The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH NL) presented an application this morning to the Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Relations Board requesting that the organization be certified as the new bargaining agent for inshore fish harvesters.
The application, the organization stated, includes membership cards signed by thousands of harvesters from more than 300 communities around the province.
“We feel we have the support of more than 50 per cent of all inshore harvesters — we certainly had the support of more than 80 per cent of all harvesters we encountered,” said Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. However, he would not disclose what the actual number of signed cards.
“What we’re attempting has been described — not as a raid of another union — but as a full fledged revolt.”
Over the coming days and weeks, the Labour Relations Board will review FISH-NL’s application and verify the membership cards.
The Board will determine whether FISH-NL has the support of at least 40 per cent of fish harvesters, which would trigger a secret ballot vote by the Labour Relations Board. That vote will ultimately decide which union will represent fish harvesters.