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BIW strike won't affect delivery of machines to swab maker

BIW completed the delivery Monday of 22 machines that Puritan Medical Products needs to expand production. The remaining eight machines will be delivered next month.
Credit: AP
Shipbuilders picket outside an entrance to Bath Iron Works, Monday, June 22, 2020, in Bath, Maine. Thousands of workers went on strike against one of the Navy’s largest shipbuilders Monday after rejecting a three-year contract. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

BATH, Maine — A strike at Bath Iron Works (BIW) won't affect the company's delivery of machines needed to ramp up production of specialized swabs used for tests for the coronavirus, officials say.

BIW completed the delivery Monday of 22 machines that Puritan Medical Products needs to expand production. The remaining eight machines will be delivered next month, the shipyard's spokesman David Hench said.

BIW and Cianbro Corp. have partnered with Puritan to open a second facility to double production.

Puritan is one of only two companies that make the specialized swabs for coronavirus tests. The other is in Italy.

“Recognizing how essential COVID-19 testing is to keeping people safe and fully reopening the economy, BIW does not anticipate the current work stoppage will affect delivery of the machinery to Puritan so that the healthcare products company can fulfill its vital mission,” Hench said.

More than 4,000 production workers went on strike Monday against the Navy shipbuilder.

Maine has had more than 3,000 cases of the virus and 103 deaths.

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At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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