Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Yesterday's union: 2008 Independent column shows problems with the FFAW are nothing new



As editor-in-chief of The Independent, a province-wide weekly newspaper (2003-2008), I wrote a weekly column called Fighting Newfoundlander. The following piece was published in the March 7th, 2008 edition. 


Yesterday's union 

When you throw a swing you’ve got to expect a shot back across the bow, but I was mildly surprised with the letter to the editor this week from the fishermen’s union. 

Part of me thought the union was dead in the water, although there’s apparently life in the cold fish yet. That said, the mild flapping of union tails could be mistaken for the final jerk and twitch of a drawn-out death throe. 

Not the union’s passing, mind you.

I’m talking about outport genocide. 

The issue has to do with stamp factories. 

To simplify, last week’s column, Get a real job, took the union to task for trying to create a stamp factory on Newfoundland’s south coast.

I say stamp factory because New Brunswick-based Cooke Aquaculture proposed to create 200 full-time jobs but, following a request by the Town of Harbour Breton and the union, agreed to potentially create upwards of 300 jobs through job sharing so more people will qualify for EI benefits.

Earle McCurdy, head of the fishermen’s union, didn’t have a problem with last week’s front-page story by Ivan Morgan that outlined just those facts.

His problem was with me, and my “typical right-wing, anti-worker bombast” (see letter below this week’s cartoon). 

Why is it that anyone who whispers a hit of dissent against the all-powerful fishermen’s union, with its leaders for life, till death do they ultimately part, is automatically branded as ring wing?

If right wing means pro-Newfoundland and Labrador, then string me up. If right wing means trying to break the cycle of EI dependence, then call me a bad Samaritan and burn me in newspaper effigy. 

I say the union should be charged in court for failing to act as the fishery drowns at its feet. No doubt, fishermen and plant workers have had a hard go of it for years, but the answer to turning the industry around is not more of the same EI dependence.

Which is the tired old union’s only answer. 

It’s sacrilegious to talk poorly about the fishery, EI or the union. McCurdy calls my attack “offensive and mean spirited.” I say the union should be held accountable as much as anyone given the fact that the fishery remains on government life support generation after generation.

In his letter, McCurdy says the lives of plant workers are so bad that many of them suffer from chronic pain, which they temper with painkillers.

I say the union itself is on Prosac. 

At the very least, it’s been so reliant on federal programs over the years that it’s become fat, lazy and apathetic. 

When was the last time there was a fisherman’s rally, one in which the yellow buses and box lunches weren’t provided for everyone who showed up.

McCurdy attempts to put me in my place for accusing the union of having it own shrimp and crab quotas and boat to fish them. “Our union does not own a shrimp boat, a crab boat, a shrimp quota, or a crab quota,” he writes, “nor do we own in whole or in part any organization that has such assets.”

It was in May 2004 that The Independent wrote a business story on the so-called “union boat,” as it was known to fishermen on the wharves. The Katrina Charlene was built in the late 1990s by the Offshore Fish Resource Harvesters Inc., a company with close links to the Fish, Food and Allied Workers’ union.

At the time the story was written, Ches Cribb, CEO of the company, which was known in fishing circles as the offshore trawlermen’s co-op, was also vice-president of the FFAW’s deep sea division.

At least two other company directors were also FFAW executives. All directors and crew were union members.

The company was formed in 1996 to retrain deep-sea trawlermen displaced by the collapse of the cod fisheries in the early 1990s. 

A spokesman for the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans told the paper in 2004 that the Katrina Charlene was granted an exploratory crab quota of approximately 535 tonnes in 1996. The quota was issued every year after up to 2004.

Cribb wouldn’t tell The Independent who financed the boat, although he did say it wasn’t the FFAW. He said the main purpose of the boat was to train and educate trawlermen. 

At least one fishermen back in the day questioned why the union boat was allowed to compete with boats owned by the membership. “What are they training fishermen for if there’s no fish?” the fishermen asked. “There’s no fishery … are the going to send them to Portugal to fish?”

McCurdy couldn’t be reached for comment at the time. 

He was busy this week writing letters. 

For some reason the union feels its above investigation. It is not. Has McCurdy been in power so long that he thinks he’s God’s gift to fish? Well let me tell you sir, the fish are dead at your feet.

