Navy Considers Closing Portsmouth Shipyard One Day Per Week

Mar 8, 2013

Paul O'Connor, President of Metal Trades Council
Credit Roger Wood

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard may be forced to close down completely one day a week, under federal budget sequestration.

A one day weekly shutdown is one of the options under consideration by the Navy, as it grapples with large budget cuts.  Starting next month, all 5,300 civilian employees at the yard will be furloughed 22 days over the next several months.  Paul O'Connor heads the shipyard's Metal Trades Council and says that the impact won't just affect the yard's employees.

"We will be unable to support our community, and this is an impact that will be felt beyond the gates of our shipyard.  It will be the small businesses that we will no longer be able to support."

O'Connor commented during the annual economic impact update compiled by the Seacoast Shipyard Association. 

He says that some workers have resigned, and others have decided to retire, but didn't specify how many might leave. 

The current civilian payroll is nearly $422 million dollars.  But that figure could drop by $30 million dollars next year under the forced furloughs, to an amount less than the 2010 payroll numbers.