FFAW attempt to block release of membership list ‘sure sign of guilt of exaggeration’: FISH-NL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, Jan. 16th, 2017

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) condemns a move by the FFAW to try and prevent the release of the union’s list of inshore fish harvesters.

“The FFAW has thrown around the 10,000 figure as the rough number of active, inshore harvesters, but the union knows that’s a fairy tale,” says Ryan Cleary, president of FISH-NL. “The attempt to block the release of the list is a sure sign of guilt of exaggeration.”

On Dec. 30th, FISH-NL presented an application to the Labour Relations Board to represent the province’s inshore fish harvesters, breaking them away from the FFAW. The application included 2,352 membership cards signed by inshore harvesters around Newfoundland and Labrador.

FISH-NL argues that number represents more than 50 per cent of all harvesters, the amount required to force a vote by the Labour Relations Board to ultimately decide which union will represent harvesters. 

While the FFAW plans to provide the Labour Relations Board with its membership list, the union wrote the Board on Friday, Jan. 13, requesting that the list not be released to FISH-NL for fear the new organization may seek “retribution” against harvesters who didn’t sign membership cards.

“The FFAW has consistently ignored FISH-NL’s plea for public debate, while advancing its campaign of lies, deflection and character assassination,” Cleary said in response. “This is yet more proof that the salt-water mafia sails without a moral compass.”

 David Goodland, FISH-NL’s lawyer, will write the Labour Relations Board to ask that the FFAW’s request be quashed.

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