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FFAW Meet With Minister Bragg - Increased Support from Department Needed in 2023

January 14, 2023

FFAW-Unifor met with Minister Derrick Bragg yesterday, January 13th, to introduce new leadership and speak about the importance of increased support from his department to ensure that the labour disputes and disruptions that took place in 2022 are not repeated in 2023. Attending with the Minister were Deputy Minister Jamie Chippett, Assistant Deputy Minister Lorelei Roberts, and Executive Assistant Dana English. Representing FFAW-Unifor were President Greg Pretty, Secretary-Treasurer Jason Spingle, Jake Rice for Policy and Fish Price Negotiations, and Courtney Langille of Government Relations.

FFAW presented Minister Bragg and his staff with a document compiled by Staff Representatives outlining key frustrations and concerns expressed by inshore harvesters involved in various fisheries across the province as we move into 2023 negotiations. The Minister agreed to review the document and acknowledged that increased communication and accountability among all parties are crucial for maximizing the value of the NL commercial fishery and remaining competitive on the world’s stage.

In closing, FFAW asked for the Minister to consider the opportunity for a professional accounting firm to assist with real-time market data and provide this to the Panel as a resource tool to fill information gaps and function as a mechanism for closer agreements. Recognizing that yield information for seafood processors remains protected under the Fisheries Act, this would ensure that negotiation timelines are not lost in the event that the Panel rejects both offers.

In closing, the Minister committed to a follow-up meeting in 2-weeks following appropriate review to discuss strategies for ensuring a balanced and orderly fishing season. We look forward to providing a timely update to members following that discussion.