Harvesters expressed their frustration today by protesting outside of two locations in St. John’s after the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) walked back on their counteroffer yesterday. The two sides converged outside of the Ocean Choice International (OCI) office in St. John’s, where harvesters were clear they won’t be fishing for 2.20 per pound.
“ASP may have reneged on their offer, but our organization still carried out significant consultation with members on whether it would have been accepted. The writing is on the wall: harvesters aren’t fishing unless there’s movement on the minimum starting price. We’re ready to sit back down to the table and figure out how we can ensure fairness here, but we need cooperation and a willingness to find a solution,” says FFAW-Unifor President Greg Pretty. “We made some significant progress when it comes to incremental increases as the market price increases. If we can shift the minimum start price and look at potential ways to capture market increases once the season ends, I think we can find a solution that will get everyone on the water and back to work,” Pretty says.
The Union says the Provincial Government must intercede and mediate a fair resolution for coastal communities.
“To date, Minister Bragg’s bystander manner is causing distress to the thousands of people who are concerned about their livelihood and their future,” Pretty says. “It’s imperative that Premier Furey step in and make sure Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are being protected against the handful of processing companies who are holding them hostage,” he says.
Harvesters have expressed a desire to take further political action around the province next week should steps not be taken towards a resolution.
Photos are available on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/ffawunifor