Workers in northeast Wisconsin have something to celebrate. Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) Local 1947 in Fond du Lac just ratified a great new contract at Mercury Marine which is sure to set standards for working families in the manufacturing industry.
Standing together in solidarity, Machinists Local 1947 members were able to buck the trend of two-tier wages, ending the practice of unequal pay for equal work. IAMAW Local 1947 members came together and stayed together in a grand show of solidarity to say “enough is enough” to two-tier wages.
“This isn’t a onetime cash bonus that many corporations are using to appease their workers. Through collective bargaining we have secured increases of between $7 and $9 dollars per hour for the majority of our members over the next 5 years,” said Alex Hoekstra, Directing Business Representative for IAMAW District 10. “This wage boost will benefit not only the families of IAMAW Local 1947 members, but the entire Fond du Lac community as the ripple impact is felt on the entire area economy. This historic contract increases wages, provides security for workers and eliminates two-tier wages will protect generations to come.”
“This win is all because of the solidarity of working people,” said Kelly Quimette, an Assembly Tech Line Leader, at Mercury Marine and proud member of IAMAW Local 1947. “We stuck together as a local to support each other and that is what unionism and collective bargaining is all about. When we stand strong and stand together we can make great gains for the middle class. Hopefully, this can start to turn the tide for workers facing two-tier wages and show them that it is possible to get equal wages for equal work for all.”
“Ending a two-tiered wage system where workers are doing the same job side-by-side but getting different pay is a victory for the working class and a testimony to what working people coming together in union can achieve,” said Ben Elizondo, IAMAW District 10 Business Representative who led the Negotiating Committee at Mercury Marine. “The union sticking together and working together with management ensured a great contract for the employees who make a world-class product right here in Wisconsin, while also achieving Mercury Marine’s goal of becoming the employer of choice in the Fond du Lac area.”
Mercury Marine is one of the world’s leading producers of marine propulsion, manufacturing marine engines. Around 6,200 employees worldwide provide engines, boats, services and parts for recreational, commercial and government marine applications.
“Fighting Machinists are leading the charge in Fond du Lac with a great, new contract for the middle class,” said Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. “We are proud to congratulate the members of IAMAW Local 1947 on their hard-fought, well-earned contract.”
“This contract at Mercury Marine shows the power of collective bargaining and the value unions can add not only for their members, but to the whole economy,” said Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. “Standing in union, workers at Mercury Marine were able to negotiate together for a fair return on work. We hope this victory provides hope, inspiration and momentum for any worker fighting for a fair shake in their workplace, wherever that workplace may be.”