Following written confirmation from fish plant owners, Newfoundland and Labrador government’s ministerial fisheries committee has given a permanent closure status to seven fish plants.
The designation allows workers to receive government assistance, if needed, states a news release from the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
The fish plants deemed permanently closed are in the communities of Black Tickle, Jackson’s Arm, Little Bay Islands, Marystown, Port Union, St. Bride’s and St. Lewis.
The communities and the Fish Food and Allied Workers’ union made official requests to have the plants labeled permanently closed.
Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Darin King said the closure of a plant often throws a community into a state of uncertainty.
“Our government’s role is to support displaced workers as they bridge to new employment and seize new opportunities that may arise,” he said.
The government’s fisheries committee brings together a number of departments, including municipal affairs, education, fisheries, and business, with each one working to assist former fish plant workers in finding new employment.
The Department of Municipal Affairs is expected to present short-term employment opportunities under the fish plant worker employment support program.
The program aims to top up employment hours for fish plant workers who don’t have the required hours to apply for Employment Insurance.
The government also plans to provide retraining and skills upgrading support programs.
“Opportunities exist for displaced workers,” said King. “Our government will help displaced workers transition during this difficult time.”
The government stated they plan to develop initiatives in the hopes of providing new jobs in regions where fish plants have closed.