The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has said it has won the first battle in its bid to represent the province’s inshore fish harvesters.
The province’s Labour Relations Board issued a ruling Thursday afternoon rejecting an application by the FFAW that FISH-NL is not an association under the Fishing Industry Collective Bargaining Act.
“If you were listening closely Thursday afternoon you would have heard the collective cheer of thousands of fish harvesters around the province,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The ruling by the Labour Relations Board legitimizes our movement. FISH-NL has now been legally recognized as an official organization of fish harvesters, despite the best efforts of the salt-water mafia.”
The FFAW has made another application to the Labour Relations Board that the membership list of inshore fish harvesters not be released to FISH-NL. “We’re hopeful the Labour Relations Board will schedule a hearing on that application as soon as possible,” says Cleary.
It’s expected that once the Labour Relations Board rules on the release of the membership list to FISH-NL, an investigator with the Board will begin the review of FISH-NL’s application and membership cards.
On Dec. 30, FISH-NL presented an application to the Labour Relations Board to represent the province’s inshore fish harvesters, breaking them away from the FFAW. The application included 2,352 membership cards signed by inshore harvesters around Newfoundland and Labrador.
FISH-NL argues that number represents more than 50 per cent of all inshore harvesters, the amount required to force a vote by the Labour Relations Board to ultimately decide which union will represent harvesters.