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Unions Worry Portsmouth Shipyard Could Lose Funding Under Trump’s Border Wall Plan

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Robert Garrova
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Congressman Chris Pappas; Richard Smith, President of the Portsmouth Federal Employees Metal Trades Council (M); and Gary Guertin with the local insulators union (R) speak about the importance of funding projects at the PNSY

Trade workers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard said they’re worried President Trump’s plan to divert money for military construction to help pay for the border wall could affect work underway there.  

 

More than 6,000 workers at the shipyard repair the Navy's growing fleet, with a focus on Los Angeles-class submarines.

 

"Their fleet may be getting larger, but our facilities are getting older,” said Richard Smith, president of the Portsmouth Federal Employees Metal Trades Council. “They need to be upgraded, we need better technology, we need better workplaces for the people."

 

Gary Guertin with the local insulators union echoed Smith’s concerns.

 

"We could be left on the outside again,” Guertin said. “And we need to update some of this stuff... It's gotta get done."

 

Congressman Chris Pappas received a tour of the Shipyard Wednesday, where hundreds of millions of dollars in upgrades to dry docks and painting facilities are planned.

 

“One of my deep concerns in coming here, is that the president has been threatening funds for military construction with his national emergency declaration over his border wall,” Pappas said. “And we’ve got to make sure that we protect the funding that’s already been allocated for projects making an impact at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.”

 

All four members of New Hampshire's delegation signed a letter to President Trump Tuesday warning him not to reallocate federal funds from projects at the shipyard and at a National Guard facility in Plymouth.

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