Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

BIW criticized for offering only unpaid leave to workers

Maine Beacon

Early Monday morning, Bath Iron Works, one of the state’s biggest employers, issued a statement informing their nearly 6,000 workers in Maine [living in 16 counties across the state] that they could begin to take unpaid leave without fear of losing their jobs.

The announcement came on the heels of Governor Janet Mills signing a civil emergency proclamation on Sunday.

“BIW will continue operations, however, we understand the challenges coronavirus creates,” the shipyard posted on its Twitter account Monday. “Any employee wishing to take unpaid leave for the next 2 weeks can do so without penalty. We’ll issue call-in procedures today.”

The offer of unpaid leave made by BIW, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, the U.S.’s fifth-largest defense contractor, was immediately condemned on social media.

“Corporate greed and cold-heartedness at its finest,” Lisa Savage, an independent challenger to Senator Susan Collins, tweeted. “Better idea: your fat cat executives donate 2 weeks’ salary to keep paying workers who should STAY HOME immediately.”

Addendum:  During the 1918 influenza pandemic the two most explosive places in Maine were Bath, where the shipyard then on a war footing was not shut down, and Lewiston where greedy mill owners, who were also city selectmen, refused to shut down despite being asked to by the state.


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