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.