Tag Archives: Labour Relations Board

FISH-NL calls on FFAW President Keith Sullivan to apologize to members

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on Keith Sullivan, president of the FFAW-Unifor, to publicly apologize to his members after an appeal court ruled in favour of scallop harvesters who were deceived by the union. Further, FISH-NL is calling for the resignation of Dave Decker, the union’s secretary-treasurer, who was in charge of the funding, as well as the firing of Jason Spingle, the FFAW staff representative who helped orchestrate the deal. “It’s practically unheard of for a union to be convicted in court of misrepresenting its membership,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Inshore harvesters have been saying for years that the FFAW no longer speaks for them — that the union is failing its membership — and this latest court decision proves that.” click here to read the press release 15:59

FFAW calls for clarification from Premier on alleged interference in labour relations case

Yesterday, a press release by the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland Labrador (FISH-NL) referenced a meeting held with Premier Dwight Ball and Minister Steve Crocker. FFAW-Unifor is calling on the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to clarify FISH-NL’s allegation that a discussion surrounding FISH-NL’s application to the Labour Relations Board took place during this meeting. The Labour Relations Board is an independent, quasi-judicial body which contributes to and promotes harmonious labour relations in the province. The integrity and independent nature of the Board is compromised if the alleged discussion did in fact take place. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has no role in ongoing investigations, reviews and decisions undertaken by the Board, and any such interference would be unacceptable. Courtney Glode, Communications Officer, FFAW- UNIFOR 13:56

FISH-NL: Labour Board status

FISH-NL received an update Tuesday afternoon from the Labour Relations Board regarding the status of our certification application. On March 10, the Board ordered the Salt-Water Mafia and the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) to release their individual lists of commercial fish harvesters to Board investigator, Jody Saunders.. According to Saunders, the FFAW is expected to delivered its list to the Board by this Friday, March 31st. As for ASP, Saunders reported that Derek Butler, the executive director,  says he has no authority to order member processing companies to provide the list requested. As well, Saunders said Butler indicated that members of ASP wouldn’t have a complete list of commercial harvesters anyway. continue reading the press release here 15:48

Labour Relations Board orders release of FFAW/ASP lists of inshore harvesters

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is pleased with the latest order of the province’s Labour Relations Board regarding the release of membership lists of commercial inshore harvesters. After hearing arguments on Friday morning, by late Friday afternoon the board ordered the FFAW to turn over its list of commercial inshore harvesters who were members of the FFAW between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 30, 2016 to its investigating officer. The Board also ordered ASP (the Association of Seafood Producers) to hand over its list of inshore harvesters on whose behalf members of the association collected and remitted FFAW union dues between Jan. 1, 2015 to Dec. 30, 2016 to its investigating officer. Read the press release here 10:22

Next Labour Relations Board hearing on fight between FFAW and FISH-NL set for Thursday

The Labour Relations Board has another hearing scheduled this week in the ongoing battle to represent inshore fish harvesters in the province. Last week, the board ruled the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is indeed a legitimate organization after the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) union had challenged the legality of the group. The board will next decide on whether or not FFAW-Unifor’s membership list of inshore harvesters should be made available to FISH-NL. The number of inshore harvesters is vital in determining whether FISH-NL’s submission of 2,352 signed membership cards meets the 50 per cent required to force a vote by the board to determine who will represent the fishers. Ryan Cleary is urging all harvesters to attend the Thursday hearing.  Link 14:52

