The Labour Relations Board has dismissed FISH-NL’s application to be certified as a union for inshore fish harvesters, the FFAW announced Friday.

The investigation by the Labour Relations Board into FISH-NL’s application confirmed FFAW-Unifor’s longstanding assertion that there are nearly 10,000 inshore fish harvesters in our province, the FFAW said in a news release. FISH-NL therefore did not have adequate support to warrant a vote.

“Subsequent to filing the application, and as it became clear that it did not have members in good standing as a majority of the existing bargaining unit, FISH-NL submitted that only fish harvesters meeting FISH-NL’s proposed criteria should be included in the bargaining unit for the purpose of deciding whether to conduct a certification vote. The Application was not filed on this basis,” the decision read.

FFAW President Keith Sullivan said he was pleased with the decision.


“The inshore fishery and our coastal communities are stronger when we stand united,” he said in a statement. “FFAW-Unifor’s elected leadership looks forward to moving on from this process and continuing to focus on tackling the serious issues facing our industry.”

But FISH-NL President Ryan Cleary isn’t necessarily ready to give up the fight, hinting at an appeal.

“FISH-NL will have more to say on the decision — including whether an appeal will be filed — in the coming days,” he said in a statement. “But if the FFAW-Unifor or anyone else involved in the province’s fishing industry believes for one second this decision will bring an end to growing labour unrest within the inshore fishery, they’re living in la la labour land.”