McCurdy, who hails from the old Evening Telegram, as does at least one other union executive, has awfully close ties to the local media, raising the question whether the relationship is too close for the fishery’s comfort. 

God knows the local media would hate to offend. I received one call this week from a man who questions why there's even a daily Fishermen’s Broadcast — which celebrated its 57th anniversary this week — when the fishery is but a shadow of its former self. 

I believe in the Broadcast, but only as long as it challenges the powers that be. McCurdy says I would be an ideal speech writer for Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his “culture of defeat.” Beg your pardon Earle, but it’s your outdated solutions that have the ring of defeat. Time to lead or get the hell out of the way. 

Just this summer an ATIP request revealed just how close the ties were between the FFAW and the Offshore Fish Resource Harvesters. The FFAW has yet to respond to charges of conflict of interest.  


Yesterday's union: 2008 Independent column shows problems with the FFAW are nothing new



As editor-in-chief of The Independent, a province-wide weekly newspaper (2003-2008), I wrote a weekly column called Fighting Newfoundlander. The following piece was published in the March 7th, 2008 edition. 

Yesterday's union 

When you throw a swing you’ve got to expect a shot back across the bow, but I was mildly surprised with the letter to the editor this week from the fishermen’s union. 

Part of me thought the union was dead in the water, although there’s apparently life in the cold fish yet. That said, the mild flapping of union tails could be mistaken for the final jerk and twitch of a drawn-out death throe. 

Not the union’s passing, mind you.

I’m talking about outport genocide. 

The issue has to do with stamp factories. 

To simplify, last week’s column, Get a real job, took the union to task for trying to create a stamp factory on Newfoundland’s south coast.

I say stamp factory because New Brunswick-based Cooke Aquaculture proposed to create 200 full-time jobs but, following a request by the Town of Harbour Breton and the union, agreed to potentially create upwards of 300 jobs through job sharing so more people will qualify for EI benefits.

Earle McCurdy, head of the fishermen’s union, didn’t have a problem with last week’s front-page story by Ivan Morgan that outlined just those facts.

His problem was with me, and my “typical right-wing, anti-worker bombast” (see letter below this week’s cartoon). 

Why is it that anyone who whispers a hit of dissent against the all-powerful fishermen’s union, with its leaders for life, till death do they ultimately part, is automatically branded as ring wing?

If right wing means pro-Newfoundland and Labrador, then string me up. If right wing means trying to break the cycle of EI dependence, then call me a bad Samaritan and burn me in newspaper effigy. 

I say the union should be charged in court for failing to act as the fishery drowns at its feet. No doubt, fishermen and plant workers have had a hard go of it for years, but the answer to turning the industry around is not more of the same EI dependence.

Which is the tired old union’s only answer. 

It’s sacrilegious to talk poorly about the fishery, EI or the union. McCurdy calls my attack “offensive and mean spirited.” I say the union should be held accountable as much as anyone given the fact that the fishery remains on government life support generation after generation.

In his letter, McCurdy says the lives of plant workers are so had that many of them suffer from chronic pain, which they temper with painkillers.

I say the union itself is on Prosac. 

At the very least, it’s been so reliant on federal programs over the years that it’s become fat, lazy and apathetic. 

When was the last time there was a fisherman’s rally, one in which the yellow buses and box lunches weren’t provided for everyone who showed up.

McCurdy attempts to put me in my place for accusing the union of having it own shrimp and crab quotas and boat to fish them. “Our union does not own a shrimp boat, a crab boat, a shrimp quota, or a crab quota,” he writes, “nor do we own in whole or in part any organization that has such assets.”

It was in May 2004 that The Independent wrote a business story on the so-called “union boat,” as it was known to fishermen on the wharves. The Katrina Charlene was built in the late 1990s by the Offshore Fish Resource Harvesters Inc., a company with close links to the Fish, Food and Allied Workers’ union.

At the time the story was written, Ches Cribb, CEO of the company, which was known in fishing circles as the offshore trawlermen’s co-op, was also vice-president of the FFAW’s deep sea division.

At least two other company directors were also FFAW executives. All directors and crew were union members.

The company was formed in 1996 to retrain deep-sea trawlermen displaced by the collapse of the cod fisheries in the early 1990s. 

A spokesman for the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans told the paper in 2004 that the Katrina Charlene was granted an exploratory crab quota of approximately 535 tonnes in 1996. The quota was issued every year after up to 2004.

