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FFAW Responds to FISH-NL Card Drive

September 9, 2019

MEDIA RELEASE: FFAW Responds to FISH-NL Card Drive

September 9, 2019

St. John’s, NL – Fish harvesters from across the province are calling for unity in response to a second FISH-NL campaign that will attempt to divide members of the province’s largest private sector union.

“Fish harvesters want to focus on the major issues facing our industry and have had enough of the lies and misinformation spread by FISH-NL over the past two years,” said Keith Sullivan, President of FFAW-Unifor. “What the inshore fishery needs right now is fish harvesters working together to take on big corporations who would love nothing more than to see our union divided. What we don’t need is another FISH-NL campaign that pits harvester against harvester.”

Uniting workers in the fishing industry through a single union has delivered significant benefits to both fish harvesters and plant workers in the 50-year history of FFAW-Unifor and its predecessor unions. Without this collective strength, FFAW would not have defeated the harmful Raw Material Sharing policy in 2005, ended the LIFO policy for northern shrimp, secured a commitment for the first 115,000 mt of northern cod for the inshore fishery or rolled back massive proposed cuts to snow crab quotas this year.

 “What is most offensive about FISH-NL is their repeated attempts to question the legitimacy of thousands of fish harvesters in the province,” said Andy Careen, a fish harvester from Branch. “The hundreds of hard-working fish harvesters in my area, whose status as a harvester has been questioned by Ryan Cleary and FISH-NL, are not willing to compromise their future by supporting this irresponsible group.”

“Ryan Cleary has repeatedly attacked the good work of all the harvesters who give their time on councils and committees. These committees make decisions based on consensus, and while the results won’t please everyone, they always represent the majority. Without these volunteers giving their time, this industry would cease to function,” said Nelson Bussey, a fish harvester from Port de Grave.

“Fish harvesters in my region know that FISH-NL is driven by a small group who want it all for themselves,” said Nancy Bowers, fish harvester from Beachside. “The group is made up of a few individuals who failed to win elections for FFAW leadership positions and think they will be better off going it alone. They are wrong.”

“Fish harvesters and plant workers share an industry; we share communities; we are family. It will only benefit the companies if we are divided,” said Loomis Way, fish harvester from Green Island Cove. “We are much stronger when we work together and support one another.”

“I would be shocked to see FISH-NL step foot in Labrador during their campaign after their repeated attacks on Labrador harvesters and our participation in the cod fishery,” said Harrison Campbell, a fish harvester from Pinsents Arm. “Ryan Cleary must not understand the importance of northern cod to the province’s inshore fishery, or he wouldn’t be calling for DFO to shut the fishery down.”

“When you compare FISH-NL’s bare bones organization with FFAW’s track record of negotiating record-high fish prices, fighting back against quota cuts and pressuring government to reverse bad management decisions, it is clear that only FFAW has the experience, resources and capacity to effectively represent the best interests of fish harvesters in the province,” concluded Sullivan.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Courtney Glode
FFAW-Unifor Communications