Newport News Shipyard May Get Exemption from Worker ID System

NEWPORT NEWS – Northrop Grumman Newport News may not be required to to adopt a new federal ID system for its workers. The Coast Guard is considering exempting the shipyard from the provisions of the Maritime Transportation Security Act.

As part of the new ID system, more than 30,000 workers in Hampton Roads, including over 19,000 at the shipyard, are required to be fingerprinted and undergo a national FBI criminal background check.

The requirements, part of the Maritime Transportation Security Act are designed to enhance security at ports around the country.

The American Shipbuilding Association has requested that a waiver be granted to the shipyard claiming that a security plan approved by the Department of Defense is strong enough. The association is a lobbying group funded by Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics, the two biggest ship building companies in the United States.

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