By Associated Press - Monday, July 6, 2020

BATH, Maine (AP) - The union representing striking shipbuilders at Bath Iron Works is meeting with a federal mediator as the strike enters a third week.

The negotiating committee of Machinists Local S6 was to meet with a federal mediator Monday, the union announced. A meeting between the company and the mediator is expected later in the week.

Shipbuilders went on strike June 22 after 87% of those who voted rejected the company’s final contract offer.

The proposal included pay raises of 3% per year over three years and largely kept health care benefits and pension contributions intact.

But shipbuilders opposed the hiring of subcontractors, changes in work rules and provisions that they characterized as an attack on seniority.

“We will not allow our rights on the job to be trampled by corporate greed. We sacrifice everyday to make BIW best built. It’s time they respect us and come to the table with a fair contract,” the union said on social media.

Bath Iron Works, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, is one of the Navy’s biggest shipbuilders and employs 6,800 workers.

The company announced last week that it will begin broader hiring of subcontractors during the strike to continue production. The shipyard was already behind schedule before the strike.

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