Tag Archives: FFAW-Unifor

FISH-NL applauds Grand Bank for standing up to FFAW-Unifor

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) applauds Grand Bank Mayor Rex Matthews for calling out the FFAW-Unifor for being an “arm of the federal government.” “It’s nice to hear someone other than FISH-NL say the FFAW-Unifor is in Ottawa’s pocket,” said Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The FFAW-Unifor hasn’t said a word against Ottawa’s plan to expropriate a huge chunk of the Arctic surf clam quota — which fuels the Grand Bank plant — the same way the union didn’t open its mouth when the feds gave away a piece of the future redfish quota in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.” click here to read the press release 07:55

‘We were blindsided’: Grand Bank mayor anticipating job losses in wake of major arctic surf clam changesclick here to read the story 

Thousands fewer inshore harvesters than FFAW-Unifor claimed; FISH-NL receives union support from across Canada

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is pleased with the Labour Relations Board’s release of what officials describe as an “accurate and reliable” list of the province’s inshore harvesters. “It’s been almost 10 months since FISH-NL submitted our application for certification so a list of inshore harvesters from the board is a huge and welcome step forward,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. Obtained from various “sources,” the labour board’s list includes the names of 6,371 inshore harvesters — almost 4,000 fewer than the 10,200 active, dues-paying members that the FFAW-Unifor has claimed to represent. click here to read the press release 11:06

FFAW Statement Regarding FISH-NL and Labour Relations Boardclick here to read the statement

FISH-NL says inshore harvesters charged $1,000 by their own union for tuna tags, more than fish is worth 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is questioning why the FFAW-Unifor is charging inshore harvesters $1,000 for a bluefin tuna tag when fishermen can’t get much more than that from the sale of a fish. “This seems to be yet another FFAW-Unifor money grab,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The real question here is why the union is charging its members anything at all? The FFAW is supposed to be in the business of helping harvesters, not profiting from them.” click here to read the press release 16:49

FFAW-Unifor upset with DFO decision to draft inadequate northern shrimp plan

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) union is criticizing a decision to move forward with drafting a rebuilding plan for northern shrimp that it calls “unachievable.” According to a news release from the union, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) announced the decision at a meeting in Montreal today. While FFAW-Unifor supports the need for a rebuilding plan for northern shrimp, the union argues the current method is unrealistic and needs to be changed. click here to read the story 12:08

FFAW bloated with millions more in fees and government revenue than union dues

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) estimates the FFAW-Unifor will be fed by almost $5 million more this year from harvester fees and government sources than from membership dues, proving the union has lost its way.  “The FFAW-Unifor has mutated into a labour sea monster with tentacles in management, science, dockside monitoring, grading, professionalization, and safety,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “It’s often said that the FFAW doesn’t make money from fishermen, but through fishermen. The union executive grows fat with huge salaries and pensions while inshore harvesters are being starved out.” In 2017, FISH-NL estimates the FFAW-Unifor will collect $7.9 million in fees from inshore harvesters for services such as dockside monitoring and grading, as well as from various government contracts/grants. click here to read the story 08:11

FISH-NL accuses FFAW-Unifor of hypocrisy, preaching ‘fair access’ for inshore harvesters while squeezing them out 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) accuses the FFAW-Unifor of hypocrisy for preaching “fair access” to adjacent resources for inshore harvesters while, in practice, squeezing them out. “If the FFAW said the sun was splitting the rocks inshore harvesters would run for their oil clothes,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “When it comes to the deck of a fishing boat the union’s credibility is non-existent.” The FFAW-Unifor issued a news release earlier today (click here) announcing the formation of a new committee focused on securing “fair and reasonable” access for the inshore fleet to fish resources adjacent to the province’s shores. In particular, access to groundfish species such as greysole, turbot, redfish and American plaice, quotas for many of which are managed by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), which oversees fishing in international waters outside Canada’s 200-mile limit. click here to read the press release 13:27

