The IAM recently sent a letter to the House Armed Services Committee strongly supporting U.S. Rep. Jared Golden’s (D-ME) amendment to the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for a new multi-year procurement (MYP) contract for Flight III DDG-51 destroyers.
This week, the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee approved the Golden amendment that will allow the Secretary of the U.S. Navy to “enter into one or more multi-year contracts, beginning in the fiscal year 2023, for the procurement of up to 15 Arleigh Burke class Flight III guided missile destroyers.”
The amendment will impact thousands of IAM members who proudly work at Bath Iron Works and in the shipbuilding industry across the United States.
A new contract for DDG-51 destroyers is essential to protect our nation’s military advantage at sea, bolster our domestic industrial base, and maintain the high-quality jobs and skill level of the U.S. defense shipbuilding workforce.
“DDG-51 destroyers are proudly built by thousands of Machinists Union members at Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Bath, Maine,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “With the current MYP contract expiring in FY22, there is no scheduled ship procurement plan to ensure enduring workforce stability and skill retention. A new MYP contract is needed to ensure consistent funding for the DDG-51 program to equip our U.S. Navy properly and to promote the health of the U.S. shipbuilding industry, our domestic industrial base, and the highly skilled workforce on which it relies.”
“The multi-year procurement is paramount to the future of the shipyard and industrial base, focusing on workforce stability, in which LS6 has collaborated with BIW by supporting investments in recruiting, training, and efficiencies,” said IAM Local S6 President Chris Wiers. “We are committed to this effort to prepare the next generation of shipbuilders and protecting job security for thousands of our members for years to come.”
“This Multi-year Procurement contract will deliver DDG-51 Flight III ships to the Navy over the next five years, ensuring that we have the large surface combatant fleet that we need to remain competitive in the short term,” said Rep. Golden. “And this multi-year contract will act as a bridge to the DDG-X that the Navy will need in the long term, by providing the stability and predictability needed to maintain the shipbuilding workforce. The preservation of this workforce is a matter of national security, and we just can’t afford to lose these skilled shipbuilders.”
The Machinists Union will be urging the full House Armed Services Committee to approve the measure when it’s considered on Sept. 1.