Breckenridge said Vice Adm. William H. Hilarides needs more time to come up with a solution.
Breckenridge added that he will continue to emphasize that even in this fiscal climate, maintaining the production rate of two Virginia-class submarines per year is "the most important thing we can do for Electric Boat" and the industrial base.
"That's what I'm striving day in and day out to do," Breckenridge said in an interview. "That's not to say I'm going to succeed, but I'm going to try."
EB and Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia jointly build two attack submarines per year.
In September, EB won a $94 million contract to plan for the Miami repairs. The repair contract also was expected to go to EB. Restoring the Miami would require 1.5 million labor hours, EB President Kevin J. Poitras told local legislators in January.
Casey James Fury was sentenced to more than 17 years in federal prison in March after he pleaded guilty to setting fire to rags aboard the Miami. Casey, a civilian painter and sandblaster, told authorities he suffered from anxiety and wanted to leave work. Seven people were injured fighting the blaze, which burned for 12 hours.
EB expects to start repairs in December on the USS Providence, a submarine that initially was scheduled to go to Kittery. But that $45 million job represents far fewer labor hours -- about 240,000.
The Navy could use some EB employees in Kittery to help remove the Miami from the fleet. About $50 million has been spent on repairs so far.
DelaCruz said the union has asked the company whether any of the work being performed at EB's Quonset Point facility could be done in Groton instead to avoid some of the layoffs. "The problem that we see also is, you lose a lot of skill sets," he said. "People aren't going to wait forever. They'll move on. We have some very highly skilled people here and we just want to get going."
Groton Town Mayor Heather Bond Somers said EB has always conceded that its work is cyclical and subject to ramp-ups and downturns. She said Groton tries to promote the company so it can maintain a stable workforce, and she hopes EB will be able to increase business elsewhere and potentially hire people back.
Groton City Mayor Marian Galbraith said EB notified the city that it was laying off 94 employees and she was sorry to hear that more were on the way.
"It's very unfortunate for the region, but more so for the employees and their families who are affected," Galbraith said in an email.
Groton is already suffering an economic loss from Pfizer's recent decision to tear down its former research headquarters on Eastern Point Road. The decision will translate into a $2 million loss in annual tax revenue for the town.
"It will hurt. It will definitely hurt," Jackie Massett, a member of Representative Town Meeting, said of the latest news of EB layoffs.
Massett said she argued 20 years ago that the community had put "all of its eggs in three baskets" -- the Navy, Electric Boat and Pfizer.
Layoffs at EB will have a trickle-down effect in Groton because employees eat lunch in the city and stop at local businesses, Massett said. "We need to plan. And we haven't," she said. "It's not going to get any better at all. And I don't know how, but we need to look at what our options are."
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