No in­come sup­port for dis­placed work­ers

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

The mayor of Bay de Verde hoped dif­fer­ent lev­els of govern­ment would come on board to as­sist those who will lose out on in­come as a re­sult of last month’s dev­as­tat­ing fish plant fire.

But Mayor Ger­ard Mur­phy said that in speak­ing with dif­fer­ent govern­ment of­fi­cials at the pro­vin­cial and fed­eral lev­els, such help doesn’t ap­pear to be on the hori­zon for plant work­ers.

“My spe­cific re­quest on be­half of the work­ers af­fected would be some­thing in the form of an in­come sup­ple­ment or a wage sub­sidy,” Mur­phy told The Com­pass last Thurs­day, not­ing many peo­ple will see their in­come cut in half as a re­sult of the fire.

Premier Dwight Ball vis­ited the com­mu­nity last month with Fish­eries Min­is­ter and local MHA Steve Crocker and Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs Min­is­ter Ed­die Joyce, just be­fore the pro­vin­cial bud­get was re­leased. Mur­phy said “noth­ing sub­stan­tive” was of­fered.

Bon­av­ista-Burin-Trin­ity MP Judy Foote also vis­ited the com­mu­nity last month and has sent some of her peo­ple there as well.

“There’s noth­ing re­ally forth­com­ing from ei­ther level of govern­ment in that re­gard,” said the mayor.

Quin­lan Broth­ers man­aged to find em­ploy­ment for most of the dis­placed work­ers at plants else­where, though their hours are re­duced com­pared to pre­vi­ous years.

“Quin­lan Broth­ers has in­deed come through and got their em­ploy­ees back on the job,” said Mur­phy. “Of course, their lo­ca­tions are spread out some­what.”

Mur­phy re­mains hope­ful the sit­u­a­tion will be much bet­ter this time next year. De­bris from the site where the fish plant once stood has van­ished, leav­ing smooth con­crete. Last month, the com­pany is­sued an ex­pres­sion of in­ter­est for en­gi­neer­ing firms to work on plan­ning and project man­age­ment to de­sign and con­struct a new plant.

“The clean up was done very ex­pe­di­ently,” said Mur­phy. “As you can see right now, we have a very, very large con­crete slab on the water­front, and I’m very op­ti­mistic that this time next year, it will be oc­cu­pied by a large pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity.”

“There’s noth­ing re­ally forth­com­ing from ei­ther level of govern­ment in that re­gard.”

Mayor Ger­ard Mur­phy

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