Bath Iron Works will lay off 179 employees because of a lull in work at the shipyard.
BIW spokesman Jim DeMartini told Mainebiz this afternoon that the layoffs, which will go into effect Jan. 23, are a result of fluctuations in the shipyard's workload, which he calls "a function of the shipbuilding business." There are 11 different trades being affected, including welders, pipefitters, shipfitters, tinsmiths and material handlers. DeMartini said this round of layoffs is the largest he's seen in the past three years.
DeMartini said BIW, which employs 5,700, is nearing completion of its work on the DDG-51 class destroyer program and no longer has jobs for all its shipyard employees. "We've got more people than we can effectively employ," DeMartini said.
The shipyard is scheduled to begin work over the next couple months on the next generation DDG-1000 class destroyer program. "As we ramp up work on the DDG-1000, there may be an opportunity to call some of those folks back," DeMartini said, though he declined to speculate on the number of people who could be rehired.