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  • FISH-NL, FFAW Debate Who the ‘True’ Fish Harvesters Are

    What constitutes an inshore harvester?

    That was the crux of a debate involving representatives of FISH-NL, the FFAW and the Association of Seafood Producers. Representatives of each of the groups was invited to meet yesterday by a Labour Relations Board Panel.

    FISH-NL is seeking certification to represent inshore harvesters, a process that has already taken 16 months.

    At issue, according to FFAW lawyer Tom Johnson, is how a fish harvester is defined.

    He says it’s apparent to them that FISH-NL wants to bring forth a “tailor made” definition of who they would consider to be what they consider a “bonafide” fish harvester. That’s something Johnson contends would leave thousands of people on the sidelines and without union representation.

    FISH-NL President Ryan Cleary says their submission is clear.

    He says they outline eight different stipulations including being 19 years and over, you must have fished, and you must derive 75 per cent of your income from fishing during the fishing season.

    Cleary says the Association of Seafood Producers has suggested that dues remitted from a fish sale in a person’s name does not necessarily mean they are an inshore fish harvester.

    Cleary Ponders Human Rights Complaint Over Allowing FISH-NL Members to Run for FFAW Executive

    Meanwhile, Cleary is taking issue with the FFAW’s move to forbid their members, who also support FISH-NL, from running in the upcoming election of the Union Executive. He warns of plans to make a formal complaint in response to the action.

    Cleary says he has complained to the Minister responsible for Labour Relations last summer, about the lengthy 16 month period it has taken the Provincial Labour Relations Board to consider FISH-NL’s application.

    He made the comments on the heels of a meeting between the conflicting groups at the Labour Board offices yesterday.

    FFAW President, Keith Sullivan defends the action citing, it just doesn’t make sense for a FISH-NL members to put their name forward when the attempted breakaway union is aims to splinter the FFAW-Unifor.

    Cleary says he is considering FISH-NL’s next move in response. Cleary says he is not ruling out the possibility of making a complaint to the Human Rights Commission over the issue and he vows not to let it slide.

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