FISH-NL pleased with labour board’s ruling on FFAW’s membership list

Published on March 14, 2017

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is chalking up the Labour Relations Board’s latest decision as another victory.

Friday afternoon the board ruled the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) union must turn over its list of commercial inshore harvesters for the period between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 30, 2016 to the board’s investigating officer.

The board also ordered FISH-NL on Friday to provide the investigating officer with information explaining its claim FFAW-Uniform has far fewer members than it says.

“FISH-NL is eager to meet with the investigating officer to give our input,” FISH-NL president Ryan Cleary said in a news release over the weekend.

“Ideally, FISH-NL would have liked to have been granted access to the membership lists to do our own review, but we respect the decision of the Labour Relations Board and have full confidence of the investigating officer to get to the bottom of it.”

FISH-NL and FFAW-Uniform are locked in a battle to determine representation of inshore harvesters in the province with the actual number of fishermen a crucial factor in the process.

The FFAW claims there are over 10,000 inshore harvesters in the province.

FISH-NL presented an application to the board with 2,352 signed membership cards in December.

For the Labour Relations Board to vote on the matter, FISH-NL’s membership must be 50 per cent of the total number of inshore harvesters.

The board has also ordered the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) to submit its list of inshore harvesters on whose behalf members of the association collected and remitted FFAW union dues between Jan. 1, 2015 to Dec. 30, 2016 to its investigating officer.