Is corporate concentration a central part of the province’s long-term strategy for the fishery? How does that benefit Newfoundlanders and Labradorians?
Ocean Choice International, owner and operator of seafood processing plants across the province, has announced this afternoon that it is closing its operations in Marystown and Port Union. Just last week an external audit performed by Deloitte confirmed the company’s assertion that processing yellowtail at the Marystown plant has cost the company nearly $10 million in just the past three years. A strong Canadian dollar and high fuel costs were the primary causes. Meanwhile, the shrimp processing plant in Port Union has been closed since the Fall of 2010 after severe damage was caused during Hurricane Igor. As the company cited delays in working with its insurance companies as a cause, rumours have been circulating that OCI would not reopen the plant at all. Lower shrimp quotas and availability at other Newfoundland plants have perhaps made the plant redundant. Recently Ocean Choice CEO Martin Sullivan has been very outspoken about…
NDP Leader Lorraine Michael unveiled the NDP party’s fisheries policy yesterday, which includes wanting the provincial government to help reopen a fish plant that has been idled amid a dispute over exported raw product. Workers from the OCI plant in Marystown who travelled to St. John’s liked what Michael had to say. Despite the party’s support for a rationalization program — which would have seen drastic cuts in shrimp and crab processing capacity —the NDP now also wants action taken to protect the groundfish operation in Marystown. Source: CBC
Employees at the Marystown Ocean Choice International fish plant have voted 98 per cent to reject an offer from Ocean Choice International. The offer would provide 18 weeks of work to employees every year for the next three years at the Marystown plant, with a promise to pay the company’s portion of group life and health insurance monthly for a 35-week period. OCI chief operating officer Blaine Sullivan understands the workers’ frustration, but it’s not only the employees who are facing this economic hardship. OCI now has to decide where it goes from here; either the company leaves the fish in the water, or it processes it at another plant somewhere in the province that would be more feasible. Source: VOCM