FFAW Releases Provincial Election Report Card
Today the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW-Unifor) released its provincial election report card, grading responses to a questionnaire on key issues affecting the Union’s membership relating to fish harvesting, processing and labour relations.
FFAW-Unifor sent the questionnaire to all four political parties and received responses from the Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party, and the NL Alliance. Union members were disappointed to find that the Progressive Conservative Party failed to respond by the deadline.
“There hasn’t been much talk about the fishery during this campaign period, however we are pleased that three parties responded to our questionnaire, making clear where they stand on important issues affecting FFAW members,” says Keith Sullivan, FFAW-Unifor President.
The Union is pleased that all parties who responded to the questionnaire understand the important role renewed groundfish fisheries will play in the future of the province. All parties affirmed their support for the federal government’s commitment that the 115,000 metric tonnes of northern cod be allocated to owner-operator fish harvesters and Indigenous groups.
In response to concerns about the future of the fishery and the current demographic challenges facing the industry, all parties were clear that we must find new ways to help young harvesters enter the fishery through education, training, access to capital and enforcement of the fleet separation policy.
Unfortunately, most parties lacked in their commitment to mitigate the impacts of the oil and gas industry on the fishery. Only the NDP made clear commits to funding additional research on the effects of seismic testing on fish stocks.
Responses were mixed on the question of how each party would ensure skilled trades and metal fabrication work related to provincial megaprojects is carried out by Newfoundland and Labrador workers. On labour relations, the Liberal Party committed to consultation and review of existing Labour Relations legislation. The NDP made specific commitments to amendment legislation that protects workers’ rights while the NL Alliance expressed support for labour laws that are fair and equitable without providing any specific details.
“FFAW-Unifor members live in hundreds of communities around our province and our votes can have a significant impact on the outcome of the election. It is unfortunate that political parties have not spoken more directly to the issues important to our members,” continued Sullivan. “Without a doubt, FFAW-Unifor members will be vocal and persistent in holding the government to account once the ballots are counted on May 16th.
UPDATE MAY 14, 2019: The PC Party submitted their responses on Monday afternoon and we have updated the report card accordingly.
For media inquiries, please contact Courtney Glode, FFAW-Unifor Communications, 709-743-4445, [email protected]