Even as we are told to avoid gatherings of more than a few people, 6,800 people are being compelled to gather every day at Bath Iron Works. That BIW is allowed to remain open right now is an enormous threat to the workers, the community of Bath and the state.

The Trump administration insists that it remain open for reasons of national security. But our most pressing war right now is with a virus, not another country. With 6,800 workers coming and going from every county in Maine, the state is at enormous risk.

In 1918, Bath was hit hard by the influenza epidemic. With wartime jobs swelling the population of the yard, Bath had 3,000 cases of influenza within just weeks. Even though Bath had its own hospital, four additional makeshift hospitals had to be erected.

A BIW employee has already tested positive for COVID-19. BIW contract delivery deadlines should be extended for as long as a national emergency is in place so the yard can be closed immediately. This must be paid leave so that workers can support their families. Please call your senators and representatives.

Wayne Beach

Phippsburg

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