Let's See Big Navy Wiggle Out of This One
When the Submarine Force decided to "privatize" submarine repair efforts, they frequently cited "evidence" that showed that one shipyard worker could do as much work as three Sailors. In some cases that's true -- there was this one hydraulics guy at EB who could fix things faster than any thirty Sailors. One the other hand, I really didn't see the EB painter/cleaners setting any land-speed records (unless it was for getting off the boat for a break or at the end of shift).
Anyway, it looks like Sen. Dodd has called them on it. In this article from The New London Day (another copy found here, third article down), Sen. Dodd says:
"Now the Navy contends that it can save money by having sailors replace the EB workers at shipyards in Norfolk, Va., and Kings Bay, Ga., if the Naval Submarine Base is closed, said U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., at a meeting Monday with local business leaders.
“The Navy found that one Electric Boat worker can do as much work as three sailors — that was the rationale for giving EB the contract in the first place,” Dodd said. “If the work is transferred to Kings Bay, it is going to cost the country more money, not less.”
"The Navy has said that the average EB employee working at the base has almost a quarter-century of experience and so is more productive than sailors who often are learning on the job. In addition, the Navy has said EB employees don't have all the military duties of a sailor, which can take up a large portion of the work week.
"Dodd questioned the Navy's estimate that can eliminate 1,500 military positions, about one in four of the jobs in Groton, if it consolidates operations down South, “a claim that has never been adequately explained by the Defense Department.”
You can twist statistics any way you like, but if you have some smart people looking at it, it becomes tough to explain yourself. Or maybe it's just that Norfolk- and Kings Bay-based Sailors work harder than Groton-based Sailors -- let's see if that flies.