Statement on scallop compensation agreement dispute | FFAW-Unifor | Fish Food & Allied Workers Union

Statement on scallop compensation agreement dispute

01/26/2016

Key facts about compensation agreement:

  • Nalcor agreed to pay $2.6 million in compensation to scallop harvesters affected by area closure in Strait of Belle Isle
  • The compensation fund would compensate all current and future active scallop harvesters
  • The compensation would be based on the landings of active scallop harvesters
  • Compensation would be paid for up to a 30 year period
  • No funds have been paid since the area’s closure in 2014 due to the matter being taken to court, as was agreed to by both legal counsels

Statement on scallop compensation agreement dispute

In February 2014, FFAW-Unifor reached a landmark agreement with Nalcor Energy to compensate current and future scallop harvesters in the Strait of Belle Isle who would be impacted by the installation of an underwater cable.

An approximately 1.5 km section of scallop fishing area 14A is affected by the installation of the Strait of Belle Isle marine cable crossing to bring power from Muskrat Falls to the island of Newfoundland.

Nalcor agreed to pay a $2.6 million to cover long-term compensation costs, with the FFAW administering the fund by providing annual payouts to affected members.

The agreement compensates only those who actively harvest scallop in fishing area 14A, and the level of compensation is based on landings.

Certain harvesters in the area are not satisfied with the compensation agreement and are wanting to be paid a lump-sum payment now, regardless of whether they actively fish scallop.

“The basis for an agreement with Nalcor was to compensate members who would be affected by the closure of part of their fishing area. For example, a harvester who fishes for 20 weeks requires more compensation than one who fishes 5 weeks,” said FFAW President Keith Sullivan.

“Scallop fishing is very labour and time intensive, and our Union’s agreement with Nalcor was made to compensate us for losing a portion of our fishing area. Now some of these guys that have never fished scallop or haven’t fished in years want to come in and take the money that was meant to compensate us and future scallop harvesters for years to come. If someone doesn’t fish for scallop, how can they say they’ve been affected by this closure?” said harvester Jarvis Walsh.

This matter is now before the court to determine whom should benefit from the compensation fund.

For media inquiries, please contact Courtney Pelley Glode at [email protected] or 709-743-4445.

 

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Statement from scallop harvester Gerald Genge:

Hello.  My name is Gerald Genge and I am a scallop fisherman from area 14 in the Strait of Belle Isle.  For the past 30 years, 95% of my livelihood has been from fishing scallops.

I would like to voice my opinion regarding the dispute been the FFAW and a group of scallop licence holders.  My understanding was that this money was to compensate scallop harvesters who is and will be affected by this closure.  Out of the approximately 70 license holders that have taken this to court, only about 6% are active scallop fishers and the other 94% have not fished scallops since 1997 or NOT at all.

This agreement between Nalcor and the FFAW was to compensate active fishermen going forward. Contrary to what is being portrayed in the media, this group of people are not representing the actual scallop harvesters.  

For the past two years I have not been compensated for my losses as a harvester because it has been tied up in court and not because of Nalcor or the fisherman’s Union.  

Anyone who wants a share of this compensation package, should have to put scallop gear on a boat and go fish scallops!

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