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Employment projects for displaced Twillingate workers start today

After it was announced Notre Dame Seafoods would not open for the season, 100 Twillingate plant workers were left without employment.
After it was announced Notre Dame Seafoods would not open for the season, 100 Twillingate plant workers were left without employment.

TWILLINGATE, NL – Daphne Hynes considers herself fortunate to have already had a part-time job in homecare following this summer’s closure of Notre Dame Seafoods in Twillingate.

Most of the approximately 100 displaced workers weren’t as fortunate, including her husband, Milton.

At the time of Daphne’s phone interview with the Beacon, Milton was off working one of four part-time jobs he took on throughout the summer. He’s trying to earn enough hours to qualify for employment insurance to help see them through the upcoming winter and spring.

Daphne had spent 33 years working at the fish plant. Milton worked there for 45 years.

“My husband put at least 30 applications and resumes in surrounding towns, he phoned five plants, but he wasn’t able to line anything up,” she said.

“It don’t look very good, our town was very busy this summer because of tourism, but now everything is slowing down,” she said.

Employment projects are getting set to come on stream, and Daphne said it’s badly needed, “because there are a lot of people who have had their employment insurance run out.”

Outgoing Twillingate Mayor Gordon Noseworthy said projects were set to start rolling out Sept. 18, the first being upgrades to the town’s swimming pool, followed by Hospital Pond upgrades Sept. 25. Another project, pending approval, would provide hours to upgrade the Harbour Authority.

Noseworthy said while it’s been a tough summer for the displaced plant workers, many people are finding their own employment.

He used the program list, which identifies those who need hours to qualify for employment insurance, as an example.

“It started out with 93 plant workers on the list, then it went down to 42, and as far as I know it’s less than that now,” he said.

Adam.randell@ganderbeacon.ca 

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