Nfld. & Labrador

Lockout ends as trawler workers ratify deal

Ocean Choice International said Sunday that locked-out trawler workers have ratified a deal that the union described as a good compromise for both sides.
The locked-out crew of the Newfoundland Lynx had staged a blockade in Bay Roberts in February. (CBC )

Ocean Choice International said Sunday that locked-out trawler workers have ratified a tentative deal that the union described as a good compromise for both sides.

No one from the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union was immediately available to comment on the vote involving the crew of the Newfoundland Lynx. Ballots were cast Sunday afternoon in Marystown.

However, speaking to CBC News before the vote, union official Greg Pretty said the tentative deal addressed some of the union's key concerns.

Greg Pretty says the FFAW team reached 'an agreement that's actually good for both parties.' (CBC )

"It took a very long time," said Pretty, who would not disclose details of the tentative deal, which was reached Saturday afternoon after a conciliation process that both sides described as intense.

During a 10-week lockout, the workers had staged a blockade at the wharf in Bay Roberts, preventing St. John's-based OCI from putting replacement crews on board.

"We've been in collective bargaining now with that company for four weeks solid," Pretty told CBC News.

"So it was an unusual one. It was difficult, but not one we couldn't handle and [we have] come out with an agreement that's actually good for both parties."

Tensions had run high during the dispute, with two dozen union members getting arrested in February during one confrontation with the company.

Pretty said while there were hard feelings, both parties tried to put them aside to reach a deal.