BIW announces another 19 layoffs
A Bath Iron Works spokesman informed union members of its intention to layoff 19 electricians on Friday.
This recent bout of layoffs follows the announcement last week that the shipyard informed members of its plans to lay off 12 machinists. In September, BIW announced that it would be eliminating 160 positions — including 30 layoffs.
“Essentially this is the somewhat cyclical nature of the business we’re in,” said Matt Wickenheiser, Manager of Communications & Public Relations at BIW. “At some points we just don’t have the type of work for these trades, or enough of the type of work to keep all these trades employed, so we have to go through some layoffs like this. And our hope is certainly that we find other positions for them in the shipyards if possible.”
Wickenheiser said the layoffs are not related to the loss of a contract to build Offshore Patrol Cutters for the Coast Guard to Eastern Shipbuilding Group in Panama City, Florida. In early 2015, BIW President Fred Harris said that losing that contract could lead to 1,200 layoffs.
That Coast Guard contract would have added at least 9 ships to BIW’s upcoming workload as it finishes work on the two remaining Zumwalt-class destroyers. BIW did not challenge the Coast Guard’s decision.