FISH-NL wins first battle against salt-water mafia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, Feb. 23rd, 2017 The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has won the first battle in its bid to represent the province’s inshore fish harvesters. The province’s Labour Relations Board issued a ruling Thursday afternoon rejecting an application by the FFAW that FISH-NL is not an association under the Fishing Industry Collective Bargaining Act. “If you were listening closely Thursday afternoon you would have heard the collective cheer of thousands of fish harvesters around the province,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The ruling by the Labour Relations Board legitimizes our movement. FISH-NL has now been legally recognized as an official organization of fish harvesters, despite the best efforts of the salt-water mafia.” The FFAW has made another application to the Labour Relations Board that the membership list of inshore fish harvesters not be released to FISH-NL. “We’re hopeful the Labour Relations Board will schedule a hearing on that application as soon as possible,” says Cleary. It’s expected that once the Labour Relations Board rules on the release of the membership list to FISH-NL, an investigator with the Board will begin the review of FISH-NL’s application and membership cards. On Dec. 30th, FISH-NL presented an application to the Labour Relations Board to represent the province’s inshore fish harvesters, breaking them away from the FFAW. The application included 2,352 membership cards signed by inshore harvesters around Newfoundland and Labrador. FISH-NL argues that number represents more than 50 per cent of all inshore harvesters, the amount required to force a vote by the Labour Relations Board to ultimately decide which union will represent harvesters.

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

Labour Relations Board Hearing Tuesday into release of FFAW membership list

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) welcomes a hearing called by the Labour Relations Board over the FFAW’s failure to release its membership list of inshore fish harvesters. “The lengths the FFAW has taken to inflate and withhold its membership list is yet another act of crookery,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “We look forward to being able to dig into their list.”The hearing is scheduled to take place from 9:30 to 12:30 on Tuesday, Jan. 31st at the Labour Relations Board Hearings Room, 1st floor, Beothuk Building, 20 Crosbie Place in St. John’s. Read the full press release here 07:49

Russell Wangersky: Fish harvesters have the most to lose

The whole issue is in the hands of the Labour Relations Board right now, so this column is unlikely to sway any votes — and that’s fine. Because, really, it’s fight for those involved. (And just for clarity’s sake, I’ve known Lana Payne, with the FFAW’s parent union, Unifor, since we worked together at The Sunday Express in the late 1980s. I’ve known FISH-NL’s Ryan Cleary since 1997, when he worked at The Telegram, and we get along, on and off.) I understand why the fish harvesters might want to leave the FFAW. The union, representing harvesters and those who work in the processing sector, is juggling a variety of interests, from processing workers to inshore fish harvesters to offshore trawler workers. And that does create problems. Read the op-ed here 09:10

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-NL releases details of certification application — 2,372 harvesters sign membership cards, well over 50 per cent required 

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is today releasing details of its certification application filed with the Labour Relations Board on Dec. 30th, including the total number of fish harvesters signed on.  “A total of 2,372 harvesters from more than 300 Newfoundland and Labrador communities signed FISH-NL cards over our two-month membership drive,” says Ryan Cleary, president of FISH-NL. “From all indications that number represents well over 50 per cent of all inshore fish harvesters.” Read the Press release, click here 08:04

Upstart fishing union says more than 2,300 fish harvesters have joined   Click here 08:56

FISH-NL presents certification application to Labour Relations Board

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH NL) presented an application this morning to the Labour Relations Board requesting that the organization be certified as the new bargaining agent for inshore fish harvesters. The application includes membership cards signed by thousands of harvesters from more than 300 communities around the province. “We feel we have the support of more than 50 per cent of all inshore harvesters — we certainly had the support of more than 80 per cent of all harvesters we encountered,” said Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “What we’re attempting has been described — not as a raid of another union — but as a full fledged revolt.” Over the coming days and weeks, the Labour Relations Board will review FISH-NL’s application and verify the membership cards. The Board will determine whether FISH-NL has the support of at least 40 per cent of fish harvesters, which would trigger a secret ballot vote by the Labour Relations Board. That vote will ultimately decide which union will represent fish harvesters. 10:28

FISH-NL leaders to meet with Labour Relations Board, address reporters on Friday

The leaders of an upstart union movement in Newfoundland and Labrador will reveal their strategy for a certification bid Friday, months after launching a bitter and divisive campaign to try and raid the province’s influential fisheries union. Representatives from the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters (FISH-NL) will visit the Labour Relations Board in St. John’s in the morning, and plans to speak with reporters at their office on Job Street at 11 a.m.  “All will be revealed tomorrow,” FISH-NL president Ryan Cleary said. The FFAW has also ramped up its criticism in recent weeks, accusing FISH-NL of having no real plan for the fishery and trying to weaken the bargaining power of harvesters. Read the story here 18:48