BATH — After President Trump tweeted Monday he is “Glad to have helped” Bath Iron Works and Machinists Union Local S6 reach a tentative agreement to an ongoing strike, a White House aide said Tuesday Trump was not personally involved in the mediation process.

Trump’s tweet reads: “CONGRATS to General Dynamic’s Bath Iron Works & Local S6 on reaching a tentative agreement after the long strike. GD builds GREAT Arleigh-Burke destroyers. Super boost for Maine Economy. Glad to have helped. I’ve done a lot for Maine!”

“The President loves Bath Iron Works and he told me to do what I can as soon as soon as possible,” said Peter Navarro, assistant to the president for trade and manufacturing. “The White House had a role, but all the hard work was done by the negotiators. We just helped get them there.”

Navarro said Trump was aware of the efforts to bring the federal mediator into the mix to bring Local S6  and BIW to the negotiating table but wasn’t directly involved. Navarro said he helped by calling other officials, including Richard Giacolone, deputy director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services and IAM International President Robert Martinez, after AFL-CIO Metal Trades Department President Jimmy Hart called the White House to ask for help.

“Sides don’t settle disputes, people do,” said Navarro. “Jimmy Hart, Rob Martinez, the Local S6 bargaining unit, the General Dynamics team … Once we got them to the table, they did all the hard work.”

Hart said he “offered his services” when the strike was in its sixth week.

After watching the mediation process, Hart said he was impressed with the way BIW and Local S6 discussed what each side wanted and could eventually reach a tentative agreement.


“Nobody won in this strike, but they did lay a stronger path for the future, and that’s very unselfish of them,” said Hart. “In a few days hopefully those workers can get back to work and get their healthcare back.”

Local S6 has been striking since June 22 after rejecting a contract offer from shipyard management. The union’s main objections center around the company’s initial proposed changes to seniority and subcontracting.

The shipyard and union negotiators agreed late Friday on a new contract proposal after a week of contentious negotiations. If union members vote to accept the contract offer later this month, it would end a strike that’s now in its eighth week.

Navarro said Trump’s comment, “I’ve done a lot for Maine,” refers to an executive order he signed while visiting Maine in June.

Trump came to Maine to visit the factory in Guildford responsible for manufacturing coronavirus testing swabs.

During a stop in Bangor, Trump attended a roundtable with commercial fishermen where he announced he was lifting restrictions on fishing in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The monument was designated by President Barack Obama in 2016, and it is the only such U.S. monument in the Atlantic Ocean.

Trump has also touted his goal of building a 355-ship Navy, which he said would bring business to BIW while campaigning in Lisbon in 2016.

BIW primarily builds Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, a popular ship in the Navy’s fleet.

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