2013-12-05 / Front Page

BIW to layoff 118

Preservation techs, pipefitters, shipfitters face holiday pink slips
By GINA HAMILTON, Times Record Staff


More than 100 Bath Iron Works employees are expected to get unwelcome news this week.  

According to Dan Dowling, president of Local S6, 50 preservation technicians, 27 pipefitters and 41 shipfitters will lose their jobs by Dec. 20.

Dowling said he received the news officially Thursday around noon.  

"We have no information yet about when these workers might expect to be called back," he said.  "That's something you may want to discuss with the company." 

Jim DeMartini, communications director at BIW, said that as in all these cases, the company will work with the union to see if there is room in other trades where some of the affected employees might be able to work.  “We never really know until the effective date [Dec. 20] if there is work in other trades,” DeMartini said.  

He also said that he was unable to predict when or if the workers would be called back.  “We’re losing skilled workers,” he said.  “It’s part of the supply and demand of the business, but it’s hard losing all these folks.”

DeMartini said that the union was given its 10 days’ notice today, and affected employees would get notified five days before the layoff date.  When the union is given the news, it contacts the Department of Labor, which initiates a Rapid Response Team.  That meeting is currently scheduled for Dec. 18.

“The Rapid Response Team assists the employees with the transition,” DeMartini said.  That may include help getting state services, such as unemployment, but may also include opportunities for training for other careers.  One of the companies that normally assists in BIW layoffs is Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc. of Brunswick.  Antoinette Manscusi, Deputy Director of CCWI, said that they have not yet been called in on the case, but if they are, they have funding for training opportunies under the Dislocated Worker funds.  There are also some discretionary funds for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math training.

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