June 19, 2018
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Investigation of Navy shipbuilding contract sought

The Associated Press

BATH, Maine — The suspended president of the largest union at Bath Iron Works wants Maine’s congressional delegation to look into the award of a 10-ship contract to an Alabama shipyard.

Mike Keenan of Machinists’ Local S6 wrote a letter asking Maine’s congressional delegation to “look deeper into this recent award” to ensure there was “a fair competition.”

The Navy on Thursday awarded Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, Ala., an expected $1.6 billion contract to build 10 high-speed military transport ships. Bath Iron Works partnered with Austal to build littoral combat ships but was competing against Austal on the new contract.

Jim DeMartini, spokesman for BIW, said the shipyard expects to be debriefed by the Navy with regard to the Joint High Speed Vessel program and “until then we are not in a position to comment.”

The decision was the second disappointment in two months for Bath Iron Works. In late September, the Louisiana-based Bollinger Shipyard edged out BIW in a competition for new Coast Guard cutter contracts worth up to $1.5 billion.

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