Financial Appeal for Locked Out Trawler Crew

April 4, 2012, 3:00 PM EST

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CAW President Ken Lewenza is urging financial support and messages of solidarity to the locked-out crew of the factory freezer trawler Newfoundland Lynx.

The dispute began on February 5, 2012 when Ocean Choice International locked out the crew of the trawler. The FFAW bargaining unit is made up of 44 members, divided into two crews who work on a trip-on, trip-off basis.

The main issues in dispute at the start of the lockout were fish prices, employer demands for exclusions from the bargaining unit, and the employer's attempt to circumvent the Collective Agreement by moving high-valued shrimp to a non-union vessel, and demanding that the crew of the Newfoundland Lynx fish lower-valued species. This would drastically reduce their incomes.

The dispute escalated dramatically when the company brought in a scab crew. The locked out trawlermen held the scabs at bay for several days, but eventually about 75 riot police forced the issue and got the crew on board the vessel. Since then the vessel has sailed with a scab crew, landing in Nova Scotia.

The company has compounded the issue by adding additional demands during bargaining sessions aimed at settling the dispute.

Donations in support of the locked out crew can be sent to FFAW/CAW President Earle McCurdy, P.O. Box 10, St.John's, NL, A1C 5H5. Make cheques payable to the FFAW/CAW.

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