9.02.2009

This is how a union busts itself

By being essentially stupid and expecting a company facing a recession to cave in to its demands, and then ignoring its own members:
"We were told by District 10 union officials that there was a bylaw preventing workers from voting on a contract without at least three significant changes in it. Now we find out there wasn't any bylaw. It was just an unwritten policy with the IAM. Policies are rewritten every day," Toth said.
Advertisement

Before the Aug. 23 vote, Toth said union leaders led the membership to believe that after the first contract was voted down, another would be brought back for a second vote. Toth described the atmosphere inside Fond du Lac High School that day (Aug. 23) as "very hostile" with members voting on "emotion" rather than on the proposal before them.

He said the union leaders' call to continue voting on Sunday after the deadline was just a token gesture.

"They're just trying to save face and point the finger at the company," Toth said. "Mercury Marine was pretty adamant about every step they took including the deadline. What makes (union leaders) think Mercury Marine would change their minds now?"

Essentially, the union expected Mercury Marine to want so badly to stay in one of the highest-taxed states in the country that they'd pay the union extra for the privilege. What kind of idiocy this is I don't even know, but the workers, about whom the union apparently doesn't really care, have caught a very significant break:
The company said Tuesday evening that the union would be able to vote again because of questions and confusion surrounding the voting process.

“Hundreds of employees expressed a desire to voice their true feelings, and that’s something we can’t ignore,” said Mercury President Mark Schwabero.

Mercury would have been well within its rights to tell the union to jump off a cliff -- which is, essentially, what it had already done anyhow. But the real question is how much power the union reps can now claim to have, having done just about everything possible to undercut their own positions of power. Had the union leaders not been greedy and stupid when dealing with Mercury, I doubt it would have come to this.