Successful negotiations avert strike at Bath Iron Works

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BATH — A strike was averted Sept. 23 when the Bath Marine Draftsmen Association ratified a new labor agreement with Bath Iron Works.

Nearly 78 percent of United Automobile Workers’ Local 3999 members approved the contract by a tally of 414-117, according to a Sept. 23 union press release.

“The company is pleased to have an agreement,” David Hench, BIW’s senior communications specialist, said in a statement.

Following several weeks of negotiations, union members rejected a final offer from the shipyard Sept. 16, and “voted overwhelmingly” to strike if no agreement was reached, according to a Sept. 19 press release from the union.

“The 4 1/2-year contract contains a strong economic package while preserving and strengthening the workplace flexibility language that was at issue,” according to the union’s Sept. 23 statement.

The local has 760 members, making it the second-largest labor unit at BIW following production workers, who are members of the International Association of Machinists. BIW has about 6,000 employees.