Fisheries union bashes deal
FFAW president Earle McCurdy says the deal contradicts union policies
A union representing 15,000 workers in the province's fishing industry does not support the deal struck for the Fortune fish plant this week.
Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) president Earle McCurdy says key points in the plan fly in the face of FFAW policy.
McCurdy says the union will meet with Fisheries Minister Darin King on Monday, but he doesn't hold out much hope for the talks.
"We'll see what happens," said McCurdy. "I don't want to be negative going into a meeting. We're willing to have a hammer and tongs discussion. There are serious legitimate issues that have to be resolved here."
McCurdy notes the government can forge ahead with or without the blessing of union brass.
Workers in Fortune voted unanimously in favour of the proposal Thursday night. Under the deal, OCI would send close to 80 per cent of its ground fish quota to China for processing.
The rest would go through Fortune, providing 110 full-time jobs starting in January.
McCurdy adds that the plan will affect regions beyond Fortune, having implications for workers and towns throughout the province.
"These are not frivolous reservations, they're not reservations that Earle McCurdy got," he said. "I got nothing in the world I want to do to hurt the people of Fortune whatsoever. It's not my call. Our board has to deal with it in the context of what is in the interest of our total membership."
McCurdy says the union has had little or no input in the decision.