Thursday, August 24, 2017

FFAW — Frigging fishermen and Alienating Workers

Good morning NL, all ships at sea, and inshore fish harvesters far and wide.

Just so you know, the FFAW-Unifor’s sole right as your union is to negotiate the price of fish, and administer the collective agreement.

That’s it.

Period. End of FFAW story. 

When it comes to negotiating fish quotas with Ottawa or compensation packages with Nalcor, the FFAW-Unifor needs your permission.

Case in point, the recent Supreme Court of NL case that found the FFAW-Unifor deceived scallop fishermen in the Strait of Belle Isle. 

The union had to get harvesters to sign consent forms to negotiate with Nalcor over compensation for the power line laid across the Strait, and its impact on scallop fishing in the decades to come.

The problem was the FFAW-Unifor only got the consent forms signed AFTER the union had negotiated a deal, and a deal that most scallop fishermen didn’t want.
What makes this point relevant is a letter the FFAW-Unifor has written to the Labour Relations Board in reaction to FISH-NL’s call for an immediate vote.

In the letter, the union expressed its concern that FISH-NL has been providing union representation to fish harvesters. 

(Damn right we have — the FFAW-Unifor has turned its back on supporters of FISH-NL, and thousands of harvesters have turned their back on the union.) 

Here’s a quote from the FFAW-Unifor letter: “If FISH-NL purports to represent any fish harvesters in the absence of a certification order, it is misleading those harvesters with those representations.”

The FFAW — Frigging Fishermen and Alienating Workers …  

During the 2016 scallop case, Jason Spingle, the FFAW’s west coast staff rep, tendered "what purported to be a consent form" to scallop harvesters meeting "in small groups in various locations."

The form was an insult to the intelligence of fish harvesters, and a reflection of the union's arrogance and gall: "... I hereby authorize Fish, Food and Allied Workers to negotiate a compensation agreement with Nalco to compensate license holders for lost access in the area in question. I hereby confirm that I will accept any compensation agreement which Fish, Food and Allied Workers is able to negotiate with Nalcor.”

That’s pathetic …

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