Leadership Alert: Contract Vote Update- 8/23/20

Brothers and Sisters,

The vote is in! 87% of the membership voted YES for the contract. 87% is our number. We will be returning to work. Reminder to all 3rd shift employees, your shift starts tonight at your regular working hours.

Local S6 congratulates you all on the incredible show of solidarity. For many different reasons, the membership has unified like never before. 

See you on the deck plates.

In Solidarity,

Local S6 Leadership

Leadership Alert: 8/19/20

Brothers and Sisters,

As we all know, all of us have an important vote coming up this weekend and there are still many questions and concerns from many members. Local S6 would like to provide some perspective.

Let’s start with COVID-19. This pandemic started to ravage the world earlier this year in the February/March timeframe. Life, as we knew it changed in an instant and we, were all forced to do things we weren’t used to. To be more specific and closer to home, the work environment changed at GDBIW, impacting the way business is being conducted and placing the Union in a reactionary position unlike ever before. Liberal leave, news/media, state and federal legislators, facemasks, travel restrictions, parking, and LOA’s to name a few. All while trying to build the best ships in the world for the US Navy.

Through that, both parties were preparing for contract negotiations in April, with the contract ending May 17th at midnight. With all the unknowns surrounding executive orders, social distancing, and restrictions placed on large gatherings, decisions had to be made to accommodate the need to not only sit in a room and negotiate with GDBIW but how we were to vote on a contract. Everything was moved forward a month, allowing for preparations for an area large enough to negotiate in, while abiding by state executive orders, and securing a viable third-party method of voting.

The Union Negotiating Committee traveled to the IAMAW Winpisinger Education and Technology Center for specialized training in negotiating. They worked extremely hard on preparation, knowing this was going to be a fight. The committee returned and continued to prepare while trying to build solidarity with the membership.

Once negotiations started, the committee provided day to day updates on what was going on. They traveled to EBMF, CW, Hardings, and the Main Yard on all shifts to put the hammer down with the membership over the displeasure surrounding GDBIWs wants. They held rallies to build strength and solidarity, talked with members to educate them on the facts, all the while building momentum to regain the power of the Union. They fought against the Company, who was disciplining our members for concerted activity. They won and protected the rights of our members.

After three painful weeks of negotiations, our Negotiations Committee voted unanimously to reject the contract based on subcontracting and seniority eroding language, along with high insurance costs. We, as a Union, voted overwhelmingly to go on strike (87%). We stood up to the greedy company and knowingly sacrificed to fight for what was right, a fair contract.

A few weeks into the strike the Union reached out to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service for their assistance in getting back to the table and getting our members back to work. Initial talks fell short until phone calls and letters from Local S6 Leadership were written to the IAMAW President Robert Martinez, Congress, General Dynamics, and the Secretary of the Navy. Talks ensued behind the scenes, resulting in the Director of FMCS, Richard Giacolone, as appointed by President Trump, to get GDBIW and Local S6 back to the table and enter mediation. Upon entering mediation in the first week of August, General Dynamics sent Executive Vice President Rob Smith to sit with GDBIW. These two individuals are what truly allowed the Negotiating Committee the ability to prove GDBIW didn’t need what they wanted. It allowed them to prove that the 253 years of shipbuilding experience sitting at the table on the Union side would help get GDBIW back on track. They provided reasonable options that had been crafted while leading up to negotiations, while on strike, and in the month leading up to mediation. The committee justified everything proposed and provided historical practice and economic value that would result in regaining schedule without stripping seniority and subcontracting our work.

The result was a hard-fought proposal, endorsed by the committee, that removed language that put our membership on strike. We all must remember that throughout the months and months of this process our membership has unified more than ever before. The power of solidarity is a testament to the strength the committee had at the table. We all must remember why we went on strike, the state and federal legislators that came and picketed, the Unions across the state and around the country that either visited or sent financial support, the community standing strong, and all the sacrifices we all made to get us where we are today.

