August 22, 2013

Bath Iron Works plans to lay off 40 workers

The shipbuilder says the layoffs will include 15 pipe coverers and 25 insulators. Still, the shipbuilder's workforce has risen this year to about 5,500 employees.

By Jessica Hall
Staff Writer

BATH - Bath Iron Works says it will lay off 40 pipe coverers and insulators because of a lack of work for those specific skills.

The layoffs include 15 pipe coverers and 25 insulators, said the shipbuilder, a unit of General Dynamics. BIW's current employment is more than 5,500 workers, an increase of about 550 since the start of this year.

"It's a typical characteristic in shipbuilding that we need different trade skills at different times. We try to balance the level of work in the shipyard, but sometimes there's a need for layoffs," said BIW spokesman Jim DeMartini.

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

Navy officials said BIW will likely get a contract for a fifth ship if Congress and the Pentagon can close a $304 million shortfall caused by the across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration.

BIW is one of Maine's largest employers, with about 5,400 workers. It 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:

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