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FPI News - July 18, 2006

Open Forum for discussing the challenges facing Fishery Products International (FPI).
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FPI News - July 18, 2006

Postby JohnDoe » Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:23 am

Contract talks between FPI, unionized workers, at standstill over wages


ST. JOHN'S, N.L. (CP) - The livelihoods of 2,000 Newfoundlanders employed by Atlantic Canada's largest seafood processor remained in question Tuesday after collective bargaining between FPI Ltd. (TSX:FPL) and its unionized workers broke down.
Negotiations that resumed Monday with the help of a provincially appointed conciliator were quickly derailed after FPI tabled an offer calling for a $2.66 reduction in hourly wages. "That's a huge hit they're proposing," said Earle McCurdy, president of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union.

"This proposal, strictly on the wage rate alone, would reduce their annual income by about . . . $4,000. And you're talking people with maybe $18,000 in annual income."

FPI, whose groundfish operations are on hold, is seeking concessions as the division has recorded losses of about $50 million over the last four years - an average of more than $1 million a month. The talks were the first between the company and union in two months.

"We understand that nobody likes to talk about concessions," John Risley, a director serving on the company's board, said in an interview from Halifax.

"But on the other hand, we need to get on with what is a reasonable wage in the current circumstances."

FPI workers, who have been without a contract for a year, receive an average hourly wage of $13.66 - the highest paid in Newfoundland's seafood-processing industry. The company's wage reduction proposal would bring them in line with industry standards.

McCurdy, who will meet Wednesday with provincial Fisheries Minister Tom Rideout to help resolve the dispute, said FPI employees deserve to be the best paid given the company's size.

Continued...


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Postby NC » Thu Jul 20, 2006 10:35 am

Is it just me or do those wages seem lower than the ones we saw running through SEPH?


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Re: FPI News - July 18, 2006

Postby dante666 » Thu Jul 20, 2006 10:49 am

Contract talks between FPI, unionized workers, at standstill over wages


ST. JOHN'S, N.L. (CP) - The livelihoods of 2,000 Newfoundlanders employed by Atlantic Canada's largest seafood processor remained in question Tuesday after collective bargaining between FPI Ltd. (TSX:FPL) and its unionized workers broke down.
Negotiations that resumed Monday with the help of a provincially appointed conciliator were quickly derailed after FPI tabled an offer calling for a $2.66 reduction in hourly wages. "That's a huge hit they're proposing," said Earle McCurdy, president of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union.

"This proposal, strictly on the wage rate alone, would reduce their annual income by about . . . $4,000. And you're talking people with maybe $18,000 in annual income."

FPI, whose groundfish operations are on hold, is seeking concessions as the division has recorded losses of about $50 million over the last four years - an average of more than $1 million a month. The talks were the first between the company and union in two months.

"We understand that nobody likes to talk about concessions," John Risley, a director serving on the company's board, said in an interview from Halifax.

"But on the other hand, we need to get on with what is a reasonable wage in the current circumstances."

FPI workers, who have been without a contract for a year, receive an average hourly wage of $13.66 - the highest paid in Newfoundland's seafood-processing industry. The company's wage reduction proposal would bring them in line with industry standards.

McCurdy, who will meet Wednesday with provincial Fisheries Minister Tom Rideout to help resolve the dispute, said FPI employees deserve to be the best paid given the company's size.

Continued...
Wow... i gotta say... best paid or not, the company is asking for (what my math tells me) a 22% wage reduction... That's freaking HUGE. and 18k a year is not very much at all in this day and age.

This could be a very ugly fight, as the company is asking for ALOT from the employee's.


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Postby JohnDoe » Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:36 pm

On the other hand, if you read further in the article, it states that the company has lost $50 million over the last 4 years, an average more than $1 million per month. FPI is also a post bankruptcy company.
... Formed by the federal and provincial governments in 1984 from the bankrupt shells of several previously collapsed private firms, FPI became a publicly traded company three years later....
So, while it may be a hard sell, it may be desperately needed to keep those jobs at all.


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Postby NC » Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:06 pm

Sad... but it amounts to euthanasia. I mean, how long will they last at that?

How much is a house in... wherever Newfoundland?


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Postby NC » Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:18 pm

Well, from $9,000 to $90,000 so a LOT cheaper than what I would think, but $18 grand! Sheesh.

Click on the Burin Peninsula - that is where Google Earth says they are.

http://www.mls.ca/map.aspx?AreaID=1750


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Postby dante666 » Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:39 pm

regardless of the the economy a drop from 18k to 14k is going to be devasting to people.

A better question than house rates in NFLD would be what is considered the poverty line.

According to St John's website they had a population of aprox 99 000 in 2001.

According to this website a Single person living in a city with 100 000 people the poverty line is considered $16000

The company must have other ways to make the plant profitable without putting it's employees under the poverty line.


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Postby JohnDoe » Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:20 pm

Check out this site: Stats Canada - Individuals by total income level, by province and territory (Newfoundland and Labrador)

The average income for 2004 was only $18,700.

Or this one: Stats Canada - 2001 Community Profiles - Burin, Nfld and St John's, Nfld

A little older, but median income for those 15 and over was only $15,636 in Burin, $19,442 in St John's.


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