Maine labor leaders are continuing to speak out against Senator Susan Collins’ misleading campaign ad that falsely implies she helped resolve the Local S6 strike this summer. According to representatives of the Maine State Council of Machinists and the Maine AFL-CIO, Collins “flatly refused” to help S6 workers during the strike, despite multiple requests for intervention. Now, she’s trying to take credit for ending the strike in a “transparently false” ad.


Times Record: Council representing BIW unions calls Collins to remove political ad about Bath shipyard strike


By Kathleen O’Brien

October 15, 2020


Key Points:


  • Maine State Council of Machinists leaders, which represents Bath Iron Works’ largest unions, is calling on Sen. Susan Collins to remove a political advertisement they say falsely claims Collins helped resolve a nine-week strike over the summer.


  • The council represents BIW’s Local S6, which went on strike for nine weeks, as well as Local S7.


  • The ad, released this week, features six Local S6 union members saying that re-electing Collins will help the shipyard and its workers. However, the union council rejects a statement in the ad from Del Chadbourne, a BIW employee of 33 years, that “Susan Collins came down to the strike line and talked to us and she got us back to work.”


  • While Collins did visit the picket line in late July, George Edwards, Machinists District 4 assistant directing business representative and member of the negotiating committee, wrote: “Senator Collins did nothing to help Local S6 end the strike with Bath Iron Works.”


  • “She was asked repeatedly by Local S6 and the international president of our Machinists union to get involved and show her support for the workers on strike, but she declined to help,” Edwards wrote Tuesday.


  • “Senator Collins flatly refused requests to help the workers of Local S6 during the strike, so it’s frankly unbelievable to see her try to take credit for ending the strike and getting people back to work,” added Matt Schlobohm, executive director of the union council. “Senator Collins’ new ad is transparently false and if she respects hardworking Mainers, she should take it down immediately.”


  • Local S6, which represents 4,300 of BIW’s 6,800 employees, went on strike June 22, after rejecting a 3-year contract proposal over disagreements about the company’s plans to continue hiring subcontractors and proposed changes to worker seniority privileges.


  • In August, the Maine State Union Council endorsed Gideon, citing her heavy support for Local S6 during the strike.


  • “We’ve taken particular notice of Sara’s support for striking members of Local S6, actions that speak volumes about her dedication to working men and women, and we stand behind Sara in her campaign and look forward to working with her in Washington,” Maine State Council of Machinists President Mark Vigliotta wrote in an August statement.