Re: “BIW hiring temporary workers amid strike” (July 3, Page A10):

As a retiree and former member of the United Steelworkers union, I take exception to the views expressed by Bath Iron Works President Dirk Lesko regarding the company’s decision to bring in temporary workers amid the current strike at the Bath shipyard.

He is quoted as telling The Associated Press: “First and foremost, the subcontracting that we’re doing does not impact a single job at Bath Iron Works.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. This decision will affect each and every one of the 4,300 International Machinists Union Local S6 workers and not only them but their families and the entire community as well.

Calling these replacement workers “subcontractors” is a public relations ploy on the part of management when in fact what we are witnessing is the classic tactic of union busting by bringing in unskilled low-wage scabs to subvert the legitimate collective bargaining process and prolong the strike.

If BIW is serious about reducing its backlog of existing contracts and increasing production, they should resume good-faith negotiations with the union ASAP as opposed to letting this disgrace drag out any further.

Is this how management rewards its employees, by severing their medical coverage, rejecting their expert input and ignoring their concerns?

If BIW fails to remain competitive, let the blame fall where it belongs – on incompetent, greedy corporate attitudes, not the courageous and hardworking brothers and sisters of Local S6 shipbuilders.

Charlie Backus

Old Orchard Beach

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