OCI plant workers agree to strike vote

James
James McLeod
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The union representing Ocean Choice International plant workers moved Friday to a strike vote, with the head negotiator saying he thinks union members will ultimately end up on a picket line.

"They'd have to make a major move to resolve the strike," said Ben Baker, chief negotiator for the FFAW.

The union representing Ocean Choice International plant workers moved Friday to a strike vote, with the head negotiator saying he thinks union members will ultimately end up on a picket line.

"They'd have to make a major move to resolve the strike," said Ben Baker, chief negotiator for the FFAW.

The company and the union met April 20 with a concilliator in a last-ditch effort to reach a contract, but talks broke off almost immediately.

The union complained that the company was asking for concessions from the workers, and not willing to make any sort of compromise.

The affected plants are in Port aux Choix, South Dildo, Port Union, Bonavista, Marystown and Triton.

In a news release, OCI said it wasn't surprised at the move.

"Ocean Choice offered an increase in each year of a two-year agreement," said OCI CEO Martin Sullivan.

"Although flexibility was sought on certain issues, the Ocean Choice contract remains the highest total compensation collective agreement within our seafood sector."

Sullivan blamed the tight economic conditions facing the fishery for the current conflict.

The final wage OCI offered was $13.25 per hour in year one, and $13.45 in year two.

The strike vote will take place May 6-7. The workers have been in a legal strike position since April 20.

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Ocean Choice

Geographic location: Port aux Choix, Port Union, Bonavista Marystown

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