Negotiations for plant worker agreements break down

May 15, 2024

Beothic Fish Processors Limited, located in New-Wes-Valley in the 3K fishing region, employs 375 processing workers and will be in a legal position to take a strike vote this coming Sunday, May 19, 2024, if a deal is not reached.

Ocean Choice International in Bonavista (380 employees) and Triton (120 employees), as well as Barry Group in Witless Bay (120 employees) are also at an impasse in their contract negotiation efforts. These workers could be in a position to take a strike vote by the end of the month.

“Companies have record profits, while employees work backbreaking, hard labour every fishing season, often 6 days a week for 10-12 hours per day. This is not easy work, and if companies want to retain this important workforce, they need to pay them a living wage,” says FFAW-Unifor President Greg Pretty.

The world’s richest crab fishery should see returns going to the people who process it, Pretty says. “These plant owners need to be dropkicked into the 21st Century. You cannot go complaining about having no workers while refusing to pay a decent wage,” Pretty says. 

In total, nearly 1000 crab processing workers are affected. These workers, who represent over 15% of the crab processing workforce, are demanding a fair deal from the companies they work for.

Inflation has hit fuel, food, and interest rates. Cost of living has exploded, while salaries have not kept up. Increasing rates of pay is the primary sticking point to achieving a deal.

Membership meetings will be held in New-Wes-Valley on Sunday and Monday, times and locations to be confirmed and will be communicated to members when available.