A little clarification is warranted on the union negotiations between IAM S-6 and BIW/General Dynamics.

As employees of BIW, we build some of the most sophisticated warships on the water. We do this by forming, bending, drilling, cutting, welding and so forth on thousands of tons of steel for one ship. And for these efforts, many employees have to deal with neck, shoulder, knee and hip and other kinds of surgeries caused by the nature of the job. But we do it and we do it well because we understand the importance of our workmanship and take pride in our product.

Yes, we are paid well, with fair benefits and the Navy does not object because it knows it is getting the best built ships in the world for the dollar.

However, it seems that the profits for BIW/GD are just not enough and they want more for their pockets at the workers’ expense. In our last contract, in 2016, we made concessions and forfeited raises to secure work that never materialized. This time we are offered a very small raise but are being asked to approve other concessions.

Sub-contracting is a huge issue. There is language for its use now but, again, BIW wants to make more profit by sub-contracting some work out.

There is a strong seniority system because it not only protects aging workers, it also curtails the issues of some folks getting everything while others get little to nothing.

If we strike it’s because of corporate greed.

Joe Mailey, Auburn

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