Tag Archives: Keith Sullivan

Fisheries union presents giant novelty cheque for $1 billion to C-NLOPB

Days before a C-NLOPB call for bids closes, Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest fisheries union made what president Keith Sullivan called a “last-ditch effort” to stop the process.  Sullivan, who leads the Fish Food and Allied Workers, presented an oversized cheque for $1 billion Monday morning at the headquarters of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, made out to the board.  >click to read< 13:38

FFAW publicity stunt – The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) calls the FFAW-Unifor’s submission of a land bid this morning to protect crab grounds a publicity stunt to deflect attention from the final days of FISH-NL’s membership drive. >click to read<

Police called as FISH-NL execs crash FFAW meeting in Baie Verte – Cleary and Leonard physically forced out

The president of an upstart fisheries union says he didn’t barge in on an meeting in search of a confrontation with the union that represents the province’s in-shore harvesters, but a confrontation is what he got.,,, What ensued was momentary, aggressive chaos, as Cleary shouted “I tell the truth” and “we want a debate,” amid other people yelling and swearing, before meeting attendees physically forced him and Leonard from the room. The RCMP were also called to the incident. >click to read<  16:37

“we’ll go out with our vessels and we’ll get in the way”, FFAW vows to stop oil and gas exploration in crab fishing area

Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest fishermen’s union says oil companies shouldn’t be able to explore in some of the province’s most productive crab fishing areas — and members will stop them if necessary. Last week the C-NLOPB issued a call for nominations, asking oil companies which areas they’d be interested in bidding on. “We are not going to stand by and let someone take our livelihood,” said Fish Food and Allied Workers executive board member Nelson Bussey, who has fished for 43 years, on Thursday. “We’ve put too much into this. It’s our life, it’s our industry and we’re not going to stand by. If we’ve got to do it, we’ll go out with our vessels and we’ll get in the way.” >click to read<  20:36

Following seal predation report, FFAW calls for government action

FFAW-Unifor accuses the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of remaining “complacent while evidence mounts that an overpopulation of seals is having a serious impact on important fish species.” A study conducted by DFO shows that a lack of cod recovery in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence may be caused by predation by grey seals, and could account for up to 50 per cent of natural cod mortality. This is limiting the cod stock’s recovery, DFO said. An assessment predicts a 32 per cent drop in cod numbers over the next four years. >click to read<  10:03

LETTER: Fish harvesters, plantworkers are stronger together

This letter is a response to Ryan Cleary’s letter “Single union can’t represent all sides of fishery” >click here<. Uniting workers in the fishing industry through a single union has delivered significant benefits to both fish harvesters and plant workers in the 50-year history of FFAW-Unifor and its predecessor unions. The only groups who do not support strong unions are the fishing companies we negotiate with, and Ryan Cleary and his group FISH-NL. by Keith Sullivan >click to read< 13:01

Crab pricing commentary a ‘confused and conspiratorial mess’

This letter is in response to that of Derek Butler, published on June 13 (“GUEST COLUMN: FFAW wants things their way on pricing, not ‘transparency.’”) The issue he attempts to address is very important, however, his argument is a confused and conspiratorial mess and delivered in a tone that would make any merchant smile in his grave. It is telling that Butler felt the need to mention the circumstances surrounding how fish harvester collective bargaining rights were enshrined in legislation. The Fishing Industry Collective Bargaining Act exists to protect the collective bargaining rights of harvesters,,, By Keith Sullivan >Click to read<11:22

Harvesters Call for Better Consultation as Grieg Aquaculture Plans Expansion to Additional Sites

Fish harvesters are concerned about plans by Grieg Aquaculture to establish three additional sites east of Marasheen Island in Placentia Bay. The FFAW-Unifor is calling on the provincial government not to move forward with any project approval until they have pursued a proper consultation process with harvesters as the project may put their livelihoods at risk.  Placentia Bay is a high-traffic area with the highest concentration of small fishing vessels during peak fishing times. Union president Keith Sullivan says previous consultations on the overall project have been insufficient, and information on site locations has been inconsistent. >click to read<12:30

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

FFAW seeking clarification on EI extension for fishery – Fish harvester wants answers

President Keith Sullivan says his impression was that all fishery workers would be covered by the extension that was announced earlier this week, but now he’s hearing concern that plant workers are covered but fish harvesters are not. Alfred Fitzpatrick is an inshore fisherman out of Garnish on the Burin Peninsula. He says that the extra five weeks of EI would greatly benefit fish harvesters. He questioned an FFAW decision to issue a press release about the EI victory when doubts still remain about whether harvesters will qualify as well. “There’s a good news story for some of the membership but not all. And some of the most vulnerable are being left behind again. I don’t like it,” said Fitzpatrick, who sits on the FFAW’s inshore council. >click to read<21:31

Hope fading for recovery of northern cod off Newfoundland: ‘This stock isn’t growing’

Hopes have been dashed for a recovery of the once mighty northern cod stock off Newfoundland, a leading conservation group says. Three years after scientists confirmed there were signs of a comeback and catch limits were increased, the federal government decided this week to reduce the limit. Ottawa cited a spring stock assessment that found the cod population had declined 30 per cent after seven years of rebuilding. >click to read<09:55

