On Nov. 21, the Sun Journal published an article about the ongoing fight between Local S6 and Bath Iron Works over BIW’s attempts to use subcontractors, and I’d like to offer a few comments about it.

As a BIW employee, I question Colter Leeman’s quote of “about 60 percent of the workers build the ships and the other 40 percent aren’t doing enough, so hiring subcontractors is what it came to.”

How did he come with this sort of number anyway? BIW has around 5,000 to 7,000 employees scattered over numerous facilities and buildings and folks are constantly moving daily from here to there.

I’m also curious about what information he used to gauge what everyone else is doing. Many times work is assigned but then can’t be accomplished, leaving that crew or person without work until reassigned, which can give the impression of goofing off or being a “dub.”

The ships built at BIW are well known for their quality and reliability, but they don’t build themselves. Tens of thousands of parts, some as small as pencils with others weighing tons, must be cut, burned, machined, drilled, punched, formed, welded and much more, and this isn’t done by just 60% of us.

These ships sail because we all do our jobs.

BIW does have hiring problems, as with most businesses right now. Often, the lower wages offered for new hires just are not working. This is a BIW issue and not an issue of us not performing our tasks in a timely manner.

Joseph Mailey, Auburn

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