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Union pickets removed at shipyard ahead of vote on contract

August 20, 2020 GMT

BATH, Maine (AP) — Striking workers at Bath Iron Works have eliminated pickets outside the shipyard as a show of good faith before the start of voting on a three-year contract proposal.

The 4,300 production workers represented by Machinists Local S6 will begin voting on Friday online or by telephone, instead of in person, because of the pandemic. The tally will be announced Sunday, a day after a rally featuring Robert Martinez Jr., the Machinists’ international president.

The strike began on June 22 after production workers overwhelmingly rejected the company’s final offer because of provisions regarding subcontracting, work rules and seniority.

A federal mediator brought both sides together for a tentative agreement that addresses many of the concerns. Included are wage increases of 3% per year that were in the original proposal.

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Bath Iron Works builds destroyers for the Navy. It’s one of Maine’s biggest employers with 6,800 workers.