THE RECENT TIE-UP – Leadership and protecting Rural Communities – Ryan Everard

To me this tie-up was a lot more than fishing for $2.20 a pound. It was an opportunity to let our stories be told and our voices be heard. It’s about the overall state the industry is in, and it’s about all of us coming together and letting our voices finally be heard.

No matter what fleet you are in, or if you wear an apron or oil skins, we need to all come together and remove the rules that are meant to divide us.

Although I live inside the overpass, I come from the best representation there is of rural communities because we are comprised of all small boats that are less than 40’ long.  I totally agree that we should have our own inshore local. We are the majority of the industry but we are the minority when it comes to the amount of product we own.

When I look at the Inshore VS Offshore & Plant- Workers VS Crew members, I don’t see a big difference in any of us other than financially living in three separate worlds.  I see families with nine Trap Bert draws vs one, and I see the wife’s, sons, and daughters that helped spread their fish. Just like it was a family affair for our forefathers, I believe it still a family affair for all of us.

We don’t have bad people representing us, they just lack formal leadership training unlike many of the diversified people that are on our boats and in the apprenticeship program that they won’t let graduate. A strong leader, and one that looks after their people has empathy and they look at things from other people’s perspective to make wise decisions that protects the entire herd and not just them. They put themselves out front to face danger head on, and they put the strong in the back of the pack to protect the week in the middle.

A successful leader works off honesty, respect, fairness, equality, empathy & integrity and they base their decisions off the weakest member of the herd.

They would never say it’s ok for them to work 12 months a year outside the fishery and assign a designated operator the entire year, and the rest of those around them have to fall out of the pack and be left to the wolves of they get sick for more than 5 years. They would never say it’s ok for them to work full time outside the industry but it’s not ok for the ones in the middle of the pack. They would never fight for EI for themselves and not their plant workers. A successful leader eats last!  When they are fortunate enough to have a full basket, they shouldn’t skip the line for food stamps.

The plant workers are more than welcome to the summer claim they are trying to force on me. When my basket becomes empty, I’ll be humble enough to line up like everyone else, but right now I’ll support the people that needs support! Great uncle’s spitting fish while their family prepares to salt and spread it.

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