Twillingate plant clo­sure highlights need for ‘ad­ja­cency’; Mayor

The Beacon (Gander) - - News - BY ADAM RAN­DELL THE BEACON Adam.ran­dell@gan­der­bea­con.ca

As Twillingate Mayor Gor­don Nose­wor­thy made his way along the wharf, next to the shut­tered Norte Dame Seafoods shrimp plant, he gives his head an em­pathic shake as he thinks about the uncer­tain fu­ture that has fallen on more than 100 dis­placed work­ers.

Se­vere cuts to in­shore quo­tas have ren­dered the plant in­op­er­a­ble this year, and he says it should never have come to this. Nose­wor­thy cast a fin­ger of blame to­wards govern­ment.

The push by fish­er­men and the Fish, Food and Al­lied Work­ers union, to im­ple­ment ad­ja­cency to the re­source — which al­low in­shore har­vesters more ac­cess to Shrimp Fish­ing Area 6 quo­tas, and pos­si­bly pro­hibit fac­tory from fish­ing the area — is some­thing the Mayor says the fed­eral govern­ment should have hon­oured.

He said Twillingate’s pro­cess­ing trou­bles are a key ex­am­ple of why ad­ja­cency is needed more now than ever.

“If the govern­ment would make the right de­ci­sion, we’d have shrimp and plenty of work in the prov­ince’s plants,” he said.

As a re­sult, he said, a lot of tough de­ci­sion will have to be made.

Nose­wor­thy’s not doubt­ing that fed­eral dol­lars will come through to as­sist the dis­placed work­ers in of­fer­ing min­i­mum wage jobs, pro­vid­ing just enough hours to qual­ify for The clo­sure of Twillingate’s Norte Dame Seafoods has Mayor Gor­don Nose­wor­thy call­ing upon the fed­eral govern­ment to im­ple­ment ad­ja­cency for in­shore har­vesters in Shrimp Fish­ing Area 6.

Em­ploy­ment In­sur­ance.

But that makes for a bare bones liv­ing. The other op­tion is to leave for work, but Nose­wor­thy said that doesn’t come with­out its chal­lenges.

“There are a few that have gone away, very few, but the op­tions are lim­ited be­cause ma­jor­ity of the plant work­ers are 50 plus, and there’s a lot of fe­male em­ploy­ees rais­ing fam­i­lies, which makes the de­ci­sion to move for em­ploy­ment that much more dif­fi­cult,” he said.

Ei­ther way, Nose­wor­thy is look­ing at an eco­nomic down­turn in the town.

“Gro­cery pur­chases be­come fewer, cars will be parked, home ren­o­va­tions get put on the back­burner,” he said. “Ev­ery­one is go­ing to feel the pinch of it.”

ADAM RAN­DELL/THE BEACON

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