Tag Archives: FISH-NL

FISH-NL asks federal Auditor General to investigate sentinel cod fisheries

“Money from the sale of cod caught in the sentinel or test fisheries goes in the pockets of the FFAW-Unifor even though the program is supposedly fully financed directly by Fisheries and Oceans,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. In a letter Thursday to Auditor General Michael Ferguson, Cleary said there doesn’t appear to be any formal audit or reporting process in place to calculate the amount of money raised by the sale of cod caught through the sentinel program, or to determine how the money is spent. Further, even though money from the sale of cod is used to subsidize the sentinel fisheries, the program falls outside Section 10 of the federal Fisheries Act, which seems to be a clear violation of the legislation. >click to read<12:45

Access to justice denied; Labour Board refuses FISH-NL request to live-stream upcoming hearing

“While we’re urging inshore harvesters to attend the hearing in person, the reality is most will not be able to make it,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “For them, access to justice will be denied as a result of this decision.” Almost 20 months after FISH-NL submitted an application for certification to represent the province’s inshore harvesters — breaking them away from the FFAW-Unifor — and the Labour Relations Board has scheduled an Aug. 20th hearing. Earlier this month, David Goodland, FISH-NL’s lawyer, wrote the Labour Relations Board for permission to live-stream the hearing, and share the recording on FISH-NL’s Facebook page. “The request is made in order to ensure all parties affected by the outcome of the hearing have access to justice and in particular have reasonable access to this hearing,” Goodland wrote, adding if the request isn’t granted the “vast majority” of harvesters won’t be able to observe the hearing. >click to read<14:17

FISH-NL accuses NL NDP leader of applying double standards in labour relations

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) accuses provincial NDP leader Gerry Rogers of applying double standards in supporting locked out workers in Gander while turning her back on the province’s inshore fish harvesters. “While Gerry Rogers rallied today with workers at Gander’s D-J Composites, who’ve been locked out for 597 days, she’s turned her back on upwards of 3,000 inshore harvesters who’ve been waiting 583 days for the Labour Relations Board to grant them a vote to choose their union,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. >click to read<11:15

Hearing for FISH-NL Set for August

The president of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union says FISH-NL does not have the support to move ahead with its application to represent fish harvesters in the province. FISH-NL, led by Ryan Cleary, is looking for a ratification vote to represent inshore harvesters. FISH NL’s Ryan Cleary says the hearing will either lead to a vote or it won’t, but first he’s hoping all harvesters and their families will attend the presentations. The meeting is happening at the School for the Deaf on Topsail Road in St. John’s. Cleary says it’s finally happening 20 months after they submitted the application. >click to read<11:39

Mark the Date: August 20th, Labour Relations Board Hearing – FISH-NL hires province’s top labour lawyer

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) wishes to inform inshore harvesters and the public at large that Aug. 20th has been set as the date for a hearing before the province’s Labour Relations Board. As well, St. John’s lawyer David Goodland — one of the top labour lawyers in the province with a proven track record of holding the FFAW-Unifor to account — has been hired to represent FISH-NL. “Harvesters have needed the patience of a tonne of saints in waiting for the Labour Relations Board to deal with FISH-NL’s application for certification, but after 19 months we’re getting there,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “We’ll get the vote yet.” >click to read<17:21

FISH-NL demands Ottawa explain itself in light of massive cuts to caplin quotas

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is demanding Ottawa explain itself in light of huge cuts to caplin quotas in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and off eastern and southern Newfoundland and Labrador. “This is a banner year for caplin in the Gulf with the federal government’s own scientists reporting an abundance of fish not seen in years, and yet the quota has been cut by 35 per cent,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “How does that make sense? It doesn’t.” “At the same time, scientists said in March that the caplin stock off eastern Newfoundland and Labrador was down 70 per cent, but the relatively small commercial fishery isn’t having an impact,” he added. >click to read<11:57

Canadian Confederation of Unions contributes $10,000 to FISH-NL’s legal fund

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has been pledged a $10,000 contribution from the Canadian Confederation of Unions (CCU), the only association of independent, democratic unions in the country. “We consider the inshore harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador our brothers and sisters in their struggle,” says Kelly Johnson, President of the CCU, which represents 20,000 public- and private-sector workers across Canada. “We value independence, and the freedom of workers to make their own choice.” >click to read<15:26

