White House trade adviser Peter Navarro Monday hailed the agreement reached by ironworkers at Bath Iron Works in Maine, claiming that the pact is a case showing the "White House and organized labor can help each other out."
"Machinists Local S6 voted over the weekend, by 87%, to settle the strike," Navarro said on CNBC's "Squawk Box," pointing out that General Dynamics builds the Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyers at the Maine facility.
The more than 4,300 employees of Local S6 had been on strike since June 22, and started voting on a proposed contract Friday. After the 87% vote, 3rd shift workers returned to their jobs Sunday night, the union reported.
Voting took place both online and by phone, not in person, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A tentative agreement was reached two weeks ago, according to news reports, but a federal mediator had to be brought in.
"I got a call a couple of weeks ago after the strike had dragged on from a great guy named Jimmy Hart from the AFL-CIO," said Navarro. "We helped a little bit to get everybody back to the table. What's nice about Bath Iron Works, to me it's a symbol of [President Donald] Trump. Economic security is national security."
Navarro also noted that Bath was recruited to build sophisticated machines for Puritan Medical Products in Guilford, Maine, for use in manufacturing the specialty swabs used for coronavirus testing.
Meanwhile, Navarro said that this past Friday, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer had announced that he got the European Union to drop tariffs on American lobsters.
"A couple of months ago, I went with the president to Bangor, Maine," said Navarro. "We were given a hat trick of challenges from the lobster fishermen in Maine. They were getting hammered by the Chinese on tariffs. They were getting hammered by the Canadians, so we were able to solve the China problem."
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