December 15, 2003
(Fisheries and Aquaculture)
Report on review of Fishing Industry Collective Bargaining Act released to public
Tom Osborne, Minister of Labour, and Trevor Taylor, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, today released the report on the review of the Fishing Industry Collective Bargaining Act.
The report, which contains 71 recommendations, was prepared by David Jones, who was appointed earlier this year to conduct a review of the current legislation and practice relating to collective bargaining in the fish harvesting sector in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Officials with both departments are currently analyzing Mr. Jones� recommendations and making the report available to stakeholders for their review before a decision is made regarding implementation.
Recommendations in the report, which is entitled A Framework For Stability, include the continuation of the Final Offer Selection (FOS) collective bargaining model as the preferred method of establishing prices in the fishery. Mr. Jones has also made several recommendations to modify and improve the current FOS system. In an effort to strengthen the relationship between industry stakeholders, the report also recommends conducting an annual roundtable following each fishing season to examine the results and challenges of the previous fishery, as well as prepare for the next season.
"We look forward to obtaining stakeholder response to the report," said Minister Osborne. "When we receive feedback from industry stakeholders, the department will facilitate further discussions as necessary to address any concerns and then make a decision with respect to implementing the recommendations."
"During the course of the review, it is clear that Mr. Jones also received a lot of commentary on other key issues facing our fishing industry besides the Final Offer Selection model. I commend him on ensuring these issues are also documented in the report," said Minister Taylor. "Our overall goal is to enhance long-term labour relations stability in the fishing industry and many factors indeed need to be considered to achieve this goal."
Minister Taylor added that he is confident that Commissioner Eric Dunne, who was appointed by the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture in July to conduct a review of the province's fish processing policy, has considered all issues and recommendations in Mr. Jones' report. The commissioner's report on the province's fish processing policy is expected to be released early in 2004.
A copy of Mr. Jones� report can be obtained at the departments of Labour and Fisheries and Aquaculture by calling (709) 729-7420 or (709) 729-3708. The report is also available online at www.gov.nl.ca/labour or www.gov.nl.ca/fishaq
2003 12 15 3:30 p.m.