FISH-NL releases correspondence in response to its call for immediate vote for inshore harvesters to decide their union fate 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) was forwarded correspondence today in response to its Aug. 15th letter asking the Labour Relations Board to proceed immediately with a vote of inshore harvesters to decide which union they want to represent them. The correspondence is from the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP), and the FFAW-Unifor. “FISH-NL believes in complete transparency,” said Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “In that light, both letters are attached.” click here to read the press release and letters 13:45

Labrador Fishermen’s Union Shrimp Company to process Northern Peninsula cod

On Sunday, Aug. 6, the Labrador Fishermen’s Union Shrimp Company Ltd. (LFUSC) reached a preliminary agreement with the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) union and St. Anthony Seafoods Inc. to purchase and process cod caught in NAFO Division 3K. The three groups met, with a number of fishermen attending, at the Hotel North in St. Anthony. Under the preliminary agreement, harvesters will unload the cod in Goose Cove and St. Lunaire-Griquet, and it will then be shipped by truck to St. Barbe. There, it will be transported across the Strait of Belle Isle by ferry, to be processed at the LFUSC plant in L’Anse au Loup. click here to read the story 14:29

St. Anthony harvesters told they can’t keep their crab

Frustrated crab fishermen gathered outside the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) office in St. Anthony early Wednesday morning. While the crab fishery officially ended on July 30, many harvesters left their final pots of the season in the water until now because of rough weather conditions. Late Tuesday evening, however, fishermen received calls that due to the delay in taking up their pots, any crab caught would have to be thrown back in the ocean. It was the cause of mass frustration that sent over 18 harvesters outside the DFO office the following morning.,,“They’re saying we got to throw away the crab, the crab that were starving for,” said Alyward. “Everybody out there got a couple thousand dollars of bait in those pots, and now we have to throw it all away. It’s pretty sick, that’s what I call that.” click here to read the story 09:10

‘Unreasonable delay,’ – FISH-NL urges Labour Board  to call immediate vote for fishermen to choose their union 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Aug. 1st, 2017 The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on the province’s Labour Relations Board to conduct an immediate vote of inshore harvesters to decide which union they want to represent them. “It’s been seven months since FISH-NL presented our application for certification to the board with no end in sight,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The delay is unreasonable, given that time is of the essence.” On Dec. 30th, 2016, FISH-NL presented an application to the province’s Labour Relations Board requesting the new union be certified as the bargaining agent for inshore fish harvesters, currently represented by the FFAW-Unifor.,,, While FISH-NL and the FFAW-Unifor supplied information to the Labour Relations Board in response to the order, Derek Butler President of ASP, refused. click here to read the press release 07:56

NL Fish Harvesters Welcome Minister’s Commitment to Protect the Independence of the Inshore Fishery

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (FFAW-Unifor) applauds Minister Dominic LeBlanc’s announcement that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans will pursue amendments to the Fisheries Act that will protect the independent owner-operator fishery. “The best way to build a strong middle class, create jobs and protect and strengthen the economy in coastal communities is through enforcing the owner-operator and fleet separation policies,” said Keith Sullivan, President of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor). “Today’s announcement is the result of consistent calls from FFAW-Unifor and other fisheries organizations across Canada to keep fishing licenses in the hands of those who actually fish by taking concrete steps to enforce existing policies.” click here to read the press release 08:12

FFAW-Unifor flip flops on support for Marine Protected Area off Newfoundland’s South coast after FISH-NL embarrasses union into it 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the FFAW-Unifor’s last-minute objections to proposed regulations governing a Marine Protected Area (MPA) off the province’s south coast — after initially supporting them — is an attempt to cover its gross incompetence. “The FFAW-Unifor only opened its mouth after FISH-NL embarrassed the union into it,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “FISH-NL says jump and the FFAW-Unifor asks how high. Only jumping’s not enough — the FFAW does not deserve to represent inshore harvesters.” On June 24, the federal government launched a 30-day consultation period over proposed regulations to govern the Laurentian Channel MPA, which, at more than 12,000 square kilometres, would be Canada’s largest — and the province’s third protected area. click here to read the press release 20:31

FISH-NL files opposition to MPA off Newfoundland’s south coast, calling it joke to scientists and insult to inshore harvesters

