3 more Newfoundland seafood processors avoid strikes

Processing plant workers at Ocean Choice International
Snow crab processors in Newfoundland and Labrador avoided strikes as employees voted in favor of new employment agreements | Photo courtesy of the Fish Food and Allied Workers Union/Facebook
4 Min

Three more seafood processors in Newfoundland and Labrador have avoided strikes as employees at their facilities accepted new employment agreements. 

Icewater in Arnold’s Cove, Ocean Choice International (OCI) facilities at Triton and Bonavista, and Barry Group Witless Bay have all passed new agreements, avoiding potential strikes, the Fish Food and Allied Workers union (FFAW) reported on its Facebook page.

Before the recent announcements of accepted employment agreements, the facilities, represented by FFAW, announced on 15 May that they – along with Beothic Fish Processors Limited – were at an impasse over contract negotiations.

The impasse was first broken by Beothic Fish Processors on 26 May, when 66 percent of its workers voted in favor of a new agreement that included wage increases of 11.5 percent over three years.

The latest round of votes took place on 3 June, with OCI employees voting 76 percent in favor of an agreement for both Triton and Bonavista. The new agreement will see employees receive a 5.1 percent pay increase in year one, 3.2 percent in the second year of the deal, and 2.6 percent in year three, according to the FFAW. 

Barry Group Witless Bay passed its agreement by a narrow 52 percent margin. The new contract is set by dollar value, with a CAD 0.90 (USD 0.65, EUR 0.60) increase in year one, and a CAD 0.55 (USD 0.40, EUR 0.36) increase years two and three.

Icewater accepted its agreement soon after, voting 75 percent in favor. The exact details of the new contract were not disclosed by the FFAW.

The agreements and action come as the Newfoundland and Labrador crab fishery reached 33,443 metric tons (MT) caught out of 57,586 MT of quota available as of 3 June, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The season got a late start after protests over minimum pricing, but harvesters managed to hit the water on 14 April – significantly earlier than they did in 2023 when a six-week standoff over pricing eventually forced Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans to extend the snow crab season multiple times.  

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