November 9, 2013

BIW will lay off 81 more workers

The new layoffs will affect insulators, shipfitters and metal preparation technicians.

By Jessica Hall jhall@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Bath Iron Works says it will lay off 81 workers effective Nov. 22 as it tries to balance its staff with work needs at the shipyard.

click image to enlarge

Cranes fill the skyline in Bath. Bath Iron Works, one of Maine’s largest employers, plans to lay off another 81 workers later this month.

2013 Press Herald file photo/Gordon Chibroski

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Jobs affected by the layoffs include insulators, shipfitters and metal preparation technicians, The Associated Press reported.

Between now and Nov. 22, BIW said it will attempt to find other opportunities in the shipyard for the affected workers. The new layoffs follow the loss of 42 insulator and pipe coverer jobs last month, and the loss of 39 pipefitters, who will be laid off effective Nov. 18.

The company notified union leadership Thursday that it would lay off the workers. BIW, which is owned by General Dynamics, said its total employment level is about 5,450 workers, which is about 200 more jobs than it had at the start of the year.

The shipyard recently launched its first Zumwalt-class destroyer, which will be delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2015.

In June, the Navy awarded contracts for nine new DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, four of which will be built at BIW.

The company is seeking tax subsidies from the city of Bath for an expansion of its facility that would include a $32 million outfitting hall. The company is seeking a 25-year city property tax subsidy of about $250,000 a year for the proposed expansion.

The outfitting hall would allow many BIW employees who currently work outdoors to move their operations into a climate-controlled facility, company officials have said.

BIW is one of Maine’s largest employers and has built more than half of the 66 Arleigh Burke-class ships purchased by the Navy since 1985.

Jessica Hall can be contacted at 791-6316 or at: jhall@pressherald.com

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