More than 4,300 IAM Local S6 members in Bath, ME could be forced to strike Monday following a vote this weekend on the “last, best and final” offer from Bath Iron Works. A major point of contention is BIW’s intention to bring in out-of-state subcontractors to perform IAM members’ core shipbuilding work.
International President Robert Martinez Jr. recently sent a letter to Bath Iron Works President Dirk Lesko, encouraging the company to negotiate a contract the members deserve.
“Now is the time to reward dedicated workers who have risked their health to maintain production,” said Martinez. “Sadly, it appears that BIW has chosen to take another path, as evidenced by the current negotiations. Your current actions jeopardize the government’s trust in you to fulfill our obligation to produce the finest warships in the world.”
“The men and women at BIW have the full support of the territory, and our staff,” said Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr. “Their fight to stand against the outsourcing of their work to the lowest bidders is a noble and just cause. Their work must be defended.”
In addition to contracting out, the negotiating committee says the offer is subpar in wage increases, healthcare costs and attacks seniority. The current contract expires Sunday, June 21 and the negotiating committee recommends rejection.