Cribb wouldn’t tell The Independent who financed the boat, although he did say it wasn’t the FFAW. He said the main purpose of the boat was to train and educate trawlermen. 

At least one fishermen back in the day questioned why the union boat was allowed to compete with boats owned by the membership. “What are they training fishermen for if there’s no fish?” the fishermen asked. “There’s no fishery … are the going to send them to Portugal to fish?”

McCurdy couldn’t be reached for comment at the time. 

He was busy this week writing letters. 

For some reason the union feels its above investigation. It is not. Has McCurdy been in power so long that he thinks he’s God’s gift to fish? Well let me tell you sir, the fish are dead at your feet.

McCurdy, who hails from the old Evening Telegram, as does at least one other union executive, as awfully close ties to the local media, raising the question whether the relationship is too close for the fishery’s comfort. 

God knows the local media would hate to offend. I received one call this week from a man who questions why theres’ even a daily Fishermen’s Broadcast — which celebrated its 57th anniversary this week — when the fishery is but a shadow of its former self. 

I believe in the Broadcast, but only as long as it challenges the powers that be. McCurdy says I would be an ideal speech writer for Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his “culture of defeat.” Beg your pardon Earle, but it’s your outdated solutions that have the ring of defeat. Time to lead or get the hell out of the way. 

Just this summer an ATIP request revealed just how close the ties were between the FFAW and the Offshore Fish Resource Harvesters. The FFAW has yet to respond to charges of conflict of interest.  


Monday, September 12, 2016

'The FFAW is a conflict of interest wrapped in a mystery inside a huge puzzle with pieces missing, the missing pieces being fish'

The following are my comments at a news conference this morning (Sept. 12th) at the Fishermen's Centre in Petty Harbour.

Good morning.

Thank you for coming out. 

First off, I want to send our condolences to the families of the four fishermen lost last week from Shea Heights. 

Such horrendous tragedies are all too common in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

We grieve, as the family of Shea Heights grieves, as the entire province grieves. 

My name is Ryan Cleary and I called this news conference as a result of growing unrest within the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery.

I'm here with Jason Sullivan, a fisherman from Bay Bulls, and Richard and Joyce Gillett, a fishing family from Twillingate. 

There’s been unrest in the fishing industry for a generation — since the collapse of the northern cod fishery in 1992, and well before that. 

But the unrest today amongst fish harvesters specifically is escalating — today it’s higher and more widespread than I’ve ever seen it. 

Fishermen from one end of the province to the other have had enough. 

They’re desperate, at the end of their rope, and ready to revolt. 

Too many fishermen are at their breaking point with nothing to lose. 

Fishermen are at the breaking point in terms of their ability to make a living from the sea — quotas are down and government and union fees are constantly up. 

They’re also at the edge in terms of representation (or lack thereof) from their union — the Fish, Food and Allied Workers.

That’s specifically why you’re called here today — unrest within the FFAW.

Fishermen say the FFAW does not work for them. 

They include scallop harvesters from the Great Northern Peninsula and southern Labrador who actually took their own union to court (and won) over a compensation fund for lost fishing grounds in the Strait of Belle Isle. 

They include harvesters from the south coast who say the union failed to represent them in regaining access to scallop beds on the St. Pierre Bank.

The union hasn’t fought for them. 

They include fishermen from the northeast coast who are still shaking their heads over the rules governing this year’s cod fishery. 

The rules don’t work for them. 

Worse, the fishermen say they weren’t consulted. 

There is no consultation, and what little there is seems to be a formality for decisions that already have been made behind closed doors. 

There is no transparency, and too many fish harvesters fear repercussions for speaking out. 

What good is a union that doesn’t represent its members?

That’s the question fishermen are asking themselves. 

The FFAW has warped into a corporation heavily sponsored by the Government of Canada, to the tune of millions of dollars a year — a company more interested with feeding itself than representing the best interests of its membership.

The FFAW has lost its way.

The FFAW represents most of the province’s fishery workers — fishermen, fish plant workers, and trawler men. 

Which has always been seen as a conflict, a delicate balance. 

The FFAW is a conflict of interest wrapped in a mystery inside a huge puzzle with pieces missing — the missing pieces being fish, of course. (Apologies to Winston Churchill for fiddling with his quote.) 

