Talks broke off today between the FFAW Snow Crab Bargaining Committee and the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP), and the tie-up continues with the Provincial Government’s refusal to allow outside competition into the province. Harvesters have been clear that no crab will be processed in Newfoundland and Labrador until an agreement is reached.
To our plant worker members who ask how their Union could ask the province to ship out crab outside the province. The answer is that we have no fishery at all right now because of the actions of NL processing companies. There is no competition. There is no regulation. There is no control of the cartel-like behaviour and economic headlock they have over the province.
Let’s be clear. These companies do not have the best interests of their workers in mind. They are focused on two things: destroying the Union and destroying the inshore, owner-operator fishery.
Over 70% of harvesting members said they would not fish for the price of 2.20 per pound. This is a strong majority opposition.
As Greg Pretty said earlier today, “this tie-up has become about more than just about a minimum price of 2.20 per pound, it’s about the stranglehold these companies have on our province.”
We cannot let them win.
The inshore fishery fuels our coastal communities. Without the owner-operator fishery, there will be nothing landed. Nothing to process. When the inshore fishery thrives, our plant workers thrive, and our communities thrive.
There is still time for ASP to accept the Committee’s offer and get a fishery going. There is still time for the Province to intervene and pressure companies into ethical behaviour through healthy competition.
We know the pressure is on. We know our members are in a very difficult spot.
We promise, we are doing everything possible to get a fishery going for harvesters and plant workers, and all those who rely on the fishery for their livelihood.