Tag Archives: FISH-NL

FISH-NL accuses FFAW of conflict of interest in accepting funds from offshore oil companies/industry regulator

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) questions the ability of the FFAW-Unifor to hold the offshore oil industry to account for its impact on the fishery when the industry has been funding the union for years. “The conflict of interest is blatant between the FFAW and oil companies — and the conflict even extends to the C-NLOPB, the industry regulator,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. >click to read<17:41

FISH-NL: Northern cod fall fishery a circus, breeding unrest and contempt between fishermen and fleets

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) calls FFAW/Unifor-orchestrated changes to this fall’s northern cod stewardship fishery a circus, and the most divisive to date.
“Make no mistake, the changes to the 2018 management plan came from the FFAW, and they’re breeding unrest and contempt between fishermen and fleets,” says Jason Sullivan, Captain of FISH-Nl’s under 40-foot fleet. The 2018 management plan for the northern cod stewardship fishery off eastern Newfoundland and Labrador (fishing zones 2J,3KL) set the quota at 9,500 tones, and gave inshore harvesters two options >click to read<13:07

The labour lie: FISH-NL reacts to Labour Board decision dismissing its application for certification

After 500-plus years of fishing history, the Newfoundland and Labrador government — through its Labour Relations Board — has finally defined an inshore fisherman. The definition doesn’t involve trips to sea nor fish landed. From the Board’s perspective, that’s irrelevant. The definition also doesn’t factor in whether a person lives in Newfoundland or Labrador, has a full-time job outside the fishery, or has ever stepped aboard a boat. To be considered a fisherman/woman in the eyes of the Board, the only criteria is that a person must have paid dues to the union — the FFAW-Unifor. >click to read<10:41

Moving Forward – FISH-NL Vows to keep fighting despite certification rejection

The president of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters says he’s not discouraged by the provincial labour relations board’s rejection of union certification for the group. FISH-NL applied for certification nearly two years ago, an application that was quashed Friday by the board, which said the group didn’t have “adequate support to warrant a vote.”President Ryan Cleary told CBC’s St. John’s Morning Show on Monday that the application’s dismissal doesn’t solve the problems that prompted him to start the group in the first place, such as the established Fish Food and Allied Workers Union representing both fishermen and fish plant workers, which he says is a conflict of interest. >click to read<08:56

UPDATED: Labour relations board dismisses FISH-NL certification application

The Labour Relations Board on Friday dismissed FISH-NL’s certification application. Federation of Independent Seafood Harvesters (FISH-NL) president Ryan Cleary said he’s “absolutely shocked” by the decision. In a news release, FFAW-Unifor wrote they are “pleased” with the decision by the board, which “confirmed FFAW-Unifor’s longstanding assertion that there are nearly 10,000 inshore fish harvesters in our province, which clearly shows that FISH-NL did not have adequate support to warrant a vote.” Both FISH-NL and FFAW-Unifor appear to agree on one point – that the process over the past couple of years has resulted in unrest within the inshore fishery. >click to read<08:08

FISH-NL Statement Regarding Labour Relations Board decision to dismiss its application for certification.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, Sept. 28th, 2018 The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is in the process or reviewing a decision by the province’s Labour Relations Board to dismiss its application for certification. “FISH-NL will have more to say on the decision — including whether an appeal will be filed — in the coming days,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “But if the FFAW-Unifor or or anyone else involved in the province’s fishing industry believes for one second this decision will bring an end to growing labour unrest within the inshore fishery, they’re living in la la labour land.” 16:37

FISH-NL calls on DFO to take direct control of scientific quota of redfish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

“The FFAW-Unifor should not be controlling science quotas,” says Boyd Lavers, an inshore harvester from Port Saunders on the Great Northern Peninsula, and Captain of FISH-NL’s over 40-foot fleet. “The only fair way to deal with this experimental quota is for it to be handled directly by DFO, so the FFAW doesn’t get a chance to show favouritism as to who fishes the quota, or to take a cut from the sale of the fish.”,,, Further, harvesters have been told by the union they will have to sell the redfish to a plant of the FFAW’s choosing, and pay the union half the money from the sale of the fish. >click to read<18:35

FISH-NL calls on DFO to halt FFAW fishery for northern cod, leave fish for fishermen

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on Fisheries and Oceans to immediately cancel this year’s northern cod quality project, and leave the fish for struggling inshore harvesters to catch. “Inshore harvesters are fit to be tied that while the northern cod stewardship fishery is temporarily closed to them, cod is still being landed through the FFAW-Unifor’s cod quality fishery — which will reduce the overall amount of quota available to harvesters,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The cod quality projects are seen by most inshore harvesters as yet another FFAW money-making scheme,” he added. “When it comes to quality and inshore harvesters getting the most money for their fish, the No. 1 action that can be taken is to grade the fish at the wharf — not the plant.”>click to read<12:49

FISH-NL calls on DFO to continue direct consultations with inshore harvesters

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans to once again hold direct consultations with inshore harvesters. “DFO is to be commended for holding outreach meetings last winter for the first time in a generation,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL, “but the precedent has been set, and the department must hold them every year to keep its finger on the pulse of inshore harvesters.” DFO held a series of 20 outreach meetings around the province in the fall/early winter of 2017/2018 to hear directly from harvesters. The consultations were called following years of complaints that the FFAW-Unifor is no longer the voice of harvesters, which, as it turned out, was the most common theme at the outreach meetings. >click to read<14:26

FISH-NL – Labour Relations Board agrees to consider arguments for proceeding with immediate vote

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is encouraged that the province’s Labour Relations Board has agreed to consider its arguments to proceed with an immediate vote for inshore harvesters to decide their union fate. “We are confident harvesters will get the vote they’ve been waiting almost 21 months for once the Board considers all evidence,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “A vote is the only way to determine the true wishes of inshore harvesters.” >click to read<12:52

More Waiting – Labour board to decide number of full-time inshore fish harvesters

After 500 years of fishing history you’d probably think it would be easy enough in Newfoundland and Labrador to determine who is and who is not a true, full-time fisherman. Yet, with so many people over the years dipping into the fishery for full-time, part-time or one-time earnings — and with often blurred lines as to who makes up part of a fishing crew — it’s not that straightforward. And that became apparent during a hearing held by the province’s Labour Relations Board Monday in St. John’s regarding an application by FISH-NL for certification to represent the province’s commercial inshore fishermen — fishermen who are currently represented by FFAW-Unifor. >click to read<08:31

Today: FISH-NL appears before labour board as it attempts to be a certified union

The Federation of Independent Seafood Harvesters (FISH-NL) is appearing before the provincial labour relations board Monday, in a hearing to determine who should qualify as an inshore harvester. It’s part of FISH-NL’s push to become a certified union for inshore fishers in Newfoundland and Labrador. FISH-NL’s hearing will be part of determining exactly who is considered an inshore harvester, as FISH-NL and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) are in a dispute about who qualifies. >click to read<10:09

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