Negotiators for Bath Iron Works’ largest union rejected the company’s final contract offer on Saturday afternoon after talks went late into Friday night without resolution.

Company representatives and members of Machinists Union Local S6 negotiated until 11 p.m. Friday, which was scheduled to be the last day of talks, Bath Iron Works said in a post on its website Saturday.

On Saturday afternoon, the company made its “last, best and final offer,” which includes wage increases for all employees each year of the three-year proposal. From June 22, 2020, until May 14, 2023, employees would receive 3 percent general wage increases annually.

The proposal maintains current shift premiums and benefits such as 401(k) matching and life insurance. It offers modest increases to pension contribution rates and accident and sickness benefits, but also calls for increases to health plan premiums, co-pays and deductibles.

In the “BIW Physician Open Access Plan,” for instance, the company’s offer would increase individual deductibles from $600 to $800, and raise family deductibles from $1,200 to $1,600. Out-of-pocket maximums would rise from $1,900 to $2,500 for individuals and from $3,800 to $5,000 for families.

The union committee rejected the offer Saturday afternoon in a fiery post on Facebook.


“The Negotiation Committee unanimously rejects the last best and final contract from BIW,” the post said. “Giving it a (expletive) NO endorsement!!”

Union members earlier on Saturday criticized the company’s approach to negotiations, saying Bath Iron Works “never had intentions of coming to an agreement” on the contract.

“Unfortunately, we believe this is just the start of a tough fight,” a separate statement from Local S6 said.

Union representatives did not say what they might do next – whether that might be further negotiations, a vote on the offer, or even a strike.

The union local’s president, Chris Wiers, and spokesman, Tim Suitter, didn’t respond to phone messages Saturday.

A spokesman for Bath Iron Works, David Hench, shared the company’s final offer but declined to discuss the negotiations in detail.


“Bath Iron Works provided its last, best and final offer to Local S6 late this morning,” Hench said in an email. “We’ve negotiated in good faith toward an offer that we believe is fair and positions us for the future.”

Machinists Union Local S6, which represents 4,300 of the shipyard’s 6,700 employees, has been calling for wage increases and warning that a strike could be on the table.

The current contract was extended until June 21 because of the coronavirus pandemic, which raised tensions between management and employees over whether to keep the facility open as workers tested positive for the virus.

This story was updated at 12:30 p.m. on June 14 to clarify that the machinists’ union negotiating committee rejected the final offer from Bath Iron Works. The full union has not voted on it yet.

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