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February 15, 2018

Lack of work cited in BIW electrician layoffs

Photo / Tim Greenway
Photo / Tim Greenway
Bath Iron Works has notified nearly 60 electricians that they will be laid off effective Feb. 23 due to a shortage of work.

Bath Iron Works has notified nearly 60 electricians that they will be laid off effective Feb. 23 due to a shortage of work in that aspect of the shipbuilding process.

But Mike Keenan, president of Local S6 of the Machinists union, the largest union at BIW, told the Bangor Daily News that anyone affected by the layoffs will likely have an opportunity to laterally move into another job with relatively close pay.

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 by The Times Record. At that time, Keenan said that shipyard workers were rankled over compromises the union made under Lesko's predecessor, Fred Harris, such as having lower-wage contractors do more work on ships. The shipyard currently has contracts to carry workers through 2022.

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