Negotiations Update: 8/5/2020

Brothers and Sisters,

Negotiations Update: Day 2 of Mediation

Although we T.A.’ed (tentatively agreed) to three articles yesterday (good progress) negotiations appear to be breaking down as the bigger issues are being addressed. We will continue to stand strong and united as we work towards a fair collective bargaining agreement.

United We’re One, Divided We’re Done.

In Solidarity,

Local S6 Negotiating Committee

Negotiations Update: 8/4/20

Brothers and Sisters,

Negotiations Update: Day 1 of Mediation

Both parties worked late last night and were able to come to an agreement on two articles. Collectively, we chose two articles both parties believed we could reasonably get through, and with assistance from the mediation team, we did. Those are Articles 3 and 17. 

  • In Article 3 (Responsibilities), the Union was able to gain the ability to jointly develop merit raise criteria. This helps the Union to assist mechanics that are not first-class that display the skill to progress forward without having to wait for 1000 hrs.
  • In Article 17 (Holidays), both parties ended by agreeing to no change. 

We are meeting again today in hopes of moving forward to a fair agreement.

United We’re One, Divided We’re Done.

In Solidarity,

Local S6 Negotiating Committee

Negotiations Update: 7/27/20

Brothers and Sisters,

We are at the commencement of our sixth week on strike against Bath Iron Works. Questions surrounding the mediation process have come from many of you. Please allow us to explain, Local S6 spoke with FMCS mediators twice last week regarding returning to the table to resume negotiations for a fair contract for all of our members of Local S6, the irreplaceable skilled production workers of BIW. The only response from BIWs spokesperson was the company “remains fully engaged in the mediation process” and “when that process calls for the parties to return to the bargaining table and resume negotiations, we are prepared to do so.”

The whole point of this process is to get both parties back to the table as soon as possible. This is typical BIW PR that doesn’t accurately depict the intent of the process or the actual progress made. The mediator is supposed to get us back to the table which we are clearly prepared to do. We are prepared with additional options, plans, and proposals for increased job security and schedule recuperation to assist BIW.

The Union already knows that BIW has brought subcontractors into the shipyard and there are plans for a number of additional ones to enter the gates and scab out our work for a predetermined amount of time. This only gives hold to the theory that BIW has no intention of going back to the negotiating table anytime soon because of the contractual agreements with the subcontracts they are now employing. There is a clear and growing understanding across this state and country for that matter, that BIW’s last, best, and final proposal forced the members of Local S6 on strike. BIW will stop at nothing to subcontract our work, trying to starve us out, in an attempt to get what they don’t need. If BIW put as much effort into working collaboratively with us as they do with subbing our work out and watering down our skill sets with low paying jobs offers, we would be one of the leading assets in the shipbuilding industry.

How can BIW go from a shipyard that would send our members all over the world to now a shipyard that needs our own work subbed out for the very same reason, SKILL. How could BIW have delivered more than 30 DDG-51 Destroyers on schedule and now we can’t. I’m sure the company can come up with a litany of excuses, but the Local S6 is only interested in a fix.

In Solidarity, Local S6 Leadership

Negotiations Update: 7/23/20- Recent Shipyard Activity

Brothers and Sisters,

Below you will find some recent activity that’s been happening in the shipyard. The Local views this as more of the same unwarranted self-congratulatory behavior. The true workers of Local S6 accomplished the majority of these tasks and set up management and scabs to take credit for work order closure with no details of what actually took place. Lack of management skills somehow justifies more PR for BIW. We are of the opinion it is not worth the paper it’s printed on. Stay strong and stand united!

In Solidarity, Local S6 Leadership

Negotiations Update: 7/22/20 – Local S6 Sent a Comprehensive Package of Solutions and Offers for Phebe Novakovic to review. She passed it along to Dirk Lesko. Please review his response.

Brothers and Sisters,

The LS6 Negotiating Committee sent a comprehensive package of offers and solutions to subcontracting and major production issues to Phebe Novakovic. These proposals were submitted to BIW before and during negotiations. We hoped that with her review/input it would bringing BIW management to the table to negotiate a fair agreement. Phebe forwarded this package to Dirk Lesko. His response is below.

Please note the highlighted paragraph. Remember when BIW said they weren’t attacking our seniority. We are of the opinion that they are and this letter is consistent with that viewpoint.

In Solidarity, Local S6 Leadership

Negotiations Update- 7/21/20

Brothers and Sister,

The Local S6 Negotiating Committee spoke with the Federal Mediator for around 2 ½ hours today, discussing several debatable topics. Understanding BIW gave the Union their position on a contract proposal in their last, best, and final, they are willing to consider Union proposals.

The Local S6 Negotiating Committee has been examining additional solutions to BIW proposals that do not violate seniority or subcontract our work. We suggested a meeting in person with BIW’S team, with the suggestion that BIW brings someone with production knowledge and a decision-maker. The Mediators’ will be video linked in due to travel restrictions if BIW is agreeable.

Nothing specific was discussed from the Company’s perspective due to the Mediator’s confidentiality agreements with both parties. We have consistently been ready and willing to get back to the bargaining table to negotiate a fair contract for our members. We want the State of Maine to prosper. We want to deliver the best built ships as always for the US Navy. We should be hearing something in the next few days as to the next step of the process. We are hopeful and anticipate some form of a meeting with BIW by next week.

In Solidarity,

Local S6 Negotiating Committee