‘We can’t get by on just the bare min­i­mum’

Plant work­ers hope gov­ern­ment fund­ing will prove ben­e­fi­cial dur­ing eco­nomic down­turn

The Central Voice - - Year In Review - FILE PHOTO

The an­nounced fund­ing for plant work­ers im­pacted by cuts to shrimp, crab and cod was needed in both the Twill­ingate and Com­fort CoveNew­stead area in June.

Fol­low­ing the shut­down of the Notre Dame Seafoods plant in Twill­ingate the pre­vi­ous sum­mer, for­mer em­ploy­ees Ruby and Clarence Clarke have taken up jobs at the Com­fort Cove plant, also owned by Notre Dame Seafoods. The plant pro­cessed pre­dom­i­nantly crab, which had also been se­verely im­pacted by de­clines in stock and quota.

Ruby Clarke says while they had man­aged to com­bat the eco­nomic loss wrought from the Twill­ingate plant, the sit­u­a­tion in Com­fort CoveNew­stead is cre­at­ing sim­i­lar strug­gles.

“When we were at the crab some weeks we’re get­ting six hours, or 24 hours [of work] at most,” Clarke said. “If we barely scrape the hours needed it’ll be the low­est kind of un­em­ploy­ment; we’ll never make it on that.” Af­ter the shut­down of the Notre Dame Seafoods plant in Twill­ingate last sum­mer, Ruby Clarke and her hus­band Clarence have found work at the seafoods plant in Com­fort Cove-New­stead. How­ever, with the plant’s dom­i­nant species crab also ex­pe­ri­enc­ing dwin­dling quo­tas, Ruby says she is un­sure if she will make enough hours to get by on this alone.

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