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Bath Iron Works is asking workers to resume normal attendance at the shipyard as the state moves to gradually ease coronavirus-related restrictions.
A spokesperson for the Bath shipyard told The Times Record that attendance has been 25 percent to 30 percent as of April’s end. Attendance fell as much as 60 percent in mid-March after it became public that a worker from the shipyard had tested positive for the new coronavirus.
The Bath shipyard, which the U.S. Navy considers “critical infrastructure,” has remained open since March 12, when the first case of the coronavirus was confirmed in Maine. The shipyard offered workers options for taking time off.
The move comes as restrictions put in place to halt the spread of the coronavirus began to gradually ease Friday under a four-phase plan that Democratic Gov. Janet Mills outlined earlier this week. Under the first phase, salons, barbershops, car dealerships and golf courses, among other businesses, began to reopen Friday with appropriate safety precautions. A ban remains in place on gatherings of more than 10 people.
Even as the shipyard moves to call back workers, it will continue to offer workers options to ask for alternative shift assignments, use unused paid time off or request a leave of absence between 30 and 90 days if they live with someone whom the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers at high risk of coronavirus complications, according to The Times Record. They also can get leave to take care of a child or for other reasons beyond their control related to the coronavirus, the newspaper reports.
Workers must choose one of those options by May 11.
The shipyard, which is owned by parent company General Dynamics, employs 6,800 people from all of Maine’s counties.
Only two cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed among workers from the shipyard, according to The Times Record..