This weekend Senator Collins’ re-election campaign released a new ad falsely claiming that she supported IAM Local S6 workers on strike and actively worked to end the strike this summer. The truth is Senator Collins ignored requests from BIW workers and union leaders to support their fight for a fair contract, and did next to nothing to support the workers of Local S6 during the strike.
This summer Machinists Union International President Bob Martinez noted: “Sen. Collins says she is not going to get involved in this strike. Any politician who can’t support us now, don’t come looking for our support in November.” In fact, Sen. Collins accepted $13,500 from members of BIW senior management while IAM S6 was at the bargaining table.
Now, the Maine AFL-CIO and the Maine State Council of Machinists are calling on Senator Collins to immediately take down her false ad about her lack of support for BIW workers during the strike.
"Senator Collins did nothing to help Local S6 end the strike with Bath Iron Works,” said Machinists District 4 Assistant Directing Business Representative and member of the negotiating committee George Edwards. “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."
"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,” said Maine AFL-CIO Executive Director Matt Schlobohm. “Senator Collins’ new ad is transparently false and if she respects hardworking Mainers, she should take it down immediately.”
"Hardworking Mainers don’t take credit for things they didn’t do, but Senator Collins is trying to rewrite history — her cynical political tactics show why we are supporting Sara Gideon this year,” said Maine State Council of Machinists President Mark Vigliotta. “When the Machinists union asked Senator Collins to intervene on behalf of our striking members, she refused, but when we asked Sara Gideon to support us, she grabbed a sign and walked the picket line with our brothers and sisters at Local S6. Sara showed that she stands with working Mainers, and that’s the kind of leadership we need."
Throughout the summer, Sara Gideon visited the picket line repeatedly and publicly supported the workers of Local S6 as they fought for a fair and equitable contract. This summer the Maine AFL-CIO and the Maine State Council of Machinists endorsed Sara Gideon for U.S. Senate, citing her support for Local S6. The Maine State Council of Machinists endorsed Senator Collins in 2014, but chose to endorse Gideon this year given her strong record and commitment to working Mainers across the state.
The nine-week strike at BIW ultimately resulted in a favorable contract that was approved by 87% of members. A federal mediator was automatically assigned in the negotiations and worked with both parties to reach a final resolution.