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Statement on FISH-NL Application to Labour Board

January 9, 2017

For Immediate Release
Monday, January 9, 2017

Statement on FISH-NL Application to Labour Board

St. John’s – Today the exact number of cards submitted by FISH-NL in an application to the Labour Relations Board was made public. As FFAW-Unifor anticipated, Cleary did not obtain nearly enough of the support required to represent the bargaining unit.

“Ryan Cleary and his group have taken advantage of a time of transition in our fishery and are preying on harvesters who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of that transition by making promises without any plan to back them up,” said Keith Sullivan, President of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union. “The numbers are now public and it is clear FISH-NL does not have adequate support.”

The Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board, the provincial body that operates and maintains a fish harvester registration system, has publicly stated that the number of fish harvesters eligible for certification in 2016 is 10,995. Consistent with those figures, FFAW-Unifor’s membership database accounts for 10,200 active, dues-paying members who are inshore harvesters.

Regarding the cards submitted to the Labour Relations Board, FFAW-Unifor will be raising serious concerns related to fraudulent and tainted cards and the manner by which signatures were obtained.

In FISH-NL’s view of the fishery, more than 4,000 inshore harvesters do not count. Their numbers misrepresent the industry and discount the many good jobs that exist in the fishery.

While there will never be 100% agreement on every issue, FFAW-Unifor has the experience, resources and expertise to effectively represent inshore harvesters and tackle the challenges of the industry.

“Ryan Cleary and his group have spent the last 5 months trying to divide harvesters and have damaged the industry in the process. Now we must move forward, with the best interests of harvesters in mind, and work to undo the damage he’s done,” continued Sullivan.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Jessica McCormick, FFAW-Unifor Communications Officer
709-576-7276 (office)