FISH-NL calls on Ottawa to release 2018 caplin management plan for the Gulf; roll over last year’s quota

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on the Government of Canada to release the 2018 caplin management plan for the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and recommends a roll over of last year’s quota. “How the hell can we survive when it’s the middle of caplin season with no management plan and no quota?” says Boyd Lavers, FISH-NL’s Captain of the over 40-foot fleet, and an inshore harvester from Port Saunders on the Great Northern Peninsula. “The minister of Fisheries and Oceans is either punishing us or he’s trying to bankrupt us.” >click to read<10:47

La Scie fisherman Terry Ryan donates $10,000 to FISH-NL’s Go Fund Me campaign; challenges other harvesters to step up to the plate

Well-known fisherman Terry Ryan of La Scie is contributing $10,000 to FISH-NL’s Go Fund Me Campaign to raise enough money to force a vote for inshore harvesters to decide their union fate. “It’s time we had a vote,” said Ryan. “I’m giving this $10,000 out of my own pocket to motivate other people to contribute as well. Fishermen and fisherwomen deserve the right to choose, and the fishery has never been in more need of a debate than right now over where the industry is headed.” >click to read<12:39

FISH-NL Calls For Resignation of Dominic LeBlanc, Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling for Dominic LeBlanc’s resignation in light of his failure to address the current fisheries crisis. “Twenty six years after the northern cod moratorium, and the federal minister of Fisheries and Oceans still isn’t prepared to lead and do what needs to be done,” said Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “It’s time for LeBlanc to get out of the way, or for the Prime Minster to replace him.” ,,, LeBlanc has made a number of decisions as minister that have hurt this province, >click to read<11:56

Latest joke in labour circus; FFAW’s top executives acclaimed after thousands blocked from union election: FISH-NL

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) calls the final slate of candidates for the FFAW-Unifor executive the latest joke in an ongoing labour circus. “How Keith Sullivan or Dave Decker can look the membership in the face is beyond me,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “But then how any labour leader in this province can stand by as the democratic rights of inshore harvesters are stripped from them is another mystery.” Nominations for the FFAW-Unifor’s 16-member executive board closed May 28th, and the union announced Monday that the top two union positions — president (Sullivan), and secretary-treasurer (Decker) — were uncontested. >click to read<09:29

One step closer to a vote: Labour Relations Board orders hearing into FISH-NL’s application for certification

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) welcomes a decision by the province’s Labour Relations Board to order a hearing into its application for certification. “We’re one step closer to a vote,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “But we need all hands to contribute to our Go Fund Me campaign to build the legal fund that’s critical to pushing this over the top.” Glenn Branton, CEO of the Labour Relations Board, wrote a notification earlier today to all parties involved in FISH-NL’s application. “The issue to be decided at the hearing will be which fishers should be included in the unit for the purpose of the Board deciding whether a certification vote should be held,” he wrote. >click to read<15:29

Ryan Cleary: What makes an inshore fish harvester?

I write this letter to inform your readers why it’s important to define an inshore fish harvester for purposes of a vote by the Labour Relations Board to ultimately decide which union should represent them. Here are three, real-life examples: 1) Two men who hold commercial fishing licenses are on the provincial government’s “sunshine list” as having made more than $100,000 in base salary/overtime in 2016 (one alone made more than $130,000), should they also be eligible to vote? 2) A teenager worked aboard his grandfather’s boat a couple of summer’s ago to help him out, and had a fish sale put in his name, with dues automatically remitted to the FFAW/Unifor. Should he be given a vote? 3) A man works aboard a fishing boat for a trip or two a couple of summers ago, never to set foot on a boat again. Should he be entitled to a ballot? >click to read<10:41 

FISH-NL Launches fundraiser to help fund the conclusion of the breakaway union’s drive for certification

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has launched a second Go Fund Me Campaign to raise $75,000 to help fund the conclusion of the breakaway union’s drive for certification. “We’re almost there,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “It’s been16 long, hard months since FISH-NL submitted our application for certification and the Labour Relations Board is closer than ever to calling a vote for inshore harvesters to decide their union fate. We need this help to push us over the top.” It’s not just inshore harvesters who are urged to contribute to the cause, but people everywhere who are concerned with labour rights. >click to read< >click for fundraiser page<13:19

