Lump sum payments never promised to scallop fishermen, says FFAW
Union takes stand in supreme court lawsuit
The Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union says it never promised lump sum payouts from a compensation fund for scallop fishermen from the Strait of Belle Isle.
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- Strait of Belle Isle fishers sue union over payment plan for lost scallop grounds
Union representative Jason Spingle took the stand Friday, in a lawsuit brought by 71 fish harvesters from the Great Northern Peninsula and south coast of Labrador.
He told the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador that talks about compensation began in 2011.
At issue was the loss of scallop grounds in fishing area 14A because of an undersea cable from Forteau Point to Shoal Cove, part of the Muskrat Falls transmission line.
Nalcor agreed in 2014 to pay $2.6 million to compensate fish harvesters.
The union argues that the money is to be paid out over 30 years, to fishers who can demonstrate annual losses.
The court heard from two fishermen earlier in the week, who testified while they had not used their scallop licences for six to eight years, they still expected to benefit from the fund.
Spingle testified Friday that harvesters were never told the payments would be made as a lump sum.
He also said a $390,000 payment to the union is money needed to administer the compensation fund over 30 years, not a negotiation fee.
Under cross-examination, Spingle admitted the union was a year into negotiations with Nalcor before it asked fishermen to sign consent forms.
He said Nalcor asked for the forms.
With files from Glenn Payette