BAE Alabama shipyard to lay off 200

Hard times continue to take a toll on BAE Systems workers, with 200 employees at the company’s Mobile, Ala., shipyard – half the facility’s workforce – notified this week they could be permanently laid off in the fourth quarter.

“Two hundred people will be notified they will be departing the business in October and November,” said Karl D. Johnson, director of communications platforms and services for BAE Systems Ship Repair. Those layoffs will be permanent, “if everything we see today holds true,” Johnson added.

Those separations would be the latest wave of job losses at BAE locations that began in late 2015, following 170 jobs cut at Norfolk, Va., and 30 at Jacksonville, Fla., in March. The Norfolk cutbacks were tied to fewer U.S. Navy contracts, while Jacksonville saw less Navy and commercial work.

In Mobile, the yard’s fortunes are closely tied to the offshore energy industry, and the sharp cutbacks by oil companies and offshore service providers are having the most impact.

“The yard does a great deal of business related to the offshore oil industry,” Johnson said. Located adjacent to the 42’ deep Mobile Bay ship channel, the facility also works on drilling rigs and semisubmersible platforms.

Job losses in Norfolk and Jacksonville were not as high as initial layoff notices there indicated – 265 Virginia workers had been notified, but moving some workers to other facilities helped reduce the final layoff tally to 170.

But BAE officials have said the layoffs had to be classified as permanent, based on the contracts in hand and prospects for future work.

“If there is something that changes, brings additional business in, we will reconsider the needs of the shipyard,” Johnson said.

About the author

Kirk Moore

Associate Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been a field editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for almost 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.

3 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Luis A Gonzalez on

    Hello Mr.Moore. I have never been an employee of BAE systems but I have done work on boats as subcontractor on BAE facilities in Jacksonville and Mobile. It is sad to see so many people loose their job specially during this coming holiday season in which the expenses are higher and with good reason. Thru the years that I did visit this facilities I do notice the abundance of what we call white hard hats or way to many supervisors, also lack of speed and coordination. Also as a contractor the treatment and help from the management leave lots to be desired, to top it all if there was a Navy vessel on the shipyard , well pretty much all the attention, material and any other thing was for the military vessel. Don’t get me wrong. What I want to let you know is that this kind of situation make the owners of the other vessels pretty upset because their projects get delegated to a second or third place (Even when they were paying good money). Another I have noticed through the years is the very high prices for any kind of service, something that forces lot of customers (most the vessels I do work for are in the dredging industry) to move to other shipyards like Eastern, Bollinger, and others in the Louisiana and Texas area. Just wondering if maybe one of your articles may touch on this subject. Like I said when things like this happens it breaks my heart and also upsets me because it affects my beautiful city of Mobile. Also, I hate to see the oil price excuse used to cover anything. Thanks for your time.

    • Avatar

      Yep i worked for bae for a year and a half, wont touch them again. I was harassed by a supervisor because i took my time off to go take a weld test paying 4x the pay at a bae junk yard.

  2. Avatar

    Bae jacksonville laid off over 200 employees in the last year and the company has changed the way they do business is why layoffs are permanent. The company was awarded 3 major projects with the navy and sub contracted most of the work to other companies. It seems they want out of the repair business and just want to be a management company!

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