The FFAW receives untold millions of dollars a year from various federal departments to administer fisheries programs in the province. 

At the same time, the union is expected to hold Ottawa to account for its day-to-day management and overall policy decisions.

That’s a conflict of interest that doesn’t work for fishermen.

There’s too much suspicion, and no trust.

None. 

The conflict undermines the faith of thousands of fishery workers in — not only their union — but the entire industry. 

Normal checks and balances that accompany a regular union-management dynamic can be compromised when funds change hands between the two, negatively impacting the entire fishing industry.

The federal Auditor General was asked to investigate federal funds directed to the FFAW, but his office declined, referring the concerns to DFO auditors. 

The Canadian Labour Congress was also asked to investigate one of its member unions, but they have yet to respond. 

There is no entity in this country charged with policing unions — besides the unions themselves, in this case the FFAW. 

Another conflict — a long-standing sore point — is the awarding of a controversial crab quota in the mid-1990s to a company with extremely close ties to the FFAW. 

Just how close those union ties are to the FFAW was only leaned in recent months through an ATIP request. 

The then vice-president of the FFAW’s deepsea sector wrote DFO in 1995 asking that priority access to the developing offshore crab fishery be given to struggling trawler men. 

The trawler men didn’t get a quota in 1995, so Ches Cribb wrote again the next year asking again for a snow crab quota. 

But that time he asked — not as VP of the FFAW’s Deepsea sector — but as president of a private company, Offshore Fish Resource Harvesters. 

And he got a crab quota. 

That company initially presented itself to DFO as a co-operative, but the description would appear to be a misrepresentation. 

The company's crab quota has been renewed every since since 1996 and profits over that time would be in the millions of dollars.  

Where have those profits gone? 

Who knows, fishermen don’t know. 

Transparency is another huge issue with the FFAW — there is none. 

The FFAW’s revenue sources include a hell of a lot more than union dues. 

Just last week it was learned that an FFAW-controlled company responsible for overseeing the provincewide Dockside Monitoring Program paid the union almost $5.7 million over 10 years for “shrimp grading and crab research fees." 

That’s even though the Fish Harvesters’ Resource Centres (or FRC) is a not-for-profit company created in 1993 strictly to verify fish landings. 

Further, the bulk of the FRC’s revenue comes from fishermen, who are charged a fee for dockside monitoring based on species and catch. 

The news raises the question whether fishermen have been overcharged for dockside monitoring, which is mandatory as a condition of licensing.

The FFAW has yet to respond to any of these charges. 

I have been contacted for months by fishermen around the province who’s asked me — who’ve pleaded with me — to investigate whether they could break from the FFAW and form their own union. 

A union for fish harvesters only. 

A union whose function isn’t to administer the fisheries, a union whose function isn’t to manage the fisheries. 

But a union solely responsible for representing the interests of its membership. 

I’ve consulted with the Labour Relations Board and such a move is possible.

It would be a monumental challenge — a David vs. Goliath challenge — but it is possible. 

This news conference is to announce two public meetings for fish harvesters interested in the formation of a new union — specifically for them. 

The first public meeting will be held on Sept. 19th at the Corner Brook Legion, with the second meeting scheduled for the next day, Sept. 20th, at the Clarenville Inn. 

I’ve consulted with hundreds of fishermen around the province, but now it’s time to fish or cut bait, it’s time to be counted. 

The message delivered at those two public meetings — in terms of the turn out and message — will determine whether we move forward from here.

If fish harvesters want their own stand-alone union, then come to those meetings and say so. 


Thank you.

'Fish harvesters have lost confidence in the FFAW'

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 12th, 2016

ST. JOHN’S — Two public meetings are scheduled for mid-September to gage interest in a new union to represent Newfoundland and Labrador fish harvesters, breaking away from the Fish, Food and Allied Workers.

“Fish harvesters say the FFAW no longer works for them,” says Cleary, meeting organizer and former MP. “The union has warped into a well-paid branch of the Government of Canada, more interested in feeding itself than representing the best interests of its membership.”
“Fish harvesters say there is no consultation, no transparency, and a web of conflicts of interest surrounding the FFAW,” Cleary said. “If harvesters want change now is their opportunity to stand up and be counted.”

