Search

'This is being looked at by the department of labour': Derrick Bragg, Fisheries Minister

Updated: Jul 23

That's the text message Bragg sent to an enterprise owner on June 30th in response to a complaint that a processor was attempting to pay him far less than the binding $6.15/lb price for snow crab.

Such an action would undermine the government-controlled fish price-setting system over this province's $1 billion-plus fishery, and the fisherman had a document from the processor to back up his charge.


Only the complaint wasn't "looked after" by the labour department, as Bragg admitted this week. In fact, he said he "left it up to the FFAW and their legal team to address."



As for the union, the FFAW told enterprise owners grievances had been filed regarding a processor attempting to pay less than the binding crab price, but that's also apparently not the case.


Derek Butler of the Association of Seafood Producers told the Undercurrent seafood news outlet Thursday (July 21st) he had heard of the complaint, "but wasn't aware of any grievances filed against a processor over the matter, so it has yet to investigate itself."


Below is a copy of the document Green's Seafoods Ltd. asked owner-operators to sign before agreeing to buy their snow crab.



The cost of such "services" are normally included in the price paid to the inshore fleet, and appeared to be a way around paying the $6.15/lb "binding" price imposed by the province's price-setting panel on May 16th.


That would be a clear violation of the fish price-setting system, which has been in place since 2006, and, again, would undermine the entire set up.


Why would Bragg say the labour department was looking into it, when it wasn't?


Why has't the union filed a grievance?


On Thursday, SEA-NL welcomed a review of the province’s collective bargaining model for fish pricing in light of the chaos in this year’s industry with prices that have failed to kick-start commercial fisheries.


David Conway, former chair of the province’s Labour Relations Board, will carry out the review of the collective bargaining model.


Conway was head of the labour board in 2018 when he dismissed FISH-NL's application for a vote for inshore harvesters to decide their union representation.


Ryan Cleary,

Executive Director, SEA-NL

To read more about SEA-NL, or to join the non-profit organization please visit sea-nl.ca

440 views1 comment