The IAM and three other unions united to support a proposal to construct the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG) Waterways Commerce Cutters (WCC) in Superior, WI. The letter, addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, highlighted the need for Fraser Shipyards to replace existing cutters in order to expedite commerce on U.S. inland waterways, thereby helping to relieve some of the current congestion and supply backlogs on U.S. waterways.
The IAM, the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) have joined the effort.
“The workers at Fraser Shipyards are well known for their years of superior service in the maritime industry and excellent customer support,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “The IAM, along with our labor allies, are fighting to ensure this highly- skilled workforce can continue to be instrumental in producing quality products for use on the waters of our nation. We are standing together to protect the high labor standards under Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements and help provide fairness in the solicitation process.”
Awarding this solicitation to the Upper Midwest-based facility will deliver geographic diversity to the Coast Guard’s procurement processes and, therefore, contribute to national security. Over the last 15 years, most awards have gone to shipyards in a small region of the Gulf Coast.
“Fraser Shipyards utilizes a highly-skilled union workforce, which can accomplish the work productively, safely, and competitively,” reads the joint letter. “Given the key role that the Waterways Commerce Corridor fleet plays in supporting trade and good jobs, it only makes sense to maximize the economic development impact of the program through this solicitation by awarding the construction of the WCC to Fraser Shipyards.”