2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 8 Sep 2003 14:10:06 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] U.K. shipbreaking contract questioned
U.K. shipbreaking contract questioned
By Nora Macaluso
September 8, 2003
With the U.S. maritime industry ailing, some are asking why a British
scrapyard was chosen to dismantle 13 aging vessels

The recent award of a $17.8 million military contract that eventually
went to a British ship scrapyard is under fire at home and abroad --
with environmentalists warning against leaky old ships trolling across
the Atlantic Ocean and American companies charging that they were not
given a fair chance to bid on the deal.

Yet those accusations -- denied by the U.S. Maritime Administration
(Marad), the federal agency ultimately responsible for the contract --
are drawing renewed attention to the way the United States disposes of
its ships and could in the long run help struggling domestic companies
get more work, say U.S. industry advocates.

Much of that work has the potential to be done in Baltimore, they say --
provided that government agencies and local lawmakers work to get
financing and avoid problems that have contributed to the recent
bankruptcy of Baltimore Marine Industries Inc.

BMI, the Sparrows Point shipyard that filed for bankrupcty protection in
June, was among four companies participating in a five-year U.S. Navy
pilot program -- now winding down -- designed to help the government get
rid of old ships.

While the company's financial problems were not a direct result of a
lack of government work, observers say the situation may have been a
contributing factor.

BMI officials did not return repeated telephone calls seeking comment.

"Part of the work they were counting on was doing scrapping of some of
the Marad and U.S. Navy ships," said Ande Abbott, director of the of the
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers' shipbuilding and marine
division in Washington. The union, with welders and other members who
worked at BMI, represents employees at 43 shipyards nationwide.

This article can be viewed at:

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