Bath Iron Works is laying off 60 electricians and encouraging them to apply for jobs as shipfitters until demand for electrical work increases, the company said Wednesday.

BIW spokesman David Hench said the Bath shipbuilder often experiences fluctuations in the need for various trades because of the cyclical nature of its work.

“We have more than enough work for people to do, it’s just not in this (electrical) trade,” he said. “There’s this temporary lack of need for electricians and a surge in the need for shipfitters.”

According to the Facebook page of Local S6 of the Machinists Union, the layoff will occur Feb. 23. BIW currently has about 5,700 employees, down from 6,100 in March 2016. The company plans to hire about 500 workers this year, Hench said, partly to replace workers who are retiring.

The workers who take jobs as shipfitters will go back to their electrician jobs when demand returns, he said.

BIW is in the process of building five ships: the Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002), the third in the Zumwalt class of destroyers, and Arleigh Burke class destroyers Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), Carl M. Levin (DDG 120) and John Basilone (DDG 122).

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @jcraiganderson

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