Municipal Affairs
October 30, 2006

Government Expands Employment Support for Fish Plant Workers 

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador will provide an additional $2.4 million to assist fish plant workers who will likely not secure sufficient hours to qualify for Employment Insurance.  The Honourable John Ottenheimer, Acting Municipal Affairs Minister, today announced the funding to meet employment support needs in the province�s fishery. 

�As minister responsible for employment support programs, my department recognizes the challenge faced by fish plant workers throughout Newfoundland and Labrador,� said Minister Ottenheimer.  �While this funding is a direct response to needs within the fishing industry, when combined with other programs, it represents a total of $12.4 million that the Provincial Government has invested in employment support.� 

Under the assistance announced today, persons who were part of a fish plant�s core workforce during the 2006 operating season will be able to obtain the number of hours they need to qualify for EI.  The wage rate will be $6.75 per hour.  Consideration may also be given to workers in plants that did not operate in 2006 but did operate in 2005 or 2004.  Casual plant workers may also be eligible if they can produce a Record of Employment (ROE) indicating that they worked sufficient hours at their plant in 2005 to qualify for EI. That qualification will be based on plant employment alone. 

As with other employment support programs, this initiative will use a community-based sponsor and delivery model.  Employment will be provided through funding community projects that strive to provide an enduring benefit to communities. 

In communities with fish plant workers unlikely to qualify for EI this year, community-based groups, municipal councils and similar groups are invited to submit project proposals to the Department of Municipal Affairs.  Sponsoring groups may use the application form for government�s Community Enhancement Program.  The application is available on-line at //  The application can also be obtained by calling toll free 1�866�508�5500.  Applications will be assessed as they are received.  

Media contact:
John Tompkins
Director of Communications
709-729-1983, 690-2498 

2006 10 30                                                        11:45 a.m.

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