BATH, Maine — A union representing more than 4,000 workers for Navy shipbuilder Bath Iron Works on Saturday rejected the company’s final offer for a new labor contract.
Both sides ended negotiations Friday and the company issued its last offer Saturday morning. Soon after, Machinists Union Local S6 said on its Facebook page that the negotiation committee “unanimously rejects the last best and final contract.”
Bath Iron Works spokesman David Hench told The Portland Press Herald that the company “negotiated in good faith toward an offer that we believe is fair and positions us for the future.”
In a statement issued earlier Saturday, the union said the company’s leaders “have chosen not to listen and understand how to build ships from the 253 years of shipbuilding experience that sat across the table.”
“Unfortunately, we believe this is just the start of a tough fight,” the union said.
The current contract had been due to expire May 17 but both sides agreed to extend it to June 21 amid the coronavirus pandemic. The union previously said workers were ready to strike if the company didn’t make a suitable offer.
Local S6 is the largest union at the company, representing 4,300 workers. The shipyard builds destroyers for the U.S. Navy.