U.S. Sen. Angus King is urging Navy and commercial shipyards to balance worker safety with their essential status as the pandemic continues.
At a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this week, King said the Navy needs to ensure worker safety, even as the federal government deems both Navy shipyards, like the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and shipbuilders, like Bath Iron Works, essential to national security.
King was questioning Kenneth Braithwaite, who is nominated to be the Navy's Secretary. “I hope that you will work with both the public yards officials but also the companies involved with the private yards to make sure they can keep their workers safe.”
King says with the pandemic affecting workers at all the facilities, the Navy should also consider flexibility in contract deadlines at private yards and possible cost overruns caused by workers sick with the virus.