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FFAW-Unifor Convention kicks off with Unifor President Jerry Dias and Minister Judy Foote

November 24, 2015

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW-Unifor) commenced its 11th Constitutional Convention yesterday in St. John’s with approximately 150 delegates representing the over 12,000 FFAW-Unifor members from around the province.

Guest speakers on the opening day included Unifor national president, Jerry Dias, and the Honorable Judy Foote, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and MP for Bonavista-Burin-Trinity. Both Dias and Minister Foote impressed upon the crowd that adjacency must be forefront in fisheries management to ensure that those who live alongside the resource benefit most from it.

Dias, who oversees the country’s largest private sector union, told the crowd today that Unifor will stand behind the FFAW to ensure that citizens benefit most from our natural resources. “Large corporate fleets take and then leave. For us it’s about sustainability and communities, and the new government has to put their money where their mouth is.”

With over 305,000 members across the country, Unifor will have significant influence in making sure its members voices are heard by the new federal government, Dias added.

The federal Liberal party made numerous commitments to the FFAW prior to the election. Minister Judy Foote spoke about Prime Minister Trudeau reopening the Maritime Rescue Sub-Center in St. John’s as “the first example of commitment made, commitment kept.”

Minister Foote emphasized that effective fisheries management is crucial to the health of coastal communities. The minister said that she, along with other members of the federal NL caucus, will work closely with the new fisheries minister to advocate for the people of this province.

Minister Foote added that the EI system will work more efficiently for those who need it.

“The first day of the constitutional convention kicked off with exceptional speakers and good discussion among members. I know day two will be just as thought provoking with our Rural Works panel and a presentation from the Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters Federation,” said FFAW-Unifor president Keith Sullivan.

Day two of the convention will include a Rural Works panel discussion with Keith Sullivan, Port aux Choix mayor Carolyn Lavers, Ferryland Lighthouse owner Jill Curran, and MNL president Karen Oldford as well as a presentation from the Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters Federation.

For media inquiries, please contact Courtney Pelley Glode at or at 743-4445.