We all need to keep everything in perspective – the long tireless fight, the tremendous support, and the incredible sacrifice we all endured. Being on strike is an ugly reality that gets everyone emotional, frustrated, and angry. We must all remember that this fight was about non-economic issues. Rarely, if ever, does any Union come out of a strike with raises and a signing bonus. It is generally unheard of. In 1985 Local S6 came back from striking for $0.05 less than the original offer.

Everyone needs to realize, we deserve more money, we are essential workers who build the best ships for the US Navy, but that was not our fight. Continuing to stay out would only cause us to lose all of our support, everything we fought for would go away, and we would start over. We would look like the greedy Union that various people accusing us of being. In 1938, in one of the biggest hits to the Union movement, the US Supreme Court ruled in NLRB v. Mackay Radio & Telegraph that an employer may hire strikebreakers and is not bound to discharge any of them if or when the strike ends. This provides corporations an instrumental method for a firm to replace economic strikers and to resist their return to employment after a strike.  Local S6 is only providing facts, we are not telling anyone how to vote. Everyone needs to be as educated as they can be to be able to accurately vote.

Finally, to address the non-picketing this week. Bullet 19 in the strike settlement agreement stipulates that, pending the ratification vote on the TA, and upon signing this agreement, the Union will immediately withdraw all pickets. The Union did not cave in. This is a step forward and gesture of good faith to show we are willing to work together. The Company agreed to credit us with 40 hrs toward our vacation accrual for the month of August so members choosing to return on August 24th wouldn’t lose it. We have a tentative agreement on the table to be voted on, lets see what happens.

Through this entire fight, the Union has had the memberships back and some people think this was a bad decision. It’s unthinkable that in some people’s eyes the Union failed them and stopped fighting. That is simply not true. We will never stop fighting for you.

We encourage all our members to come down to the Union Hall, ask questions to the leadership, and get educated. People living behind the protection of their phones simply breed rumors and only fracture what this Union has worked so hard to build back up, our unity, and solidarity. Distrust and fracturing are issues of the past. Our leadership is united for the betterment of our membership. We are simply trying to give some perspective and education so everyone can make an informed decision when voting. The Union is looking forward to hearing from you and helping in any way we can.

United We’re One, Divided We’re Done.

In Solidarity,

Local S6 Leadership

Strike Settlement Agreement


Local S6 and BIW have come to a Strike Settlement Agreement.

• The Strike Settlement Agreement is a separate agreement from the contract proposal and is not voted on.

• This agreement explains the terms and conditions on how the membership returns to work should the membership ratify the proposed contract.

• We have provided the document in its entirety at the end of this post but would like to give a more detailed explanation of the three (3) most often asked questions.


1. Employees will be assigned to return to work starting Monday, August 24th, 2020.

a. Employees normally assigned to 3rd shift will return on their normal shift: Sunday, August 23rd, 2020.

b. Employees may elect to return:

i. Monday, August 31st, 2020 OR Tuesday, September 8th, 2020.



Example: You work for another business and need to give notice to your employer and are planning on returning on Monday, August 31st . You would need to call the call-in center on or before Monday, August 24th to declare your intention of returning the following Monday (August 31st). The same would apply if you were to return Tuesday, September 8th.


2. Vacation accrual for the month of August 2020.

a. BIW has agreed to credit 40 of the 80-hours needed to accrue vacation time for the month of August.

b. Employees must either work or use an appropriate absence code the last full week of August to accrue the 80 hours needed.


3. Insurance will be activated when you return to work on August 24th.

a. Should a member use a PB, vacation day, or FMLA on Monday, August 24th, that will count towards activating your benefits.

b. Should a member declare to BIW through the call-in center on or by August 24th that they will be returning on August 31st or September 8th then whichever of the two they return to work on would be the activation date of your benefits.


