Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Shenna Bellows, who is completing her 350-mile Walk Across Maine for Jobs and the Economy this morning, today accepted the endorsement of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Metal Trades Council in an in-person ceremony in Kittery. The endorsement comes at a time when Bath Iron Works, whose jobs Susan Collins repeatedly claims to protect, has fired 53 welders and shipfitters because it faces “a lack of work for those particular trades at this time,” according to a company statement to the Bangor Daily News.

Bellows called the Metal Trades Council — a part of the AFL-CIO, whose state chapter has already endorsed her — “an enormous contributor to Maine’s economy and a group whose support means a great deal to me. The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is crucial to Maine’s economy. I’m proud to accept the Metal Trades Council endorsement, and I look forward to working with them and the working people of Portsmouth and BIW as Maine’s next senator.”

Collins has frequently touted her relationship with BIW and the endorsements of BIW’s four unions in this year’s election, which were decided before Bellows entered the race. Collins said earlier this year to representatives of BIW’s Local S6 union, “I pledge to you that I will always work hard to do what is best for BIW, our state and our country.”

“There’s no excuse for an elected official like Susan Collins to take credit for protecting BIW jobs that are being eliminated,” Bellows said. “She owes the working families at BIW an explanation. If Susan Collins is going to run as a defender of BIW’s working families, she needs to explain why the company doesn’t have enough projects to keep its current workforce employed.”

Bellows has attracted the support of more than a dozen unions and labor organizations in this year’s election, including AFSCME Council 93, the state AFL-CIO chapter and the Maine State Building and Construction Trades Council.


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