A spokesperson for General Dynamics confirmed to USNI News that Dirk Lesko retired on Thursday and Robert Smith would serve as the interim president. Smith for the last several years has been the executive vice president for marine systems for General Dynamics.
When reached by USNI News, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers’ Local S6 chapter declined to comment.
The union this week announced it had reached a minimum wage adjustment with Bath Iron Works.
“We are at a critical juncture with BIW. We need to prove we are the best shipbuilders in the world by delivering ships on time and on budget. That will greatly improve our negotiations strength headed into contract negotiations in August 2023,” according to a Local6 leadership alert issued on Thursday.
Bath Iron Works builds Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and the Zumwalt-class destroyers at its Maine shipyard. The final ship in the Zumwalt class – Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) – left the Maine yard in January and headed to Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., to undergo combat systems activation.
BIW has faced a backlog of work for several years now that was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, USNI News previously reported.