June 13, 2018

Bath Iron Works to recall laid-off workers

File photo / Bath Iron Works
File photo / Bath Iron Works
BIW is beginning to recall workers who were laid off in recent months, according to the president of the union representint shipbuilders at the Bath shipyard. In this file photo, a deckhouse is lifted into place for a Zumwalt-class destroyer under construction at the Bath shipyard.

Bath Iron Works is in the process of recalling workers who were laid off in recent months.

Mike Keenan, president of Local S6, the largest union at BIW, told The Times Record that BIW and the union were working collectively to try to get everyone back to work. BIW laid off about 60 electricians in February and announced in April it would be laying off 31 positions. Keenan told the paper the union has been pushing the shipyard to recall laid-off workers or train them for new positions in the company.

Keenan said the electricians are being asked to come back to work June 18, and insulators might return this week.

The U.S. Navy recently awarded BIW a contract to provide lead yard services for the DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer program.

The contract is valued at $49.8 million for the first year, with four option years that would bring its total contract value to $304.8 million.

BIW, a subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), is the lead shipyard and design agent for the Arleigh Burke class of destroyers and since 1987 has provided design and technical assistance for design upgrades and major changes to the two shipyards currently building DDG 51 destroyers: BIW's shipyard in Bath and the Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.

BIW employs just over 5,700 — about 400 fewer than in September 2016. In January, BIW President Dirk Lesko said he was seeking to collaborate more with workers to keep the General Dynamics-owned shipyard competitive in the industry, according to an Associated Press report published at the time by The Times Record.


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