist from the city and county of Fond du Lac and state of Wisconsin - is appreciated and feted here.
From Monique Headley of the Stillwater NewsPress:
‘Disappointed. Hurt,’ said 16-year Stillwater plant employee Todd Pierce. ‘It’s been a major part of my life. I’ve got no voice. This was decided by someone else … (Mercury) tore up my family and my life. That ain’t no way to run a business.’
In disagreement with and numb from the outcome, at times Larry Brown, president of the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce, spoke with a voice that broke with emotion to about 20 workers gathered at Brannigans at 600 McElroy Rd.
‘I don’t think it will be a good decision in the long term for Mercury Marine.' Brown said. 'It elevated the union to a pedestal they won’t be able to knock them off of. The union will be claiming victory and that they came in on a white horse to save jobs … It’s a good win for them. I am just not happy with how it came about.’
To ease the angst, he bought a round of drinks for the bar.Brown said the team - from Stillwater economic developers to state lawmakers - to keep Mercury in Stillwater put forth an amazing effort.
One team member, Rep. Cory Williams, D-Stillwater, said Thursday he will look into repealing state tax credits the state gave Mercury Marine in legislation he helped get passed this spring.