Saturday, November 28, 2015

UFAWU outlines job loss strategy for Chamber of Commerce

The topic of lost jobs and community action was the theme for discussion at the Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce this week, as union officials representing shore workers at Prince Rupert's Canadian Fish Company spoke to the business community at a Wednesday Chamber event.

As part of their presentation, UFAWU officials provided a review of the moves they have put in motion to address the issue of job losses at the Oceanside cannery and to seek the support of the business community in their efforts. 

Providing for the Chamber members a particular focus on their plan to seek the assistance of the Federal government, looking for Ottawa to develop  new community-friendly fisheries policies, key to that goal is the union's desire to have the Department of Fisheries and Oceans apply three east coast policies to British Columbia.

Among those three points of the east coast program that they outlined for the Chamber were:

Adjacency: the principle of adjacency would see fish caught on the north coast processed on the north coast.

Fleet Separation: a policy that prevents processing companies from owning licenses and quotas.

Owner-operator: a policy that says that a fishing license or quota must be fished by the owner. 

As the union explains it, these three policies would insure that northern fish could not be sent to the Lower Mainland or to China for processing.

UFAWU officials have also noted how these moves would invigorate the industry in rural coastal communities. Providing the opportunity for year around deliveries of the various species means year around work for shore workers.

According to the union, Fleet separation and owner operator policies would also mean better prices for fishermen as the companies would have to compete for fish. With the concept of fleet separation and owner operator policies meaning that there would be better prices for fishermen as the companies would have to compete for fish.

The National President for UFAWU-Unifor will be
in Prince Rupert on Thursday to update local
workers on the union's plans regarding job losses at Canfisco
Later in the week, the Fraser Street Union Hall advised the membership that the National President of UFAWU-Unifor, Kim Olsen, will be coming to Prince Rupert next week.

Mr. Olsen will meet with North Coast shore workers and provide an update to the membership regarding what is happening with the Union's plans to fight back against the announced shut down of the canning operations.

That gathering will take place on Thursday, December 3, at 2pm  at Fishermen's Hall.

More background on the union's efforts to take their message to Ottawa and Victoria can be found from the Prince Rupert local's Facebook page.

You can learn more about the closure plans from Canadian Fish and the response from local union officials and regional politicians from our archive page here.

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