Nfld. & Labrador

Harbour Breton fish plant workers face uncertainty

Fish plant workers processing salmon for Cooke Aquaculture in Harbour Breton say they are confused about what's going on at the site.

Cooke Aquaculture shut temporarily in November after an outbreak of salmon anemia

Cooke Aquaculture is not reopening at the Harbour Breton site because the building's owner is not renewing the lease. (CBC )

Fish plantworkers processing salmon for Cooke Aquaculture in Harbour Breton say they are confused about what's going on at the site.

Cooke is not reopening at the site because the building's owner — the Barry Group — is not renewing the lease.

Cooke Aquaculture shut down its Harbour Breton plant in the wake of an order by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to destroy a large number of its ISA-infected salmon.

The company is now looking for another location.

The plantworkers chairperson Melinda Langdon said people have mixed feelings about the latest problems.

"Some expected that because where Cooke didn't start a new plant, a new facility, so, some people say, 'Well, Cooke's was there long enough to put a new facility.' Hopefully maybe Cooke's will build a new plant, or Bill Barry, or whatever," said Langdon.

Langdon said the workers are worried, especially older ones who rely on the health plan.

"Where are you going to get insurance? I mean if you're on a lot of insurance, there's people there like, for sugar diabetes and things like that. So, somebody else may be won't take you on as a client for insurance," Langdon said. 

 Langdon said the FFAW, the union which represents the workers, is trying to set up meetings with the Barry Group to talk about the plant's future.

About 150 workers are employed at the Cooke site in Harbour Breton.


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