For those who noticed missing Holidays in 2023:
           – Memorial Day and Independence Day 2023 have been added.
           – This was an oversite prior to printing the contract proposal.


Entire Strike Settlement Agreement (Click Here)


In Solidarity,

Local S6 Negotiating Committee

Negotiations Update: 8/8/20 Tentative Agreement

Leadership Alert

First and foremost, Local S6 was very apprehensive about entering the federal mediation process. President Donald Trump appointed Director of FMCS Richard Giacolone and Commissioner Martin Callaghan to run the mediation process. They proved to be valuable tools in pushing both parties to move in the right direction and get our members off the picket lines and back to work. General Dynamics Executive Vice President Robert Smith was present for the entire process, alongside Bath Iron Works President Dirk Lesko, which allowed Local S6 to engage in valuable dialogue.

This process was emotional, difficult, and frustrating for both parties. Being able to reach a tentative agreement to bring back to our membership that keeps our subcontracting language unchanged, continues to protect seniority, and attain a modest economic package is what we were able to do.

We believe this agreement gives BIW the tools they need to have, and the ability to respond to the unpredictability of their day to day needs. This was a testament to the power of collective bargaining and a strong educated unit that backed the Local S6 Negotiating Committee. Solidarity, hard work, and dedication gave us the ability to push forward in a seemingly unwinnable fight. We are proud of our members who stood strong.

The Local S6 Negotiating Committee unanimously endorses this proposal to bring back to the membership for a vote. Bath Iron Works is printing copies of the proposal and will be mailing it out ASAP, allowing everyone to read it and ask questions so you can accurately vote.

Local S6 would like to give a special thank you to IAMAW International President Robert Martinez Jr, General Vice President Bryan Bryant, and their staff, for the immense amount of support and effort given to Local S6 during this challenging process.

We will be using Ballot Point to vote once again. Everyone will be sent a new PIN number. We will provide the information as soon as it’s available. The Company and Union are finalizing details about the process for returning to work following the ratification vote, details of which will be released in the next coming days.


The following is a comparison from the Last Best Final = (LBF) and the new tentative agreement.

Article 3 Roles and Responsibilities

  • We will be jointly developing merit raise criteria.

Article 7 Classifications

  • The versatility language will stand at for your job only, the LBF would have expanded it to your entire trade, the only task added was, for any classification that had safe use of come-alongs- it has now added: “including straps and attachments.”
  • Short Term Loans: The company wanted to go to unlimited occurrence (LBF), in the prior contract they had the ability to do roughly 1000 per year if fully utilized. The new language allows for 300 per year, with language that assures no more than 10 consecutive days for an employee.
  • Long Term Loans: Were proposed to be done with minimal responsibility for consideration of seniority. They will now be done by seniority unless skill and ability is necessary. The Union will be involved in any of these types of decisions, if the parties can not reach an agreement, FMCS will assist the parties in reaching a resolution.

Article 10 Shift Changes

  • Shift Changes are still seniority-based, after the first 6 months of employment.

Article 11 Overtime

  • The OT selection criteria went back to previous language and now continues to protect seniority. The polling/assignment process is being modified so that everyone is asked on Wednesday and then assignments start on Thursday.
  • Missed OT will still be a no-fault and not a PB as proposed in the (LBF).
  • Canceling for OT will still be allowed through a hotline (LBF stopped any cancellations).

Article 18 Compensated Time Off

  • The Company got off the scheduling of all vacation for four classifications, it is now C70, S18, Y02 only for Fridays, notice must be Thursday by lunch. There will be allowed up to 5 times per year as an exception. The three classifications will be compensated $2.00/hr for any Fridays that they work.

Article 19 Compensation

  • Compensation matches the previous offer, 3%, 3%, 3% and $1,200 ratification bonus.
  • There will be retro pay for any hours worked May 17th– June 21st.
  • Consistent with the LBF the MO3’s get a raise for the first time in 12 years!

