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Twillingate plant closure highlights need for 'adjacency': mayor

The closure of Twillingate’s Notre Dame Seafoods has Mayor Gordon Noseworthy calling upon the federal government to implement adjacency for inshore harvesters in Shrimp Fishing Area 6.
The closure of Twillingate’s Notre Dame Seafoods has Mayor Gordon Noseworthy calling upon the federal government to implement adjacency for inshore harvesters in Shrimp Fishing Area 6.

TWILLINGATE, NL - As Twillingate Mayor Gordon Noseworthy made his way along the wharf, next to the shuttered Notre Dame Seafoods shrimp plant, he gives his head an empathic shake as he thinks about the uncertain future that has fallen on more than 100 displaced workers.

Severe cuts to inshore quotas have rendered the plant inoperable this year, and he says it should never have come to this. Noseworthy cast a finger of blame towards government.

The push by fishermen and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) union, to implement adjacency to the resource — which allow inshore harvesters more access to Shrimp Fishing Area 6 quotas, and possibly prohibit factory from fishing the area — is something the mayor says the federal government should have honoured.

He said Twillingate’s processing troubles are a key example of why adjacency is needed more now than ever.

“If the government would make the right decision, we’ve have shrimp and plenty of work in the province’s plants,” he said. 

As a result, he said, a lot of tough decision will have to be made.

Noseworthy’s not doubting that federal dollars will come through to assist the displaced workers in offering minimum wage jobs, providing just enough hours to qualify for Employment Insurance.

But that makes for a bare bones living. The other option is to leave for work, but Noseworthy said that doesn’t come without its challenges.

“There are a few that have gone away, very few, but the options are limited because majority of the plant workers are 50 plus, and there’s a lot of female employees raising families, which makes the decision to move for employment that much more difficult,” he said. 

Either way, Noseworthy is looking at an economic downturn in the town.

“Grocery purchases become fewer, cars will be parked, home renovations get put on the backburner,” he said. “Everyone is going to feel the pinch of it.”

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Twillingate plant closure highlights need for 'adjacency': mayor

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Adam.randell@ganderbeacon.ca

 

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