NL trawler dispute ends, workers ratify deal

Committee monitoring the income of fishermen to be established
||Last Updated: 04/16/2012

The union representing the locked-out crew of a Newfoundland fishing trawler says it has ratified an agreement with Ocean Choice International (OCI).

The 44 members of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union voted unanimously to ratify the tentative agreement, ending a 10-week labour dispute.

At the centre of the dispute was OCI’s wish to harvest redfish on the boat, known as the Newfoundland Lynx, which has historically harvested shrimp and turbot. The company argued it should be able to choose what it catches, but the union was concerned change could mean reduced wages for its members.

The new deal contains an agreement on halibut, turbot and redfish prices, according to the union’s industrial director, Greg Pretty. A committee monitoring the income of the fishermen will also be established, he said.

No other details have been disclosed.

The dispute had its share of controversy.

In February, union members were arrested after attempting to block replacement workers from boarding the Lynx. In March, union members boarded the boat in an attempt to occupy it. OCI also accused union members of slashing tires and damaging company property.

The workers, who have been locked out since Feb. 4, could be back on the job as early as April 20.

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