Displaced Bay de Verde workers offered support and jobs by P.E.I. Seafood Processors
'The last thing I would want is to give the impression that we are trying to poach these workers'
The P.E.I. Seafood Processors Association has reached out to the community of Bay de Verde, N.L., offering support and jobs for displaced fish plant workers.
A fire destroyed the fish plant in that community on Monday. It employed about 700 people.
Dennis King, executive director of the P.E.I. Seafood Processors Association, calls it a devastating loss to the community and to the people who relied on the fish plant for employment.
We just really wanted to let them know that they were in our thoughts.- Dennis King
He said his heart goes out to them all and so he called the community council office, expressing his sadness about the news.
King said he also told them that there would be work for the upcoming season if some of the displaced plant employees were interested.
"Really I just let them know that we were thinking of them over here," said King. "I mean the fishing community is a pretty closely knit community throughout Atlantic Canada and I just wanted to convey the message that there would be some immediate opportunities for plant workers here in our processing facilities, if some of them were interested to go that route."
"Our processing facilities have been aggressively trying to locate workers and it just seems like a natural fit."
King said the community is understandably in shock right now. He said obviously people would want to stay in their own community.
"As someone who came from a small town myself the last thing I would want is to give the impression that we are trying to poach these workers and take them forever," said King. "We just really wanted to let them know that they were in our thoughts and that in the immediate, short term there would be some opportunities if people really needed to get some work."
King noted last year P.E.I. fish plants were 200 to 300 workers short.
He said he will check back with officials in Newfoundland in a few days or so to see if there is any interest.