June 25, 2018
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Bath Iron Works to lay off 39 pipefitters effective Nov. 18

Courtesy photo | BDN
Courtesy photo | BDN
The future USS Zumwalt, the nearly $4 billion stealth destroyer being built by Bath Iron Works, was launched into the Kennebec River Oct. 28, 2013.
By Beth Brogan, BDN Staff

BATH, Maine – Thirty-nine pipefitters at Bath Iron Works are scheduled to be laid off effective Nov. 18, company and union officials confirmed Friday.

Dan Dowling, president of Local S6 of the Machinists union, which has approximately 3,400 members, said he was notified Friday of the layoffs,

The layoffs are the result of “the cyclical nature of this business,” BIW spokesman Jim DeMartini said Friday, and in part due to the transition from building the DDG-1000, which was launched Monday, to the next Zumwalt-class destroyer, the DDG-1001.

He said the company would attempt to find other positions for the employees affected. The layoffs are expected to be short-term, he said — “weeks rather than months.”

In August, the company announced that it would lay off 40 pipe coverers and insulators due to fluctuations in workload for those specific jobs, but BIW subsequently found positions for all of them, averting the layoffs.

On Sept. 27, the company announced that 42 insulators and pipe coverers would be laid off effective Oct. 11.

According to the S6 contract, union leadership must be notified 10 working days in advance of a layoff’s effective date. The union then confirms employees’ seniority and notifies individual workers about seven days prior to the effective date.

Dowling said Friday that the new layoffs would bring the number of union members the shipyard has laid off since Labor Day to near 100.

According to DeMartini, BIW employed 5,450 people as of Oct. 27 — 200 more, without regard to whether they are salaried, union or tradesman, than it did Jan. 1.

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