RIPR file photo

Rhode Island’s building trades unions attended the annual shareholders’ meeting of General Dynamics to protest what the unions consider to be a lack of hiring union workers and Rhode Island military for jobs building the expansion project at the Electric Boat submarine-building venue at Quonset Point in North Kingstown.

Update: Sen. Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee and Rhode Island’s senior senator, issued this statement via spokesman Chip Unruh on the hiring of Rhode Island union construction workers at the Electric Boat expansion projects at Quonset:


R.I. politicians love to talk about job-development plans. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why they aren’t  doing more to ensure that Rhode Islanders are hired for the Electric Boat expansion in Quonset.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Sen. Jack Reed has begun reviewing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s proposed military budget. Reed is a member of the senate Armed Services Committee, which will play a role in passing legislation to enact the budget. He says he’s looking carefully for ways to balance the need to trim spending while ensuring the nation’s military can meet the new kinds of security threats it may face in the future.

For example, Reed says he hopes to maintain funding for Rhode Island-based military research.


Submarine maker Electric Boat is expanding its presence in the state.

Electric Boat has signed a 25-year-lease that expands its footprint at the Quonset Business Park by 40 percent.   The company makes Virginia Class nuclear submarines for the Navy. The Navy recently doubled its order from one sub to two. Steve King, director of the Quonset Development Corporation which negotiated the lease, says the company will use the new space to accommodate the heavier workload.

A special tax break deal  for large manufacturing companies that critics asserted was a giveaway to submarine manufacturer Electric Boat was withdrawn during last night’s  Rhode Island House debate over the $8.2 billion state budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

At this time of the RI General Assembly session every year, when the State House gets as hot as a sauna and the rhetoric boils over, lawmakers are confronted with money items tucked into the arcane language of the state budget that don’t seem to have received much discussion but have an impact on state taxpayers.

One that for the most part has dropped below the media radar is what appears to be some very favorable treatment for a huge defense contractor that doesn’t really need state financial help, the Electric Boat division of General  Dynamics.