FISH-NL calling on labour board to shed thousands from FFAW list

The Federation of Independent Seafood Harvesters (FISH-NL) is arguing that the ranks of inshore harvesters in the province’s fisheries union is swollen to nearly twice its actual size by individuals with no serious connection to the industry. As a result, it wants the labour relations board to strip thousands of card-carrying members of their right to vote in any certification process. “Everybody who pays dues is not a harvester,” FISH-NL president Ryan Cleary told reporters.,,, “We just want bona fide, full-time boots on the deck harvesters to participate in a vote,” >click to read<20:31

FFAW-Unifor bans thousands of members from running for executive positions in communist-like move: FISH-NL

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) accuses the FFAW-Unifor executive of manipulating the union Constitution to project their own jobs, and punish the inshore harvesters who took a stand against them. “The upwards of 3,000 harvesters who support FISH-NL have been banned from running for executive FFAW positions — including president, and vice-president,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “So much for democracy — the labour situation in the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery is as bad as any communist regime ever was, and yet another reason why the Labour Relations Board must proceed with a vote.” >click to read<13:53

FISH-NL reiterates call for province to allow in outside buyers in light of shrimp fiasco on Northern Peninsula

“Inshore harvesters are blocked from earning the best possible price for their shrimp by a pricing system that doesn’t work for them,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The situation is a mess, with harvesters warning of ‘war on the water,’ and it’s time for the province to get off its arse.” Inshore harvesters on the Great Northern Peninsula are reporting catch rates of shrimp in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to be “as good as they’ve been in their lifetimes,” but an unfair price is keeping 8-10 boats in communities like Port aux Choix and Port Saunders tied to the wharf. >click to read<10:47

FISH-NL calls on FFAW-Unifor to appeal 2018 crab price; questions why union isn’t fighting for inshore harvesters

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on the FFAW-Unifor to appeal the price of snow crab set in early April by the Standing Fish Price Setting Panel. “Why isn’t the FFAW-Unifor fighting for inshore crab harvesters?” questions Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The $4.55 a pound price set for snow crab in this province is well below the $5 a pound offered in the Maritimes, and the $8 a pound wholesale price that Japanese buyers were reportedly lining up to pay earlier this month.”>click to read<12:33

FISH-NL calls on Labour Board to conduct vote – FFAW-Unifor’s membership numbers ‘misleading’

Almost 16 months after FISH-NL presented an application for certification, the preliminary report of an investigator with the Labour Relations Board was released last week, with final submissions on Wednesday. The investigator’s report is now in the hands of the Board, which will ultimately decide how to proceed. FISH-NL has estimated the number of inshore harvesters in the province at around 4,500, while the FFAW-Unifor pegs the number at as high as 10,000. The difference is in definition. >click to read<15:50

Throw out FISH-NL application, FFAW says after labour board ruling

The results of an investigation by the Labour Relations Board is proof that FISH-NL has insufficient support to trigger a ratification vote and its application to represent inshore fish harvesters should be dismissed, says Fish Food and Allied Workers union president Keith Sullivan. FISH-NL president Ryan Cleary, however, says the latest development is just more “smoke and mirrors” by the FFAW.  Sullivan issued a news release Friday saying an investigation by the provincial government board has confirmed that membership numbers presented by the FFAW are accurate. >click to read<12:14

FISH-NL: Paper names and paper numbers; FFAW-Unifor’s dues-paying list more smoke and mirrors

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the FFAW-Unifor is playing its usual smoke and mirrors with regards to a report released this afternoon by the province’s Labour Relations Board. The report — prepared by the Board’s investigator into FISH-NL’s Dec. 30, 2016 application for certification — includes information on the number of people who paid FFAW-Unifor union dues in 2015 and 2016. >click to read<09:21

FISH-NL calls for IMMEDIATE ACTION on northern cod, including moratorium on seismic; harvest of more seals

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) recommends Ottawa follow scientific advice on northern cod and restrict removals from all sources to the lowest possible level until the stock clears the critical zone. FISH-NL also calls for an immediate freeze to all scheduled offshore seismic activity off the province’s east coast, support for the taking of the entire seal quota, the introduction of tags in the food fishery, and the ordering of an independent review of “epic” federal fisheries mismanagement in the Newfoundland and Labrador region. >click to read<21:22

