Today, FFAW met with Premier Furey, Minister Bragg and Minister Davis, to continue to move discussion forward on several urgent and long-standing concerns within the collective bargaining process that continue to cause an imbalance within our industry. We appreciate the Premier’s attention to potential solutions to promote transparency, increase processor competition, capacity, and commitment to a review of the processes legislated for the Fish Price Setting Panel. Thanks to Inshore Vice President Tony Doyle and IRO Vice President Doretta Strictland for sharing the perspectives of fish harvesters and plant workers during the meeting and establishing that all fishery workers as stakeholders must be treated fairly and with respect in our province.
FFAW highlighted at length how concentration in the fish processing sector has eliminated competition for raw material and has left inshore harvesters in a precarious position with no option to sell their landings to other plants if they choose to. In addition to competition, the price setting system must be more transparent and robust, including necessitating an additional price reconsideration to account for market changes. In the meeting, FFAW evidenced numerous letters dating back to 2018 that addressed these same concerns to underscore the need for definitive progress. Premier Furey recognized that improvements to collective bargaining must be investigated. FFAW understands concerns of members and will continue to push for access to fair competition.
Finally, today’s meeting included discussion on areas where our provincial government and fishery workers can co-operate to promote sustainable and more valuable fisheries, such as, improved science and fisheries management.