FISH-NL ex­tends dead­line to submit mem­ber­ship cards

Ex­ten­sion a sign of in­suf­fi­cient sup­port, FFAW re­sponds

The Southern Gazette - - EDITORIAL -

The Fed­er­a­tion of In­de­pen­dent Sea Har­vesters of New­found­land and Labrador ( FISH- NL) has ex­tended its dead­line to send in mem­ber­ship cards.

The ini­tial dead­line of Dec. 20 has been pushed back to Dec. 29, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from the break­away union.

“Mem­ber­ship cards con­tinue to pour in by the hour,” FISHNL pres­i­dent Ryan Cleary said in the re­lease.

“Ac­cord­ing to the leg­is­la­tion, our ap­pli­ca­tion for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion must be sub­mit­ted by the end of De­cem­ber, so we’ll con­tinue to col­lect cards un­til then.”

Once an ap­pli­ca­tion has been made to the Labour Re­la­tions Board, mem­ber­ship cards can no longer be sub­mit­ted.

“We’ll have our shoul­ders to the wheel as long as cards come in — right up to the dead­line. We don’t want to leave a sin­gle fish har­vester be­hind,” Cleary said.

The FISH-NL news re­lease also stated the group could de­cide to submit a sin­gle ap­pli­ca­tion for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion on be­half of all fish har­vesters in the prov­ince or go with mul­ti­ple ap­pli­ca­tions on a buyer-by-buyer ba­sis.

“Ul­ti­mately we’ll go with our strength,” Cleary said. “We’ve col­lected thou­sands of cards, with sup­port from every nook and cranny of the prov­ince. Most cer­ti­fi­ca­tion drives have a min­i­mum of 90 days to col­lect mem­ber­ship cards, but we only had 60 days, and we’ve done the im­pos­si­ble.”

More than 11,000 cards have been dis­trib­uted around the prov­ince since the mem­ber­ship drive be­gan on Nov. 1, the news re­lease noted.

‘Writ­ing on the wall’

The Fish, Food and Al­lied Work­ers (FFAW-Uni­for) union re­sponded to the ex­ten­sion with a news re­lease of its own, say­ing the de­ci­sion is sign the group doesn’t have the sup­port it needs.

“The writ­ing is on the wall,” FFAW sec­re­tary- trea­surer David Decker said.

“Not only is this group not up to the chal­lenge of rep­re­sent­ing har­vesters, their plan to di­vide har­vesters into many sep­a­rate bar­gain­ing units would only ben­e­fit the com­pa­nies by pit­ting fish har­vesters against one an­other.”

The FFAW re­lease sug­gested FISH-NL would have filed an ap­pli­ca­tion Dec. 20 if they had met the 50 per cent sup­port that is re­quired.

“To­day’s (Dec. 20) an­nounce­ment is a very good in­di­ca­tion of how dis­or­ga­nized this group is. Their self-ap­pointed dead­line has come and gone and clearly they’ve fallen short,” Decker said.

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