BATH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — After agreeing to a weeklong contract extension Sunday, members of the Local 3999 union have drawn their line in the sand.
UAW Local 3999, or the Bath Marine Draftsmen's Association (BMDA) announced Tuesday it would prepare for a strike next Monday, Sept. 25, if negotiations this week are not successful.
The labor union represents about 750 employees at Bath Iron Works (BIW).
"While we continue to engage with the company to negotiate a better proposal for our members and their families, we are also making sure we are as prepared as possible for a strike,” said Local 3999 President Kirk Douglass.
A key issue members are concerned with is the company's proposal to eliminate most flexible work schedules. For 15 years, the benefit has allowed members the freedom to work while caring for their families, the union said.
In addition, Local 3999 believes there are existing unfair labor practice issues that need to be addressed.
The union said it will continue to bargain with BIW this week and "hope[s] to come to a satisfactory agreement that members will support."
If no deal is reached, union leaders said, members have been "loud and clear" — they're ready and willing to strike.