Close Bath Iron Works petition sent to Gov. Mills & Maine legislators today
SOLON, Me – Today I sent a petition to our elected officials who have the responsibility and the power to close Bath Iron Works for the public health. Thank you to the 200 people who rallied to sign this petition quickly in the face of a severe pandemic.
Background on why BIW should close and send workers home with pay is in our campaign press release announcing delivery of the petition.
War ships are not an essential industry and BIW workers deserve to be home with their families.
Thank you for supporting our campaign to be the voice of people, planet, and peace! For more ways to get involved, visit lisaformaine.org/action today.
April 2, 2020
Dear Governor Mills, 129th Maine legislature leaders, and members:
Please find attached a petition calling on General Dynamics to close Bath Iron Works immediately to protect the public health, including the well-being of workers at BIW. Since GD has failed to do this since the first COVID-19 case was diagnosed in a worker there on March 22, it is your duty and within your power as elected officials to close the shipyard.
Continuing to build war ships is not an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The undersigned agree on the need to close BIW and urge its managers to continue paying workers until public health officials indicate that the need for social distancing has passed.
As an example of what could happen should you not take this necessary step, one need look only as far as the tuberculosis outbreak of the late 1980s and early 1990s, where the tight-knit nature of BIW’s work environment allowed a nearly extinct disease to fester and promulgate to the point where nearly 700 members of the Bath community were infected with TB.
General Dynamics, owner of BIW, pays its CEO over $20 million a year and is so wealthy it has spent $12 billion buying back its own stock over the past decade. It can well afford to provide income security for a workforce it claims to value.
As workers travel to BIW from all 16 counties in Maine, BIW’s potential as an incubator for the disease is immense. With each passing day, this threat grows. Act now to show that you care for the people of Maine.
In light of the fact that the 129th legislature adjourned on March 17, Governor Mills is in the best position to issue the urgently needed order to close BIW. In the absence of her action, I must request that the legislature reconvene -- perhaps remotely, a privilege not afforded to the 6,000+ workers at BIW.
I look forward to your response.