Backing Our Shipbuilding Brothers & Sisters

IN THIS EDITION:

  • Local S6 Entering Negotiations with Bath Iron Works Next Week
  • Maine Union Members Manufacturing Nasal Swab Machines for COVID-19 Testing
  • Have You Been Threatened or Fired Over COVID-19 Concerns? Let us know!
  • Nurses Pressure Northern Light to Test Workers Exposed to COVID-19
  • Join Us for a Screening of “10,000 Black Men Named George” this Sunday

Local S6 Entering Negotiations with Bath Iron Works Next Week

Bath Iron Works workers enter the yard. Photo: Portland Press Herald.


Next Tuesday, Machinists Local S6 will be meeting with Bath Iron Works management in what is expected to be a tough round of contract negotiations. According to the Local Lodge S6 Negotiating Committee, two major issues will be wage increases and the company’s demand for more flexibility around its use of subcontracting at the shipyard. In a statement this week, union leaders blasted the company’s excuse that hiring subcontractors was necessary due to COVID-19.

“It is disheartening that the very week our membership returns to work .... after being encouraged to stay out and stay safe due to COVID-19, they are rewarded by [the company] subbing out their work claiming there were so many people out of work they are now further behind schedule,” Local S6 leaders wrote. “We will continue to fight subcontracting and will pressure this company to do the right thing, we will fight for our work, as our livelihood depends on it. We will demand a fair contract, We are united and we won't back down from this fight.”

Maine Union Members Produce Machines for COVID-19 Testing Swabs

Union members at Bath Iron Works have begun work on machines to help double the production of nasal swabs used for COVID-19 testing, according to the Portland Press Herald. Bath Iron Works has partnered with Guilford, Maine-based Puritan Medical Group to manufacture 30 of the 40 specialized machines designed to boost Puritan’s production of swabs from 20 million per month to 40 million per month. Currently, there is a nationwide shortage of COVID-19 tests, so the increased production is very much needed to contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health.

Have You Been Threatened or Fired Over COVID-19 Concerns? Let us know!

Gerald Bryson, an Amazon worker, who was fired for protesting unsafe working conditions.


As more and more businesses begin to reopen, we’ve been hearing increasing stories from workers who do not feel safe and in some cases have been threatened with discipline or been fired for not returning to work. Lots of workers have voiced concerns that their employer is not following CDC safety guidelines to prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus. Some employees have told us that they are immunocompromised or are caring for a high risk family member and are concerned about contracting COVID-19 and bringing it home. 

While workers in these situations will generally be eligible for unemployment if their doctor advises them to not go to work due to concerns related to COVID-19, they can still be fired for trying to protect themselves and their families from exposure to the virus. If you or someone you know has been threatened with firing or fired from a job due to these reasons, please reply and let us know! We want to support workers in this situation and prevent this from happening.  No worker should have to choose between their health and their job. 

If you are looking for COVID related workplace health and safety guidance workers can call Safety Works at the Maine Department of Labor at 1-877 SAFE 345 (1-877-723-3345) or 207-623-7923, or submit questions on their “Ask the Expert” page.

Nurses Pressure EMMC to Test Workers Exposed to COVID-19

After demanding that all workers exposed to COVID-19 be tested Northern Light-Eastern Maine Medical Center (EMMC) has finally agreed to test anyone who is exposed to COVID-19. A traveling nurse working at EMMC in Bangor was recently confirmed positive for COVID-19, but hospital management previously said it would not test the nurses and health care workers that were exposed to the virus. This policy was contrary to new guidance issued by the CDC which recommends that any health care workers who have been exposed should be tested.

Members of the Maine State Nurses Association/NNU took swift and direct action organizing an internal and external pressure campaign. This resulted in the hospital administration changing it policy and testing everyone exposed.  Congratulations to MSNA/NNU members  for successfully pushing EMMC to make the right decision.

Screening of  “10,000 Black Men Named George” This Sunday

Join APRI-Maine online to watch and discuss the movie “10,000 Black Men Named George” on Sunday, May 24, 4:30 to 6:30pm via Zoom video conference. If you are able to join on a computer or tablet you will be able to use the “chat” feature during the movie. Using any device you should be able to participate in a half-hour discussion after the 90-minute movie. Please click here to register! 

“10,000 Black Men Named George” is the powerful true story of the first Black-controlled union, The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Organized by journalist Asa Philip Randolph, BSCP became the first black union in America.This is the true story of how a courageous leader came to be known as “the most dangerous man in America.” Once you register you will immediately receive the link you’ll need to join us on the 24th to watch the film.