Article 21 Employee Benefits

  • There is a reduction in all the plans from the (LBF) in weekly contributions.
  • Previously there was an annual 5% increase in cost. That is now 4%, 3%, 3%.
  • The increase in prescriptions has also been reduced.

 Article 30 Subcontracting

  • An MOA was agreed to that allows for a temporary catchup phase though the end of the year, subcontracting will be phased out at the end of the year and we return to the prior language. As part of this agreement, Christmas shutdown will be a work week with code 14 options, OT will be offered to 25% of any classification with subcontractors in here, BIW will hire at a 2:1 ratio for any sub.
  • NO LAYOFF CLAUSE for 2020.
  • Hiring requisitions will go back to Grade 1-9.
  • There is a commitment to form a joint Union/Company committee to help get Bath Iron Works back on schedule, secure our future, and meet weekly to collectively move forward.

Article 31 Special Events

  • Improvement was made to the vague language in the LBF.

Article 32 At Sea Assignments

  • Seniority was protected, there will be no handpicking of 30 riders.
  • The Union will assist in identifying the correct people.

Article 38 Transfers/ Job Opening Process

  • The LBF required trade superintendent approval to transfer between departments. The new language only requires that you have at least one year in your current department.
  • The company can hold you back on a transfer for up to 120 days but will compensate you $4.00/hr if they do after the first 15 days.

Article 39 Joint Agreement Process

  • The timeframes have been streamlined to help with expediting issues.

Article 43 Supervisor Regression

  • Under Supervisor regression, Backup Supervisors were brought back at a rate of $5.00/hr.

Article 44 Manning/Demanning

  • Manning/Demanning was proposed to be done with minimal responsibility for consideration of seniority. They will now be done by seniority unless skill and ability is necessary.
  • The Union will be involved in any of these types of decisions.
  • If the parties cannot reach an agreement, FMCS will assist the parties in reaching a resolution.

Article 49 Attendance At Work

  • In the LBF the requirement was to call in prior to shift. You now have up to 1 hour into your shift.

Article 50 Rules of Conduct

  • IS the same as LBF, but now has the old no-fault language back in it.
  • PLEASE NOTE: DISCIPLINE DID NOT GO AWAY; the Company was steadfast on this issue.

Article 51 Duration of Agreement

  • The duration of the contract is 3 years August 24, 2020 -August 20, 2023.

Schedule B Hours of Work

  • The TA is the same as the LBF, all facilities will be on the same hours starting January 4, 2021.

Schedule C Weekend Overtime Hours

  • The TA is the same as the LBF, all facilities will be on the same hours starting January 4, 2021.

Schedule D Subcontracting Standing List

  • We were able to remove, fuel deliveries, machinery breakdown language and define tree cutting, from the LBF.


  • Made several improvements to the proposed LBF task list, including keeping temp vent in T04, maintaining the prior split of work on TTS beams, kept weight test with C70’s etc.

Negotiations Update: 8/6/20

Brothers and Sisters,

Negotiations Update: Day 3 of Mediation

Another long night at the bargaining table resulted in some additional movement by both parties. There were three additional articles TA’d (tentative agreement) resulting in a total of eight since the beginning of the mediation process.

The FMCS mediation seems to be a decisive influence, resulting in one of our main issues coming to a positive outcome.

The Negotiating Committee understands that it is very frustrating for our brothers and sisters to receive vague information. However, in following the FMCS mediation guidelines, that’s all the Negotiating Committee is at liberty to say. We plan to provide a fully comprehensive report, as soon as possible, in keeping with those guidelines.

The Union Negotiating Committee is hopeful that the forward progress between the parties will continue, resulting in a fair contract, and bringing all of our members back to work.

This is an incredibly frustrating, challenging, and emotional process. We recognize the future of over 4400 of our brothers and sisters is in the balance. Our committee is dedicated to a resolution that benefits all.

United We’re One. Divided We’re Done.

In Solidarity,

Local S6 Negotiating Committee