‘We can’t get by on just the bare minimum’
Plant workers hope government funding will prove beneficial during economic downturn
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.