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has registered its official opposition to proposed regulations to govern a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Laurentian Channel off Newfoundland’s south coast. “The proposed Laurentian Channel MPA is an insult to inshore fish harvesters, and a cruel joke to scientists,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The fact that the proposal has  been signed off on by the FFAW-Unifor is yet another example of a union that no longer champions its members or the fishing industry, and has become a lackie of Ottawa and the oil and gas industry.” click here to read the press release 11:56

FISH-NL questions whether FFAW retaliating against inshore harvesters of the Great Northern Peninsula for taking union to court

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) questions whether the FFAW-Unifor has purposely chosen not to take a stand for inshore harvesters of the Great Northern Peninsula in retaliation for some of them taking the union to court. “The FFAW-Unifor’s silence on a redfish quota to the Qalipu First Nation when inshore harvesters are barely hanging on and desperate for fish is bizarre,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “One explanation is that the union is retaliating against harvesters who took a stand against it.” During a news conference on Newfoundland’s west coast earlier this week, it was announced that the Barry Group, headed by west coast businessman Bill Barry, has formed a partnership with the Qalipu First Nation, and are in talks with Ottawa for a redfish quota in the Gulf. click here to read the press release 15:04

Letter: Fish union failing members on crucial issues

I wish to respond to Lana Payne’s June 24th column (“Austerity should be on trial”). I have no problem with the opinion piece — austerity, no doubt, had a hand in the recent tragic high-rise fire in London, England. But while austerity should be on trial in Europe, FFAW-Unifor was actually before the courts right here in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Payne, Unifor’s Atlantic director, ignored the elephant on the wharf — as has the province’s Federation of Labour and every other union leader in the province, and country. It’s unprecedented for a Canadian union to have deceived its members, which is exactly what happened with scallop harvesters in the Strait of Belle Isle. click here to read the letter 19:48

Letter: Give inshore fish harvesters a free vote – Peter Leonard, Southern Harbour 

On Jan. 31st, at a Labour Relations Board hearing in St. John’s, we saw — yet again — FFAW-Unifor fighting its own members who are openly seeking alternate representation for inshore fish harvesters. With what seems like unlimited financial and legal resources, FFAW-Unifor is trying to string along the process in the hopes of defeating our efforts, while FISH-NL supporters have worked tirelessly raising funds to support our initiatives.  As inshore fish harvesters, we are not trying to break up FFAW-Unifor or the other sectors it represents. Inshore harvesters want to break away because we feel that the FFAW cannot and has not been able to properly represent us due to conflicts of interest with the other sectors it represents. How can we expect solid representation when the same union represents plant workers and offshore trawlermen and is receiving funding from both levels of government? How does a union fight for better fish prices for harvesters at the same time that it fights for better wages for plant workers, while in the same breath fighting both levels of government that it’s being funded by? Read the letter here 09:39

FFAW-Unifor Statement on FISH-NL Application to Labour Board

Today the exact number of cards submitted by FISH-NL in an application to the Labour Relations Board was made public. As FFAW-Unifor anticipated, Cleary did not obtain nearly enough of the support required to represent the bargaining unit “Ryan Cleary and his group have taken advantage of a time of transition in our fishery and are preying on harvesters who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of that transition by making promises without any plan to back them up,” said Keith Sullivan, President of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union. “The numbers are now public and it is clear FISH-NL does not have adequate support.” Read the Press Release here 13:44

Fish Harvester Tonia Grandy believes it’s time for change in representation.

Many of the problems in the province’s fishery can be traced back to the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) union, the Garnish fish harvester surmises. She hopes that change will come in the form of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL). The Ryan Cleary-led group currently leading a charge to breakaway from FFAW-Unifor and form a new union that solely represents fish harvesters in the province has her full support, she said. FFAW-Unifor represents fish harvesters and fish plant workers. “This is a union for the fishermen, by the fishermen,” she said of FISH-NL. “This is something I believes in, and I’ve got my time and effort put into this a hundred per cent – a hundred per cent. We needs someone who is going to stand up and who is going to get the fishermen their fair share of quota.” Read the story here 14:49

