Canada’s largest private sector unions wants the federal government to yank the Jim Pattison Group’s commercial salmon fishing licences over the company’s decision to shutter canning operations in Prince Rupert.
Unifor, which represents workers at Canadian Fishing Company, says Canfisco’s decision to shutter the salmon cannery at its Oceanside operation could cost the community up to 500 jobs.
“Fish caught in northern BC waters should be processed in a north coast plant,” said Joie Warnock, Unifor’s Western Director. “Canadians own the resource, pure and simple. Residents of the north coast deserve jobs in return for granting a multinational corporation a licence to fish these waters. A corporate licence to fish Canadian waters is not a right, it is a privilege that comes with responsibilities to Canadians,” Warnock added. ”
However, Canfisco spokesman Rob Morley says only a very small amount of salmon processed by the cannery this past summer was catch from company boats. Morley says most of the salmon came from Alaska.
Morley also calls the job loss estimates high, adding that about 330 people have regular work with the company. He says most will still process fish.