Disappointed by cut to cod quota, FFAW president says stocks can handle larger harvest

The president of Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest fishermen’s union says the province’s cod stocks can handle a greater harvest and didn’t need to see this year’s commercial quota cut. Keith Sullivan of the Fish, Food & Allied Workers’ Union told CBC Radio’s The Broadcast that the 25 per cent cut to this year’s quota will hurt Newfoundland and Labrador communities that are heavily reliant on the fishery. “It doesn’t really take into consideration the livelihoods what people depend on the fishery, whether you’re a fish harvester or you work in a plant or the entire economy of coastal communities,” said Sullivan. >click to read<20:13

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

No mutiny: FFAW bans all FISH-NL supporters from running in its elections

All fish harvesters and processors who tried to split from Newfoundland and Labrador’s only fisheries union are now banned from running for executive positions. The Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) has altered its constitution to require anyone running in this summer’s election to sign an affidavit stating they have never signed a card with another organization. “If there’s people out there who are looking to tear down the organization, those people certainly cannot run for office,” Sullivan said.>click to read<10:00

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

‘Protected’ marine area open to oil, gas exploration

Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil and gas regulator is taking bids for exploration off the island’s east coast, in an area the federal government recently listed as a marine-protected area. While the area is closed to fishing, it remains open to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) — and that’s not sitting well with the president of the fisheries union. “We cannot ask fish harvesters to accept the closure of an area to fishing activity in the name of conservation while continuing to allow oil and gas exploration in that same area,” said Fish, Food and Allied Workers president Keith Sullivan in a news release.>click to read<13:39

Northern cod an icon for fisheries mismanagement

I wish to respond to the March 31 letter to the editor (“Northern cod numbers no reason to panic: FFAW”) by Keith Sullivan, President of the FFAW-Unifor. Sullivan is correct — the latest scientific information on the health of the Northern Cod stock isn’t reason to “panic.” Indeed, the news from DFO science of a 30 per cent decline in the iconic resource that was already deep in the “critical” zone is reason for inshore harvesters to riot in the streets, or, at the very least, burn the few union cards left. The news is also reason to demand an independent investigation of the management practices of the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in the Newfoundland and Labrador region. >click to read<10:13

Northern cod numbers no reason to panic: FFAW

Last week’s news on Northern Cod wasn’t what anyone was hoping for, but it’s no cause for panic. There will be fluctuations in biomass from year to year in any stock that’s rebuilding. These same cod stocks had declines from 2009 to 2011, but the overall stock still increased 12-fold in the last 15 years, from an estimated 25,000 metric tonnes to 315,000 metric tonnes. This year’s decrease was not a result of the very small stewardship fishery; natural mortality has been driving the trajectory of this stock since the moratorium. The harvest limits approved,,, >click to read< 19:35

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

Key northern shrimp stock off N.L. down again

Details of the latest northern shrimp stock assessment were released Friday with key Shrimp Fishing Area (SFA) 6 off the province’s northeast coast looking pretty grim. Fishable biomass is down 16 per cent and spawning stock biomass is down 19 per cent in SFA 6, thus leaving shrimp in that area in the critical zone of the precautionary approach framework employed by Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) science. That will likely translate into another drop in the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the area,,, >click to read< 16:34

FFAW, FISH-NL at odds over what Fisheries Act amendments will mean for N.L.’s inshore fishery

The federal Liberal Government said Tuesday it is restoring protections for the fishing industry that were taken away by the former Conservative government in 2012. And, in making the announcement, Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc said there is more good news for the country’s fishing industry. The minister announced $284.2 million to support the restoration of protections to fish and fish habitats and to incorporate new modern safeguards in the industry. >click to read< 09:32

Letter: Fishery corporations kick messaging into high gear

As is evidenced from two recent articles in The Telegram (the letter, Jan. 23 “We need to enhance Atlantic Canada’s fisheries” and the Jan. 26 editorial “Fisheries madness”), the corporate-owned processing and offshore sector is in full fear-mongering and misrepresentation mode. Faced with a minister of Fisheries and Oceans who is willing to speak the truth about the challenges to the inshore fishery, the corporations that have aggressively endeavoured to shape the economics of this fishery for the past 20 years are now being told to play by the rules and they are enraged at the prospect.>click to read< 08:51

Fishermen’s union wants draggers out of vulnerable south coast cod fishery

The union representing the province’s fish harvesters is calling for the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to close the south coast cod fishery to offshore vessels. Keith Sullivan, president of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union, said the cod stock in the 3PS fishing area along Newfoundland’s south coast is too fragile to handle the pressure.,,, On Friday, DFO issued a notice that the fishery was closing to inshore fishermen on Nov. 15. Another notice announced the fishery was opening Nov. 11 to offshore vessels. The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador is also against the decision to allow offshore fishing in the 3PS zone. click here to read the story 13:23

A day late, $30,000 short: Union blames insurer for denying death benefit to fisherman’s family

