Skip to content

Summer Shrimp Negotiations Update

June 15, 2022

Summer shrimp negotiations took place this week and final offers were submitted this evening at 4pm local time. FFAW’s final offer was $1.365/lb and ASP’s final offer was $0.90. The offers will be presented at arbitration tomorrow and a decision is expected next week.

Negotiating committees for all species have faced a particularly difficult year. Despite genuine attempts to bargain in good faith, they have been repeatedly met by ASP members who are determined to undermine the collective bargaining process.

It is the goal of ASP members to eliminate any potential of a shrimp fishery this year by offering insulting prices well below what the market indicates is fair. Despite losing at Panel during Spring negotiations, ASP members have thus far refused to purchase shrimp. These multi-million dollar companies have a stranglehold on the owner-operator fishery and will stop at nothing to drive down harvesters’ share of prices. But your Union remains equally determined to fight for the fair market value owed to fish harvesters for your catch.

During negotiations this week, Minister Bragg met with FFAW shrimp committee members.  The Minister was able to hear firsthand the frustrations of shrimp harvesters in this province.  A combination of quota cuts and impacts from the pandemic has meant the shrimp fishery has not been viable in recent years.  Now, many harvesters have not made one cent this year because processing companies are refusing to buy shrimp.

The same issues that have been repeatedly raised with the Minister were raised again, such as the fact too much corporate concentration in the province’s fish processing sector has eliminated any competition for their fish.  Shrimp harvesters as well as those who fish commercially for other species, need increased transparency and information sharing from the processing sector to provide more fairness in collective bargaining.  This would include information on yields starting with a study by the provincial government.

We need immediate action from our provincial government to ensure fish harvesters have somewhere to sell their catch. If the companies in our province continue to abuse their exclusive privileges, we must look to alternatives. Ministers Bragg and Davis have created an environment that bolsters corporate concentration, protects fish companies, and hurts the hardworking people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The provincial government’s refusal to take meaningful steps towards addressing any concerns plaguing the inshore fishery is hurting the economic prosperity harvesters, plant workers and coastal communities – in silent support of corporate profits.  It is a privileged position to hold a processing license in Newfoundland and Labrador. These companies must not be permitted to halt operations while a fishery remains open.