Update: support for displaced plant workers
June 21, 2012
Minister Provides Update on Progress in Supporting Displaced Fish Plant Workers
The Honourable Darin King, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Fisheries Issues, provided an update today on progress being made in supporting workers displaced by the permanent closure of seven fish plants throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.
“The Cabinet Committee on Fisheries Issues has been active in the last two months meeting with town councils and employee representatives,” said Minister King. “During this time, meetings have occurred with eight groups. These groups were provided with detailed information regarding the available suite of programs and services offered by the Provincial Government. Our government is committed to supporting displaced workers who have been negatively impacted by the closure of their local fish plant.”
Members of the committee have met with representatives from the Town of Marystown; the Town of Burin; the Town of Port Union; the Town of Little Bay Islands; the Fish, Food and Allied Workers’ Union local committees from Marystown, Burin, and Port Union; as well as officials from community-based organizations on the Burin Peninsula. A meeting with representatives from the community of Jackson’s Arm will take place this evening (Thursday, June 21) in Deer Lake, and meetings with representatives from the communities of Black Tickle and St. Lewis will occur in July.
The Department of Municipal Affairs is making contact with displaced workers to deliver employment supports through the Fish Plant Workers Employment Support Program. Projects have started for workers from the Marystown plant who have Employment Insurance claims expiring by the end of August 2012. For workers from the remaining plants with claims expiring in August, projects are expected to be in place next week. The process for a second round of projects will commence in July for workers not yet placed.
The Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development is engaged with its community partners on an ongoing basis to explore opportunities for economic development. This approach is based on levering regional strengths to build capacity for economic activity.
The Department of Advanced Education and Skills encourages displaced workers who have not already done so to call toll-free 1-888-231-2882, or visit their local Career Work Centre, to begin the process of attaining supports. Career counsellors will work with individuals and help navigate the programs and services that best suit individual needs.
The Cabinet Committee on Fisheries Issues was re-activated in May 2012 in response to the permanent closure of seven fish plants located throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. Since then, the committee and Provincial Government departments have begun the process of facilitating the connection of displaced workers with available programs and services. This suite of programs and services is intended to help individuals find new employment, secure short-term insurable hours to qualify for employment insurance, and provide financial support to retrain or upgrade skills. Included in the measures will also be a coordinated effort to foster economic development opportunities that will develop long-term sustainability for affected regions.
Information regarding Career Work Centres and the Fish Plant Worker Employment Support Program are contained in the backgrounder available at http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2012/fishaq/0621n03.htm.