Scallop fishermen protest at Clearwater plant in Grand Bank for Access to Traditional Grounds

scallopers protest clearwaterWayne Meade, one of the organizers of the protest, said fishermen in the area are fed up and want answers from their union – Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) – and the federal government about access to nearby fishing grounds. The harvesters believe they should be able to once again fish the southern and middle scallop beds on St. Pierre Bank, Meade said. “We had a licence to fish anywhere on St. Pierre Bank for 25, 30 year. Overnight that was took from us in 2006 and give to Clearwater and the offshore boats – the companies,” Meade said. Meade said inshore fishermen were then limited to the northwest part of the bank, which had already been largely raked clean by factory trawlers. Read the rest here 07:18

FFAW-Unifor wants all of Area 6 shrimp quota for inshore fleet

ffaw lifo quotaUnion, members say boats, fish plants, whole communities to die out if no change made to policy The FFAW-Unifor held a press conference in St. John’s this morning, trying to maintain public attention on the plight faced by the people and communities with a stake in the northern shrimp fishery. Fear amongst harvesters, plant workers, plant owners, truckers, other rural service providers is reaching fever pitch, following word to the northern shrimp advisory committee of a significant drop in shrimp stocks in fishing area six (A6) —  As a result of the existing Fisheries policy of Last In First Out (LIFO), the bulk of expected quota cuts (some 90 per cent) will go to the inshore fleet and local plants. Read the rest here 15:40

Fishermen in court – Scallop license holders say they’ll get nothing from area closure and union deal

Fishermen holding scallop licences for the Strait of Belle Isle were expecting to get paid when a compensation deal was negotiated by their union with Nalcor Energy, all tied to the Lower Churchill Project. The fishermen were not paid, and have now taken their union to court. The 71 fish harvesters involved in the case green lit negotiations, allowing the FFAW-Unifor to seek something in return for a planned permanent closure of part of their fishing grounds (a roughly 1.5-kilometre stretch of Area 14A) for the Labrador-Island Link. Read the article here 19:33

MEDIA ADVISORY: UNITED FOR COASTAL COMMUNITIES – Standing up for adjacency

FFAW-Unifor is hosting a rally at Hotel Gander on Wednesday, March 4 at 10:30 am to bring awareness to the significant impacts unfair cuts to the inshore shrimp quota are having on coastal Newfoundland and Labrador. These cuts are not just affecting shrimp harvesters and plant workers, they are also having serious consequences on the economic sustainability of entire communities. Read the rest here 08:35

Our Jobs, Our Resources: Unfair Sharing of Northern Shrimp

SHRIMP-master675The future of our coastal communities is at risk. Thousands of jobs are in jeopardy due to unfair sharing of the northern shrimp resource. The federal government has deliberately chosen to ignore the longstanding principle of adjacency to the benefit of the corporate-owned offshore fleet, to the detriment of our coastal communities. Our northern shrimp resources are being taken out of our waters with no benefit to our province’s economy. Read the rest here 10:10

Fishermen’s union speaks out against proposed piloting change in Placentia Bay

FFAW-Unifor suggested the proposal to add an additional pilotage station in Placentia Bay appears to be driven by industrial operators in an effort to save time and money, at the risk of the fishing industry and the marine environment in Placentia Bay. Read the rest here 22:02

DFO says halibut sharing arrangement in place since 1990s

fisheries_and_oceansThe department was responding to a story (posted yesterday) on The Telegram website Monday in which , the union representing most fishermen in Newfoundland and Labrador, claimed fishermen on the south coast of Newfoundland have been put out of business midseason because of unfair quota allocations by DFO in the halibut fishery. Read more here 11:44

Demonstrations – It’s time for the skullduggery to end. Fight back against attack on inshore shrimp sector

DFFAW-Unifor will be holding demonstrations on Wednesday to protest DFO’s management of the northern shrimp fishery. Join us at one of the following locations at 7:15 a.m. Wednesday (tomorrow): St. John’s: DFO Regional Headquarters, 40 E White Hills, Grand Falls-Windsor: DFO Regional Office 4A Bayley street, Corner Brook: DFO Regional Office 1 Regent Square Read more here  16:13