In a way it was inevitable.
The fish processing plant in Port Union - once a giant in the former Fishery Products International fleet - is no more.
Hurricane Igor turned out to be a blessing for Ocean Choice International (OCI) when it ripped through the plant last September.
For most of the 170 employees who worked at that plant, the storm damage was the writing on the wall. With insurance money in OCI's pocket and a dwindling inshore shrimp quota to divvy up amongst its Newfoundland operations, common sense dictated that the Port Union facility would not be rebuilt.
Besides, with another processing plant just a few miles down the road in Bonavista, there has always been a lingering question of which one of them would be first to go.
The consolidation debate was in full force when Fishery Products owned both operations. It died down a little after the cod moratorium practically shut down the Port Union plant, but the question has always lingered on the rationale of trying to maintain two plants operating within a few miles of each other.
Still, the knowledge that their gut feeling was right, was little comfort to the workers - and the local businesses who depend on their earnings - when the axe came down last Friday.
Make no mistake, this town will struggle if the 170 who now have no jobs are not able to find something to provide income for them.
And it will take the collective minds of the employees, the town and the province to figure out what's next for these people and their town.
Never mind the naysayers and the armchair critics who say taxpayers have no obligation to these displaced workers.
The 170 people who were the last to work at the plant in Port Union gave most of their lives to productive living. They worked at the plant through the 1980s and 1990s, when it was a year-round operation. They contributed to the economy through eight-hour shifts, five days a weeks, 10 to 12 months of the year.
Until the cod moratorium of 1992, the workers at this plant fed the economy of Port Union, the entire Bonavista Peninsula to Clarenville, and the coffers of the provincial government through their taxes.
Their current situation was beyond their control. They lost their year-round jobs thanks to mismanagement of the cod fishery by bureaucrats and the apathy of a succession of political leaders.
They found themselves caught up in a shrimp industry that divided inshore shrimp from offshore, industrial shrimp - with the inshore quota from longliners shared up among processing plants here, and the larger offshore, industrial quota hauled off to foreign parts for processing.
They are victims of the social change that has seen manufacturing jobs handed off to cheaper labour in the Far East. They are going down the same path that was first walked by workers in the garment industry in Montreal - a gradual reduction of work as, bit by bit, it was handed off to countries where workers had not attained the working conditions, rights and wages of North Americans.
We are here today for a myriad of reasons, and with not one of them the sole blame of the workers.
That's the disheartening part; that 170 people can work all their lives and be contributing members of society, only to find out, in the end, that no one seems to have any respect for the work they did.
So if you're apt to be part of the debate, as many will, in the coming weeks over whether or not the government, and taxpayers, owe anything to the people of Port Union, at least understand the history of this before you open your mouth.
Take some time to ponder how it is that a common property resource - first cod, then shrimp - was used to prop up political careers and executive salaries. Consider how a common property resource, caught on our doorsteps, is feeding a workforce in China.
If you work in construction, ask yourself how you would feel if foreign companies began to get the lion's share of government and corporate contracts.
If you work in an office, consider how you would be impacted if parts of your job were contracted out to an office administrative service in Beijing, moving you from a full-time to a part-time position, or no job at all.
Most of the 170 people who work at Port Union are at that age when they are too young to give up work, but too old to retrain for a long-term career.
However, a make work project should not be the best they can hope for.
In honour of the years of service they have given this province in productive employment, they deserve the respect of their fellow citizens, and the attention of their provincial government leading the way forward as they begin life without a fish plant in a town with no clear view of its future.