Former Mercury Marine employees describe ‘confusion’ after mass layoffs

One of Mercury Marine’s Fond du Lac properties is seen from I-41 in 2010. (Photo courtesy of Royalbroil/WikimediaCommons) One of Mercury Marine’s Fond du Lac properties is seen from I-41 in 2010. (Photo courtesy of Royalbroil/WikimediaCommons)

Former employees of Mercury Marine have spoken of anxiety and confusion after hundreds of layoffs at the company’s Fond du Lac headquarters.

Last week, Mercury Marine announced nearly 300 layoffs during July, citing the “softening of consumer demand” as the reason.

Parent company Brunswick recently announced its net sales in the quarter of 2024 were down 22 per cent versus the first quarter of 2023.

Speaking to NBC 26, one former employee says he was laid off in April, when the news outlet reported Mercury laid off more than 100 employees. The man, who had worked as a forklift driver for a year and a half and asked not to be named, described the layoffs as a “big stress on me and my family.”

The former employee told the network the news had affected several of his former coworkers and friends, and many current employees are anxious about their job security.

“They’re kind of worried about, is there going to be another, another round after this?”

He continues: “It kind of seems like morale is going down, as far as working at Mercury,” adding he was told he was being laid off because of excess inventory.

NBC reporter Margaret Cahill sat down with another former employee, who says Mercury Marine held a quarterly meeting with employees the day after he was told he would be laid off.

“They just talked about how well everything’s selling and in certain areas, and what they’re planning to do in the future, and how they’re bringing some of the processes back to Mercury and not outsourcing them anymore,” the employee says.

The employee claims the company didn’t mention layoffs in that meeting.

“It just seemed like a shot in the gut, like, ‘Oh, you’re bringing processes in, but you’re laying people off. Like, how does that necessarily work?”

The company’s operations in Fond du Lac include manufacturing facilities and corporate offices. Mercury Marine has not provided details on which positions were affected, and a layoff notice was not available on the state Department of Workforce Development webpage as of Monday morning (17 June).

MIN reached out to Mercury Marine to comment on the claims.

In a statement issued to announce its latest round of layoffs, Mercury says: “Mercury Marine has announced a reduction in workforce of 300 employees at its Fond du Lac global headquarters, which will take place now through July, as well as some adjustments to overall operations in Wisconsin, St. Cloud, Florida, and Juarez, Mexico.

“These actions were taken due to softening of consumer demand in some of our markets mainly as a result of continued high interest rates and near-term reductions in boat production by Mercury’s boat builder partners. Mercury Marine’s industry-leading products continue to gain market share around the world but at this time this is not sufficient to fully offset the overall market headwinds.

“Mercury remains one of the largest employers in the Fox Valley, and in the state of Wisconsin, with more than 3,500 full-time employees in Fond du Lac, and accounts for $5b in annual economic impact to the Fond du Lac community.”

In October 2023, Mercury Racing, the high-performance division of Brunswick’s Mercury Marine, confirmed a reorganisation at Mercury Racing, with general manager Stuart Halley and director of customer experience Steve Miller being let go from the organisation after careers spanning three decades. Director of engineering, Jeff Broman, was named as the new director of the Mercury Racing category.

Comments are closed.

This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

Skip to content