Mercury Marine Announces Special Fond Du Lac Bonuses

Mercury Marine will pay a special one-time bonus to about 1,200 of its hourly workers in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin — the vast majority union members, a company official says.

Company Spokesman Steve Fleming said despite challenging market conditions, Mercury demonstrated solid global growth in 2011 due in part to the outstanding efforts of Mercury Marine employees.

“We want our employees to know that their dedication and extraordinary efforts in 2011 — and the results of those extraordinary efforts — were greatly appreciated by the company and we’re glad to be able to show that appreciation with a monetary bonus to our hourly employees,” said Mark Schwabero, president of Mercury Marine.

The bonuses at Mercury will be paid based on the length of service over the past year. Bonuses to newer employees will be pro-rated. Company officials say the bonuses are not to be considered annual, year-end, or Christmas bonuses that will be repeated every year.

The bonuses for someone who worked over the entire year reportedly will be around $1,200, according to an employee. The company would not disclose the bonus amount.

Mark Zillges, president of Local 1947 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), said employees were notified of the bonuses on last Monday.

“I think it’s a nice gesture,” Zillges said. “It’s a step in the right direction. I understand that we (employees) lost a lot (in concessions dating to the summer of 2009), but it’s a start. It’s something in (employees’) pockets before the holidays.”

Members, on Sept. 4, 2009, ratified a contract proposal with wage and benefit concession that helped ensure Mercury would keep operations in Fond du Lac.

Fleming said Mercury accomplished many strategic objectives in 2011.

Those include consolidation of its Stillwater, Okla., operations with its operations in Fond du Lac; record-setting performance by Land ‘N’ Sea, a Mercury distribution company; the launch of a sustainability program; publishing a company sustainability report; and earning Green Master certification.

There also was a recent launch of Mercury’s new 150 hp FourStroke outboard engine and the introduction of a fuel system by Attwood Marine (a Mercury company) — both of which earned innovation awards at the 2011 International Boatbuilders Exhibition and Conference.

Denise Devereaux, vice president of human resources for Mercury Marine, said 2011 was a year filled with many critical activities.

“New product launches, in addition to transition activities associated with our plant consolidation, required extra effort on the part of our employees,” Devereaux said. “We wanted to recognize those efforts by providing an award that would be meaningful to our employees. We appreciate the extra effort that employees contributed this year and hope this will enable them to celebrate with their families.”

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