“Fish harvesters have lost confidence in the FFAW to represent them in today’s fishery,” said Richard Gillett, a fisherman from Twillingate. “We need an organization that will take us into the 21st century, that will make us competitive on the world stage in terms of quality of fish and harvesting practices.”

The new union would represent the province’s fish harvesters only — excluding plant workers and trawlermen. All three groups of workers currently fall under the FFAW umbrella, a set up that’s long been seen as a conflict of interest.

The FFAW’s ability to hold the Government of Canada to account in terms of day-to-day management decisions and overall policy direction has also been questioned when it’s in receipt of untold millions of dollars a year from various federal government sources.

The first public meeting will be held on Sept. 19th at the Corner Brook Legion, from 12-3 p.m., with the second meeting scheduled for Sept. 20th, 3-6 p.m., at the Clarenville Inn.

-30-

Friday, September 9, 2016

Millions in dockside monitoring fees paid to FFAW for 'shrimp grading and crab research'


An FFAW-controlled company responsible for overseeing the provincewide Dockside Monitoring Program paid the union almost $5.7 million over 10 years (1999-2009) for “shrimp grading and crab research fees,” audited documents reveal.

That’s even though the Fish Harvesters’ Resource Centres (FRC) is a not-for-profit company created in 1993 strictly to verify fish landings. 

Further, the bulk of the FRC’s revenue comes from fishermen, who are charged a fee for dockside monitoring based on species and catch (with cod, for example, fishermen pay two cents a pound, plus HST).  

The news raises the question whether fishermen — many of whom are already struggling in light of dwindling stocks such as crab and shrimp, as well as escalating fishery fees — have been overcharged for dockside monitoring, which is mandatory as a condition of licensing. 

According to the audited financial statements, the FFAW/CAW has an “economic interest” in the FRC. Earle McCurdy was chair of the FRC’s Board of Directors for years, while also serving as FFAW president.

While the FRC was forced to cut salaries and other costs in the late 2000s as the result of a declines in revenues (catches were down), the funds paid to the FFAW averaged $800,000 a year. 

“SHRIMP GRADING AND CRAB RESEARCH FEES” PAID TO THE FFAW
2009 — $720,801
2008 — $863,005
2007 — $826,022
2006 — $777,477
2005 — $732,261
2004 — $825,876

“Shrimp grading, research and educational fees” paid to the FFAW
2003 — $151,826
2002 — $171,912

“Shrimp and crab landing fees - FFAW”
2001 — $222,131
2000 — $228,064
1999 — $206,909

According to the audited financial statements, the FRC didn’t pay the FFAW shrimp or crab fees between 1994 and 1998.

In order to receive the Dockside Monitoring Designation, companies must “ensure that there are no actual or perceived conflicts of interest between DMCs and fishing entities, which are being monitored.” But the fact that the FRC is run by a company controlled by the fishermen’s union can be perceived as a conflict in itself. 

According to a report to the board of directors, concern was expressed by the FRC in 2009 that a new private dockside monitoring company had been certified by DFO, “and we must prepare for any implications to our operation.”

Of note, the FRC reduced the Dockside Monitoring fee charged in the shrimp fishery to 4/10 of a cent from 1/2 cent in 2006. “This 1/10 of a cent reduction resulted in approximately $315,000 being put back into the hands of shrimp fishers for the two years 2006 and 2007.”

In the case of fishermen who go over their trip limit in the shrimp fishery, the extra shrimp is sold, with funds directed to the FFAW’s “shrimp fund.” Why isn’t money from that fund used for grading?

While most of the FRC’s funds come directly from fishermen, the company has also received grants from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the National Research Council, and Service Canada. As well, the FRC has also secured DFO contracts to monitor the offloading of foreign fishing vessels in Newfoundland. 

— The Auditor General of Canada and Canadian Labour Congress were asked to investigate the FFAW. The AG said no, referring concerns to DFO auditors. The Canadian Labour Congress has yet to respond. 

The central complaint is this: The FFAW receives untold millions of dollars a year from various federal departments to administer/oversee various fisheries programs in the province, while, at the same time, the union is expected to hold Ottawa to account on its day-to-day management and overall policy decisions. 
The obvious conflict undermines the faith of thousands of fishery workers in — not only their union — but the entire industry. Normal checks and balances that accompany a union-management dynamic can be compromised when funds change hands between the two, potential negatively impacting the entire fishing industry.


