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NEWS | Aug. 30, 2023

In their own words: PSNS & IMF employees reflect on their work and the meaning of Labor Day

By Ben Hutto, PSNS & IMF Public Affairs

Since its establishment as a federal holiday in 1894, Labor Day has been a celebration that honors the working class and labor movement of the United States. The observance set aside the first Monday of every September as a day that honors the workers, labor leaders and unions that strove to build the United States and its economy.

Labor Day is still celebrated across the United States with parades, picnics, barbecues and other public gatherings. For many Americans, the holiday represents the end of the summer and the start of the back-to-school season, but for many of the workers of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility (and its many employees working across the globe), it serves as an reminder of the important work that they do as they continue to maintain, modernize and retire our Navy’s fleet.

Conditions like global pandemics, inclement weather and infrastructure challenges have, at times, slowed progress, but the workers assigned to the command always find ways to keep moving forward and keep the nation’s fleet mission ready. The work in areas like Bremerton, San Diego and Yokosuka, Japan requires not just skill, but vigilance and caution.

“Maintaining and modernizing our Navy’s fleet is a key component of our national defense strategy that that could not be accomplished without our teammates in the trades who work on our deckplates,” said Capt. JD Crinklaw, commander, PSNS & IMF. “The Navy has always been able to rely on this command to accomplish the vital work we do in Puget Sound and beyond. All the things we do, both big and small, help maintain our dominance at sea.”

Salute asked shipyard workers to reflect on the meaning of Labor Day and the work they do in support of the U.S. Navy fleet:

Jane Pollgreen

Electrician, Shop 99, Temporary Services

“I get the feeling of pride from the work I do and the unity with my teammates. I don't see it as work because this is what I love doing and the career that I enjoy.”


Christian Varner

Supervisor, Shop 56, Pipe Fitters

“What makes our work important is that we need to be able to complete our work with a high degree of skill and accuracy, because our carriers could be called to duty at any moment.”


Devin Atalig

Rigger, Code 740, Riggers

“If I was to describe my job in one word, it would be teamwork. We rely on every person in the crew when a job is at hand. I learned teamwork very young playing sports.”


Stephanie Garrett

Dismantler, Shop 75, Ship Dismantling

“Labor Day is a nice holiday to have an extra day off to represent the working force out there. It's nice to feel appreciated for the hard work we do at the shipyard.”


Sabrina Crisostomo

Composite Plastic Fabricator, Shop 64, Shipwrights, Insulators, Plastic Fabricators

“I know the work I do makes an impact on others, so I strive to do my very best and feel proud doing so.”


Chris Chavez

Shipfitter, Shop 11, Shipfitters

“I'm surrounded by a large group of competent people, who have integrity and are very skilled at what they do. We're motivated to do our work the correct way, and to meet the goals of our command.”


Benjamin Zink

Mechanic, Shop 31, Inside Machinist

“I find it to be very fulfilling to serve as a mechanic in this capacity, doing the repairs and testing of pumps and valves that keep an entire nation's Navy fleet functioning.”


Angel Sanchez

Machinist Helper, Shop 31, Inside Machinist

“I'd have to say that {Labor Day} is about appreciating America's workers and their endless efforts.”