Tag Archives: Ryan Cleary

FISH-NL: C-NLOPB ‘waking up’ to concerns over impact of offshore seismic activity

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is frustrated the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board isn’t prepared to suspend offshore seismic work, but encouraged the offshore oil and gas regulator is waking up to concerns. “Ottawa takes a precautionary approach to fisheries management — which means being cautious when science is uncertain — but there’s nothing precautionary about allowing seismic to continue until the potential risks are understood. ,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The hypocrisy doesn’t escape inshore harvesters.”  >click to read<20:06

Central harvesters dig in on state of groundfish

Given the plentiful signs and successful catch rates, Herring Neck harvester Eldred Woodford says the reduction in last year’s cod quota was unnecessary. “The fish was never so thick around here, not in my 40 years. I don’t say John Cabot seen it,” Woodford said. “You go back to the 1980s when fishermen were crying out to DFO that there’s no fish, nobody listened. Now we’re telling them there’s lots of fish and still nobody listens.” ,,, Less than a dozen fishermen attended, as well as two representatives from Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) and FISH-NL president Ryan Cleary.>click to read<15:20

Bay of Islands fishermen supports opening market to outside buyers

A Bay of Islands fisherman believes a little competition among buyers can be a win for harvesters in this province.
In a news release issued earlier this week FISH-NL president Ryan Cleary questioned whether the province supports inshore harvesters being paid top dollar for their fish. ,,, Rick Crane is a member of the FFAW-Unifor (Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union) — because there is no choice not to be — and a supporter of FISH-NL. He said he sees both sides of the issue. >click to read<11:42

FISH-NL questions whether complaints against Royal Greenland smokescreen to cover the fact local processors underpaying fishermen

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) questions whether the Dwight Ball government supports inshore harvesters being paid top dollar for their fish. “Local processors and buyers have been screaming bloody murder because Royal Greenland is paying harvesters more for their product — forcing them to increase their prices,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “That tells us the minimum negotiated price is too low, and reinforces our stand that the province should open the door to outside buyers.” “It’s time for the provincial government and the FFAW-Unifor to say which side they’re on — with inshore harvesters and free enterprise, or against them.” >click to read< 14:54

FISH-NL calls for resurrection of arm’s-length body to bridge massive divide between science and inshore harvesters

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling on Ottawa to resurrect the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (FRCC) to bridge the enormous divide between fishermen and scientists over the state of fish stocks — northern cod in particular. “DFO scientists and inshore harvesters are once again complete strangers, just like in the early 1990s when the commercial fisheries failed,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. >click to read<13:38

FFAW-Unifor stoops to new low; committee members forced to sign ‘pledge of allegiance’

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) charges the FFAW-Unifor with stooping to a new low in forcing inshore harvesters to sign a pledge of allegiance to serve on area committees, potentially blocking thousands of dues-payers from taking part. “So much for democracy — the labour situation in the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery is as bad as any communist regime ever was,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. >click to read<14:12

BIG WIN! Supreme Court dismisses FFAW-Unifor appeal of FISH-NL’s union status; ordered to pay legal costs

The province’s Supreme Court has dismissed an FFAW-Unifor appeal of FISH-NL’s status as a properly constituted union, and ordered the FFAW to pay court costs. “The FFAW has used every legal maneuver in the book to try and quash the FISH-NL movement and drown their own members in legal fees, but the highest court in the land has seen through it,” says Ryan Cleary, President of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador. “Coming the day before FISH-NL’s convention in Gander, the decision is a huge boost.” >click to read<16:55

Which Side Are You On? FISH-NL launches inaugural “netcast” leading up to Thursday’s Gander convention

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has released its inaugural podcast episode, featuring an overview of the “cesspool of corruption” that is today’s fishery, and a local rewrite of the iconic labour song — Which Side Are You On? Which Side Are You On was written in 1931 by Florence Reece, the wife of a Kentucky miner, during a bitter strike. >click to read, listen to podcast<13:39

FISH-NL renews call for halt to seismic testing – ‘If plankton isn’t protected you might as well say goodbye to the fish’

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is once again calling on the Canada/Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) to suspend offshore seismic work in light of new research that reveals plankton productivity has plunged. The research by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) doesn’t link the dramatic and persistent drop in plankton to seismic activity, but other research has found the intense acoustic signals may damage the critical elements of the food chain. “It’s highly coincidental that as seismic activity ramped up plankton productivity plunged,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Seismic activity may be necessary for offshore oil and gas development, but it must not come at the expense of our wild fisheries and marine ecosystem — cutting off our nose to spite our face.” >click to read<10:43

FISH-NL convention set for Jan. 24th in Gander; nominations open for 2018 Inshore Harvester of the Year

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has set Jan. 24th, 2019 as the date for its next convention and election of officers at Gander’s Albatross Hotel. As well, to coincide with the convention FISH-NL is announcing the first ever Inshore Harvester of the Year Award. “It’s full-steam ahead for FISH-NL,” says Ryan Cleary, President. “It’s our intention that 2019 will be the year of the inshore harvester, and they’ll finally get the right to choose their labour future.” Elections will be held for FISH-NL’s executive positions — >click to read<12:02

FISH-NL: Ottawa’s delay of harp seal count unacceptable

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says a delay by Fisheries and Oceans in carrying out a count of the harp seal population is unacceptable.
Further, Ottawa’s failure to adopt an ecosystem approach to fisheries management — which would include the massive impact of harp seals — undermines its commitment to rebuilding East Coast fish stocks. “The federal government seems to be purposely downplaying the impact of harp seals at the continued peril of Newfoundland and Labrador’s commercial fisheries,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. >click to read<12:52

FISH-NL plans second certification application for 2019, but only if harvesters step up to the plate

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) announced plans today to move forward with a second application for certification in 2019, but only if inshore harvesters agree to pay dues. “FISH-NL can’t do this for harvesters, we can only do it with harvesters,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The membership dues will be the deciding factor in the future of FISH-NL.” >click to read<13:39

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

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

‘LeBlanc must go.’ FISH-NL demands Prime Minister fire Dominic LeBlanc from cabinet for violating conflict of interest rules

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is demanding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fire MP Dominic LeBlanc from the federal cabinet for breaking conflict of interest rules when he was minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Further, Premier Dwight Ball and the province’s seven Members of Parliament should be unanimous in demanding LeBlanc’s immediate dismissal. “LeBlanc broke conflict of interest rules by awarding a lucrative licence to fish arctic surf clams to a company that was set to be run by his wife’s cousin — a decision that would have seen resource and jobs leave our province,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “LeBlanc’s conflict of interest as Fisheries and Oceans minister amounts to the highest act of treason against our province and people. Not only should the Prime Minister fire him, but the Premier and all seven MPs need to be loud, clear, and unanimous in saying, ‘LeBlanc must go.’ Anything less would be traitorous to our province.” >click to read<14:05

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

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

FISH-NL – Inshore harvesters and aboriginals should have to abide by same fishing regulations

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says two sets of commercial fishing rules for aboriginal versus non-aboriginal harvesters are creating an unfair playing field on the northwest Atlantic. “Aboriginal harvesters do not have to follow the same regulations as other commercial harvesters when they’re fishing the same fish, side by side at the same time ,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “That’s not only unfair, but it creates a competitive advantage for aboriginal harvesters and breeds division.” >click to read<11:22

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 

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

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

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