Editorial Comment: Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding is biggest bully in Door County

The biggest bully in Door County is Bay Shipbuilding Company.

And the biggest welfare recipient in Door County is not a single mother supporting six kids on a minimum wage job and an underfunded food stamp program. Door County’s biggest welfare recipient is Bay Shipbuilding Company.

The big bully that gets millions of taxpayer dollars, preferential treatment from local government, immunity from local ordinances and a free pass on anything they want from the city council is cheap and chintzy with employees.

Worse are the disgusting bully tactics used to intimidate and silence employees who complain about safety violations. And now the biggest bully in the county is beating up on members of the Boilermakers union.

Union leaders have been suspended. Employees who complain about health risks and safety violations have shared the management threats and their fears of recrimination.

Bay Shipbuilding is threatening to farm out positions filled by local full-time employees. This appears to be union-busting at its best.

And a lap-dog city council has rolled over every time the foreign-owned multi-national corporation comes begging for street closures, height restriction exemptions and participation in the corporate welfare programs disguised as employment-securing grants.

With the millions of dollars of state and federal aid pumped into this foreign-owned multi-national corporation, why do city council members who roll over as lap dogs not demand that jobs be maintained in Sturgeon Bay rather than farmed out to sub-contractors with no commitment to Door County other than picking up a big check?

The federal, state and local officials who have given millions of tax dollars and concessions to a corporate bully have failed to do their due diligence.

Lap dog elected officials on all levels have been negligent. And so have local government leaders who overlook the conflicts of interest with Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding employees holding insider positions in local government. One can only wonder if these ethical lapses are overlooked locally because Bay Shipbuilding management contributes so much to the campaign coffers of local officials.

People are concerned about their kids being bullied at school. Another form of bullying takes place with every union vote at Bay Shipbuilding Company in Sturgeon Bay. The stories of intimidation, threats and serious concerns about health and safety remind anyone of the significant value union representation brings to those abused by corporate big shots and multi-national corporations.

As for me, I stand with these working men and women who have earned Door County and Sturgeon Bay a world-recognized reputation for high-quality craftsmanship.

The union-busting bully tactics taking place at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay are disgusting. This company has received more taxpayer dollars, more accurately called corporate welfare, than any other business in the county.


And today they are beating up people with threats of out-sourcing that should make every employee respect and appreciate the value of union representation. Just ask a member of the Boilermakers union or an electrician at Bay Shipbuilding how secure they believe their positions are today under management with a track record of OSHA and NLRB complaints and political campaign contributions.

Bay Shipbuilding management has refused to respond to media inquiries about contract negotiations. In the meantime, families worry and wonder about the security of their income, health insurance and retirement.

After all the state and federal tax dollars that have been pumped into this foreign-owned corporate welfare recipient, you’d think the Italian owners of Bay Shipbuilding Company would have a better social conscience than they demonstrate by bullying workers in Sturgeon Bay.

That’s my opinion. I’d like to hear yours.

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