The Fish, Food and Allied Workers union has elected Keith Sullivan, assistant to outgoing president Earle McCurdy, as his successor. 

Sullivan, who is also a market analyst for the union, was elected by acclamation at a meeting at the Holiday Inn in St. John's. 

Sullivan said one of his priorities is to ensure that the fishery can thrive as an older generation retires and younger workers take over. 

"I think I'm going to have to work with young workers of the next generation and find solutions to their problems," said Sullivan, who is a full generation younger than McCurdy. 

Sullivan said he prefers a consultative approach to problem-solving, but is not afraid of a fight for his members' rights. 

Keith Sullivan speaks to FFAW meeting

Keith Sullivan, the new president of the FFAW, speaks to delegates at a special meeting in St. John's. (Katherine Hobbs/CBC)

"My pledge to you as president is simple," he said. 

"You'll always have my respect, always have my commitment and determination to work with all of you to build a union for the next generation.

McCurdy announced his retirement on Nov. 3 from the top post of the fisheries union, which he has been running since 1993. McCurdy was only the second president of the FFAW, following founder Richard Cashin. 

A special joint meeting of the union's executive board and councils chose Sullivan as the union's new leader. 

Sullivan has been a director of the Lobster Council of Canada, and holds a graduate diploma in aquaculture from Memorial University. He has a B.Sc. with a major in biology from St. Francis Xavier University.