BATH, Maine --- More than 4,000 workers went on strike against one of the U.S. Navy’s largest shipbuilders Monday after rejecting a three-year contract. It was the first strike by production workers at Bath Iron Works in 20 years.
Pickets formed at midnight when the old contract expired in a dispute that focused on subcontracting, work rules. and seniority over wages and benefits.
Bath Iron Works already had fallen six months behind on ship construction, partly due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the strike threatened to further delay production of destroyers for the Navy, the company said.
The three-year contract proposal would have given production workers a 3 percent raise each year. But the shipbuilders’ union objected to more than a dozen changes that it considered to be concessions — including hiring subcontractors.
Machinists Union Local S6, which represents 4,300 workers, voted 87 percent in favor of a strike. The tally was announced on Sunday.
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