Nfld. & Labrador

Fortune workers give unanimous OK to OCI deal

Ocean Choice International workers at a long-troubled fish plant on Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula have voted unanimously to re-open the plant.

Ocean Choice International workers at a long-troubled fish plant on Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula have voted unanimously to re-open the plant, but their vote on Thursday night does not automatically secure the plant's future.

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OCI struck a tentative deal with the Newfoundland and Labrador government this month in which OCI would be given temporary exemption to export 75 per cent of its yellowtail flounder quota out of the province.

In return, OCI is offering full-time work at the plant for 110 people, starting in January.

Karen Caines, the local Fish, Food and Allied Workers union rep, said workers did not get what they had hoped for at Thursday night's meeting.

"I'm disappointed that we couldn't get a definite answer from the union," she said.

But FFAW president Earle McCurdy said the provincial government gave the union just six days to review OCI's proposal, which he also said was incomplete.

"That's a very difficult and I think unnecessarily tight timetable," McCurdy told CBC News. "I think this is an important decision and it doesn't need to be jammed like that."

OCI has been trying for most of this year to win government approval for an exemption to ship out yellowtail flounder.

The final decision now goes to the Newfoundland and Labrador government.

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