Keith Sullivan wants to make one thing clear — it was never his union’s decision to prevent a dead fisherman’s family from receiving benefits. Denying Calvin Tobin’s death benefit was a decision made by the union’s insurance provider, says the president of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union.,, Tobin, 25, died after a car accident near his hometown of Southern Harbour on Aug. 1. His insurance coverage was terminated the same day, when he failed to pay his union fees by the 11:59 p.m. deadline on July 31.,, At the time of his death, Tobin owed $180 in fees from 2016, Carol Ann Brewer said. But she can’t figure out why the money owed wasn’t taken out of his first paycheque of the current fishing season. click here to read the story 08:45

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

Censored! No Media Allowed: FFAW Union Boss to meet with protesters but not interested in ‘spectacle’

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) will meet with fish harvesters who protested outside the union building on Monday, but says media will not be allowed. “To have [media] in the meeting, and to really make something a spectacle is not really what we’re interested in,” Keith Sullivan, president of the FFAW, told CBC Radio’s St. John’s Morning Show. “Obviously [we’re] happy to meet with members, but to have a spectacle and something that’s only going to further embarrass our industry … we have no interest in doing that.”Protesters first rallied outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada building where Richard Gillett — vice-president of the Federation of Independent Seafood Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) — held his 11-day hunger strike and headed to the offices of the FFAW on Monday.  They demanded a meeting with the union, and that media be present during that meeting. click here to read the story 14:36

A protest that had the makings of turning ugly on Monday in St. John’s ended with handshakes between the fishermen fighting for their livelihoods and the police force charged with keeping public order and safety. Still, the fishermen drove away — back to home communities and boats scattered around the island — disappointed with not getting answers to a net load of questions. Fisherman Brent Adams from Marystown said the meeting should take place in the union building. “This is our building. We paid for this building. Why not meet here?” he said. “They (FFAW executive) should all resign.” click here to read the story and watch the video. 15:29

Cod an option in face of looming shrimp cuts, says FFAW

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers union says expansion into commercial cod fishing is a possibility for harvesters, as another cut to overall shrimp quotas looms for next season. Following revelations by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans this week that the shrimp stock in the crucial Zone 6 area off of Newfoundland has fallen again, FFAW president Keith Sullivan says it looks like another quota cut is coming — but there may be alternatives. According to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the landed value of shrimp in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2016 dropped to $276 million. Read the story here 08:29

FFAW claims harvesters revoking signed support for FISH-NL

ffaw-clearyThe president of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) says some fish harvesters are having a change of heart about FISH-NL. In a news release Monday, Keith Sullivan said his union is being contacted by people who want to revoke their signatures on membership cards that supported Ryan Cleary’s breakaway group. “It’s become very clear that harvesters are not buying the hollow agenda of anger and division with no plan that FISH-NL is trying to sell,” said Sullivan. The release states the “surge” in requests to revoke signatures “comes at the same time as Cleary questioned whether there should be an inshore northern cod fishery at all this year.” Read the rest here 16:37

Keith Sullivan says FFAW will not allow 45 years of progress be torn apart by upstart FISH-NL

keithsullivanffawThe president of Newfoundland and Labrador’s fisheries union says a breakaway group of harvesters could hurt, rather than help, their cause. Keith Sullivan of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union says his members are worried by an attempt to de-certify the union. “The message I am getting from the members is that we are not going to sit back and watch 45 years of progress and hard work by thousands and thousand of members be just torn apart,” Sullivan told CBC’s Central Morning Show Monday. He said the Federation of Independent Seafood Harvesters (FISH-NL), led by former journalist and member of parliament Ryan Cleary, has no real plan as to how to proceed. Sullivan acknowledges there are problems in the fishery, but the FFAW will continue to provide effective representation for its members. (and WWF!) Read the story here 16:51

FFAW president hopes Canada-EU trade talks aren’t finished

ffaw lifo quotaThe head of Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest private-sector union said he’s disappointed that Canada-EU trade talks have fallen apart. “It’s preliminary, but it doesn’t certainly look good for (the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) in its current form right now,” Keith Sullivan, president of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union told CBC on Friday. International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland walked out of talks Friday with the regional government of Wallonia, which has been blocking the deal, due to be signed next week. Sullivan told CBC the deal as it stood was a “mixed bag” for Canadian workers, but he thought there was potential benefit for the fishing industry. “There was certainly an area where people saw some opportunities where they could get decreased tariffs on some products like shrimp and crab, and that was an opportunity for some people,” he said. “So it was certainly mixed, but it might be all for nothing now.” Read the rest here 12:09

Keith Sullivan – Leave scarce shrimp to the inshore fishery

The inshore owner-operator northern shrimp fishery, which is confined to the waters adjacent to the northeast coast of Newfoundland and south coast of Labrador, is being threatened with destruction as a result of poor management and a sharp decline in the stock. In 2015, the directly contributed approximately $250 million to the Newfoundland and Labrador economy. Much of this value originates in rural communities, paying wages to thousands of harvesters, processing workers and truck drivers, and providing profits to processing companies. Indirectly, the economy of the shrimp fishery keeps schools, businesses and municipalities sustainable. Read the rest here 09:41