Broken down coast guard ship delays spring science survey; DFO’s mismanagement borders on criminal negligence

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the delay of the 2018 multi-species survey in waters off the province because of a broken down science vessel is yet another example of Ottawa’s ongoing gross mismanagement of the fisheries. “Most commercial stocks off our province are in free fall, and the Government of Canada still can’t get the baseline science right,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. >click to read<12:53

‘This Is It For Us’ – Harvesters Gather At Confederation Building

“A lot of people are going to be hurting” that’s the assessment of at least one crab harvester as those involved in the fishery gathered at Confederation Building today to protest the price set for snow crab this year. The event was organized by FISH-NL.  The price set by the Fish Price Setting Panel is $4.55 cents a pound. That’s below the recommendation made by the FFAW. The price set for harvesters in the Maritimes is more than $5.00 a pound. Harvesters are concerned that with declining stocks they won’t be able to make a go of it. Watch video. >click to read<23:08

Newfoundland fish harvesters fed up with ‘bad news’ – >click to read<

FISH-NL schedules Friday protest at Confederation Building in St. John’s

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has scheduled a demonstration for 1 p.m. Friday, April 6, on the front steps of Confederation Building in St. John’s. The event is being organized to protest the desperate state of the commercial fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador, including gross government and industry mismanagement, and the absence of labour rights in the fishery. Ryan Cleary-President of FISH-NL 18:34

FISH-NL reiterates call for province to allow in outside buyers after panel sets 2018 snow crab price at far less than the mainland

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the decision of the Fish Price Setting Panel to set the 2018 price for snow crab at $4.55 a pound — well below the price paid to crab harvesters in the Maritimes — supports the call to open the provincial market to outside buyers. “When you learn the price of crab in Newfoundland and Labrador has been set at $4.55 a pound on the same day that a crab fisherman in Louisbourg, Nova Scotia is paid $6 a pound it’s very disheartening,” says Jason Sullivan, Captain of FISH-NL’s under 40-foot fleet. >click to read<18:24

THE LAST FISH SUPPER

Northern cod is in trouble again, and fingers of blame point in many directions, but the bull’s-eye is on the FFAW-Unifor’s head. It was the union (secretary-treasurer Dave Decker specifically), along with west coast businessman/Fish Lord Bill Barry, that came up with the idea of/created the NL Groundfish Industry Development Council (GIDC). It was the GIDC that devised the 2016/2017 northern cod management plans, with ZERO input from inshore harvesters and the financial blessing of the federal/provincial governments, who gave $20,000 each to cover start-up costs.>click to read<15:44 

Northern cod stock declined over last year; scientists urge minimum fishing effort

Those in the province’s fishing industry hoping the northern cod would be ready for a commercial fishery in a few years’ time — a saviour to an industry suffering repeated blows from declining crab and shrimp stocks — better hold on to their hooks and nets. Northern cod this year are in the same leaky boat, having declined significantly over the past year. And that has come as a surprise to many because the northern cod stocks off the province’s east and northeast coast showed promising growth since 2012 — the first real glint of light since the dark and uncertain days of the northern cod stock collapse of the late 1980s and early 1990s. >click to read<10:10

FISH-NL calls for independent investigation of ‘epic’ mismanagement of northern cod stock, relationship between DFO and FFAW

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says a dramatic decline in northern cod below 1992’s moratorium level reflects “epic” mismanagement that isn’t characteristic of the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans with other fisheries across Canada. In that context, FISH-NL recommends Ottawa initiate an immediate, independent investigation of DFO management in the Newfoundland and Labrador region, and, more specifically, the department’s relationship with the FFAW-Unifor. >click to read<12:47

FFAW-Unifor files Supreme Court application in ‘desperate’ attempt to block vote on union representation: FISH-NL

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) describes the latest legal maneuvers by the FFAW-Unifor to try and derail a vote by inshore harvesters on their union representation as an “act of desperation.” “The FFAW-Unifor executive knows they’ll lose a vote, and are desperate to cling to power,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “They’re using the courts and legal costs to try and quash the FISH-NL movement, but we’re past the point of no return — a vote must happen before inshore harvesters and the fishery can move forward.”>click to read< 13:42