Ohio Governor John Kasich says his recent comments about the federal Base Realignment and Closure process weren't meant as a criticism of workers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
Speaking in Stratham Saturday, Kasich said he was trying to make a point about greater efficiency across the federal government. "I think it's a good thing that people know that they've got to be productive, they've got to think differently, they've got to be creative," Kasich said. "I hope they didn't take it the wrong way, but at the end of the day, we need to squeeze out greater efficiencies in government."
Speaking outside the shipyard last week, Kasich said the BRAC process "keeps everyone on their toes." Paul O'Connor, president of the shipyard's Metal Trades Council, called those comments "insulting" to the shipyard's workers. "The way to create efficiencies in any work environment is through workforce engagement, not flippant, arrogant remarks that lead to fear and intimidation," he wrote in a letter to the Portsmouth Herald.
The shipyard was considered for closure during the BRAC process in 2005, but was ultimately kept open.