BATH, Maine — All 40 of the Bath Iron Works layoffs scheduled to take effect Friday have been averted, the head of the shipyard’s largest labor union said Thursday afternoon.
“Everybody that wants to stay is being offered [another job at the shipyard],” said Dan Dowling, president of Local S6 of the Machinists union, which has approximately 3,400 members. “Out of the 40, they’ll all be given the opportunity to stay and work. That’s good news for us. The affected individuals will have work available. We won’t have anybody being forced onto the street. That’s very good news.”
BIW spokesman Jim DeMartini did not confirm how many of the workers previously scheduled to be laid off would be offered jobs to stay employed, but said whenever workforce cuts are announced, the shipyard searches for ways to avoid them before the date they become official.
“Everything that’s happened since we announced those layoffs is exactly what takes place each time we have to announce layoffs,” he said. “We carefully look to see if there are ways that we can move the individuals into other trades for which they may be qualified. I would say that the process is working and this time around, it appears a significant number of those folks will still be on the job.”
Bath Iron Works employs approximately 5,700 people.
DeMartini told the Bangor Daily News last month that since the beginning of 2013 the shipyard has hired 370 new employees and recalled an additional 125 who were previously laid off.
In June, BIW was awarded contracts worth $2.84 billion to build four more DDG-51 class destroyers and, in August, a $212 million contract modification for one of three DDG-1000 class destroyers under construction at the shipyard.
The shipyard was given site plan approvals from the Bath Planning Board this week to build a new $32 million, 11-story outfitting hall, as well as a separate paint and blast facility.