Stop the processing of fish from out of province: Dinn


NDP Caucus News

For immediate release

April 28, 2020

Stop the processing of fish from out of province: Dinn

NDP Fisheries Critic Jim Dinn says government must get involved to stop the processing of out-of-province crab in plants in Newfoundland and Labrador at this time and protect the health and safety of fish harvesters and plant workers.

Dinn (MHA, St. John’s Centre) is reacting to news that processing companies are bringing in crab from outside the province, which will impact the price harvesters in NL can get for their catch and pressure harvesters to go back to work during the pandemic. He says both harvesters and plant workers have supported delaying opening the fisheries in order to prevent the spread of the virus and prioritize worker health and safety.

“Rather than attempting to pressure plant workers back to work, processing companies need to negotiate a fair price for NL crab harvesters and reassure plant workers that their health is a priority. If we’ve learned anything from the COVID-19 crisis, it’s that profit cannot be put before health,” said Dinn.

Dinn says during this pandemic, we have heard many praise the sacrifice and commitment of front-line and essential workers.

“Words without actions are meaningless,” said Dinn. “If seafood processors are serious about worker safety, then they must go above and beyond words and open meaningful dialogue with joint workplace occupational health and safety committees and ensure consistent public health practices and the provision of adequate personal protective equipment.”

Dinn says fish harvesting is dangerous at the best of times, and seafood processors should be negotiating a fair price with crab harvesters that reflects the increased risk of doing so in the middle of a pandemic.

“Negotiating a fair price would go much further in establishing trust than attempting to bring in crab from outside the province.”

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For further information, contact Zaren Healey White, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), 693-9172 (c), or zarenhealeywhite@gov.nl.ca.

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