Stuck in the past
Urchins have more value ‘fresh, live’, says foreign buyer
“Newfoundland is almost the same as Russia. There’s lots of products, raw materials, but unfortunately, there’s not many workers.”
When speaking about Russia’s processing capabilities, he is being specific to the eastern side of the country, commonly referred to as Siberia.
Mr. King said the system in place, one where workers accumulate stamps and draw unemployment, isn’t by design, but the product of what happens when you have a seasonal industry.
“The whole issue of seasonal work, I don’t attribute that to those who work on the plant floor. I attribute that to a changing fishery. (Some people have been) reduced to seasonal work as a result of change in the work through no fault of their own. Seasonal work became a function of survival and they rely on Employment Insurance to supplement their income. I don’t see it as a case that we ought to look at workers as causing this to happen.”
He said the future could dictate change and maybe this is a system that could end, but that will be up to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“The nature of the industry is that you’re going to have seasonal plants, but there are other opportunities where plants are going multi-species. I don’t think it’s a reflection of where the workers want to be. It’s a reflection of where the work has been. It’s not a function of workers not wanting to work.”
In the meantime, Mr. Tamaki said Newfoundland and Labrador has to change its way of thinking if they hope to revive a dying industry.
“Newfoundland (and Labrador) is oil rich. They can afford to ignore the fishery.”