Burin fish plant closing

More than 100 people are facing unemployment following High Liner Foods' announcement that it will close its fish processing plant in Burin, Newfoundland.

Another blow to the Burin Peninsula where OCI closed its Marystown plant in December

Workers at the Burin plant in a CBC file photo.

More than 100 people are facing unemployment following High Liner Foods' announcement that it will close its fish processing plant in Burin, Newfoundland.

The company said in a news release Thursday that the closures in Burin and at another of its plants in Massachusetts are happening because of "overcapacity at several plants and the acquisition of a more modern plant in Virginia."

The company said the Burin plant — once considered a state-of-the-art facility that produced products for McDonald's restaurants — is scheduled to close by the end of December.  

Its release said the Burin plant employs 121 full-time employees.

A product development office in St. John's is also slated to close at the end of 2012.

"It's a disappointing announcement and devestating for the people of Burin and surrounding communities," said Food, Fish and Allied Workers union president Earle McCurdy."That's a plant with more than 50 years of history going down the drain."

This closure comes a day after  Quinlan's announced the shuttering of its crab processing plant in Black Tickle, Labrador. And it's less than six months after two Ocean Choice International processing plants in Marystown and Port Union were closed as well.

McCurdy said the Burin situation is similar, but different than the other plant closures.

"In this particular case, this is globalization at work. It's a multinational company and they had a five-year agreement to operate the plant in Burin and now that the five years is up, so is their interest in Burin," he said.

McCurdy said it appears unlikely that the Burin plant will reopen.

"There is certainly no grounds for optimism here for the moment," he said.