Thursday, October 13, 2016

"Way more fish; way less work" -- City Council receives Salmon season update from Councillor Thorkelson

The Salmon season was the topic of
an update from Councillor Thorkelson
at Tuesday's council session
The final moments of Tuesday's City Council session were turned over to a report on the local fishing industry as Councillor Joy Thorkelson provided a glimpse at how workers at the Canadian Fish Plant have been impacted by recent changes at the fish processing plant on George Hills Way.

Ms Thorkelson delivered a state of the fishery update that was focused on the 2016 Salmon season in the community and the Council member, who is also the Northern Rep for UFAWU-Unifor which represents local shoreworkers on the North Coast, provided some stark figures as to the work made available for those local shoreworkers this season.

As part of her review for Council, she observed that while there was more fish passing through the Canadian Fish at their Prince Rupert operations, almost twice as much as last year according to her figures, with the removal of the canning operation at the Main plant at George Hills Way, the actual work done at the  the plant was down significantly.

According to her rough calculations compiled through union notes, the number of hours worked by employees at the Canadian Fish plant were down significantly from previous years, with the 2016 numbers coming in at around 33,000 hours worked at the Prince Rupert plant this year.

Thorkelson noted that last year employees at the Prince Rupert plant had worked 66,000 straight time hours on salmon packing and canning operations.

Ms. Thorkelson added if the plant had canned the volume of fish that passed through the plant this year, that some 118,000 hours or work would have been generated for local workers in the community.

From those figures she suggested that the total loss in hours came to 70,000 to 80,000 hours this summer, which translates into lost income for city residents and provides a significant impact on the community.

"So way more fish, way less work" -- Councillor Thorkelson providing what beacme the theme of the salmon season for local shoreworkers in Prince Rupert.

The 2016 Salmon season and the impact of change at the
Canadian Fish Company facility was raised as an item of
interest at Tuesday's City Council Session

Councillor Thorkelson also offered up some notes from inside the Canadian Fish plant, where she said management was slowly dismantling the equipment in Prince Rupert. Providing some background for Council on recent decisions made by Canadian Fish related to equipment inside the George Hills Way facility.

Ms. Thorkelson observed on how the company had taken the plants best seamer out of the plant and moved it to Alaska, while three other components called salter units, had also been taken from other machines in Prince Rupert, with the union believing that those components may also be destined for Alaska.

You can review her report to Council from the City's Video Archive, starting at the 37 minute mark.

More items of interest related to the Fishing industry on the North Coast can be found on our archive page here.

For a larger overview of Tuesday's Council session see our Council Timeline Feature here.

More background on City Council discussions can also be found on our Archive page.

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