— Conflict of interest charges have also been levelled at the FFAW for its close ties to Offshore Fish Resource Harvesters, a company awarded a snow crab quota in 1996. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Canadian Labour Congress asked to investigate FFAW, or recommend a group that can

Hassan Yussuff
President, Canadian Labour Congress
2841 Riverside Drive,
Ottawa, Ont. 
K1V8X7

Aug. 24th, 2016 

Mr. Yussuff,

I’m writing to request your help with a growing concern involving one of the Canadian Labour Congress’ affiliated members — the Fish, Food and Allied Workers’ (FFAW) union, representing most fishery workers in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

The issue involves potential conflicts of interest, and what many fishermen see as the warping of the FFAW from a union into a corporation, focused more with feeding itself than the fishery workers it serves.  

The perceived conflict is two-fold. 

First, the FFAW receives untold millions of dollars a year from various federal departments to administer/oversee various fisheries programs in the province, while, at the same time, the union is expected to hold Ottawa to account on its day-to-day management and overall policy decisions.

As a former Member of Parliament (St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, 2011-2015), and after receiving concerns from fishery workers/FFAW members around the province, I attempted to determine the amount/sources of federal money directed to the union in any given year by filing a series of questions on the Order Paper. 

While some figures were revealed (the FFAW was paid almost $7.5 million alone between 2011 and 2014 to administer the Atlantic lobster sustainability measures program), I could not obtain them all.

But the obvious conflict undermines the faith of thousands of fishery workers in — not only their union — but the entire industry. 

Normal checks and balances that accompany a union-management dynamic can be compromised when funds change hands between the two, potential negatively impacting the entire fishing industry. It’s also widely believed that the FFAW’s role in the fishery is evolving into one of management/administration, moving away from its primary union function. 

The second potential conflict of interest I bring to your attention is a snow crab quota awarded to the Newfoundland company, Offshore Fish Resource Harvesters, in 1996. 

In June 1995, Ches Cribb, then-Vice-President of the FFAW’s Deep Sea Sector, wrote the licensing division of Fisheries and Oceans in St. John’s requesting that the federal department give “priority access” to the developing offshore crab fishery to struggling deep sea fisherman.

According to correspondence obtained in recent months through the federal Access to Information and Privacy Act, that request was denied, but the very next year, in February 1996, Cribb made another request for a snow crab quote. 

He made that request (which was eventually granted)  —  not as vice-president of the FFAW’s deep sea sector — but as president of Offshore Fish Resource Harvesters, the private company asking for the quota.

It’s not known whether Cribb still worked for the FFAW when he made the request on behalf of Offshore Fish Resource Harvesters, but some of the correspondence forwarded from the private company to DFO was done on FFAW letterhead.

As well, the company’s address — P.O. Box 881, Marystown, Newfoundland — was the same address as Cribb’s FFAW office. 

The conflict of interest would appear obvious. 

Further, in applying for an offshore snow crab quota, Offshore Fish Resource Harvesters initially presented itself to DFO as a cooperative (“one member, one vote”), but that description would appear to be a misrepresentation.  The company's crab quota has been renewed every since since 1996 and profits over that time (which have never been reported to the public) would be in the millions of dollars. 

I present these two potential conflicts of interest to the Canadian Labour Congress because I have nowhere else to turn. 

In July, I wrote a letter to Michael Ferguson, Auditor General of Canada, asking for his office to investigate Government of Canada funds distributed to the FFAW for potential conflict of interest, as well as the awarding of the controversial crab quota. 

Mr. Fergersen’s office responded in early August to say that his office won’t get involved, although a copy of my letter was forwarded to the team responsible for auditing Fisheries and Oceans Canada, “for their information.”

Mr. Hussuff, this matter is of vital importance to the fishery of my province. 

Fishermen cannot work in Newfoundland and Labrador unless they’re members of the FFAW. At the same time, many of them have lost faith in their union and fear speaking out because of retaliation from both the FFAW and DFO.

Would the Canadian Labour Congress be in a position to investigate the concerns outlined, or know who could launch such a probe?

A thorough review by an independent third party would help clear the air and restore confidence in a fishing industry perpetually in crisis. 

Your input would be greatly appreciated. 

Sincerely,


Ryan Cleary,
St. John’s, NL