Letter to the editor -
As a member of the Fish Food and Allied Workers union (FFAW), I am a little concerned about the lack of interest in the election campaign that's taking place to elect a new executive board.
Is this lack of interest politically motivated by the current executive board to ensure as little interest as possible so that there will be little or no challenge to the current leadership's cushy positions on the board?
During other large union election, CUPE, NAPE, NLNU, etc, there was great debate and executives had to defend their actions to their memberships.
Why isn't there debate or even casual talk about this election? Why isn't the executive forced to defend their dismal performance as leaders of one of the largest unions in the province?
I visited the FFAW's website and I had to search to find any reference to a general election. And I still didn't find a list of candidates for positions up for election.
Is this another ploy by the brace of the FFAW to ensure that the general membership don't get access to any material that would threaten the current executive board members run for re-election?
Why can't the general membership contact all the executive board members via email?
Why does all email have to go through the president's account?
Is Mr. McCurdy worried about a paper trail that will come back to haunt the FFAW? Is this an example of dictatorship in action, or just another way to ensure members concerns and inquires are not known to those on the executive board that might be inquisitive enough to act on them?
Six figure salary
Regarding your website, I attempted to get the access to the FFAW's financial records. I was interested in knowing what six figure salary Mr. McCurdy and possible Mr. Decker, along with their expense accounts, are receiving from the hard earned and shallow pockets of its membership.
Another thing, how much is the FFAW dishing out for rent so that McCurdy and his Good Old Boys Club can live in the lap of luxury in their Ivory Tower in St. John's?
Is this information available to the general membership, and if so how do I get access to it? Is this information unavailable because the FFAW's executive don't want the general membership to know what they are receiving in salaries and benefits, therefore decreasing the number of challengers that may want to oppose the executives for their positions on the board?
I'm sure once membership are made aware of the amount of salary and benefit these two men receive, there will be outrage and challenges to their positions. I'm amazed at the frequent appearance of Mr. McCurdy and Mr. Decker's face all over the news media. I'm used to seeing McCurdy's face, but Decker's is a different story.
Until recently I thought that Mr. Decker was in the Witness Protection Program, but I guess when you are looking for votes you got to remove yourself from playing Solitary on your computer and give the impression that you are actually doing your job. I've travelled the northeast coast from Twillingate to St. Anthony, and I've talked to fishers on wharves and in their homes, and I have yet heard a positive comment regard the effectiveness of the FFAW when it comes to the harvesters of this province.
The most common comment is "useless," and that's stated with distain in their voices.
Why is the executive board so reluctant to get out and debate their record or lack of record with the general membership? Is it because they are afraid they will be embarrassed and thrown out of town?
The FFAW has been trying to get the federal and provincial government to reimburse fishers their licensing fees and other expenditures to ease the burden on harvesters due to the poor fishing season in all sectors and the down turn in the economy.
Is the FFAW offering to give back union dues to its membership to ease the financial strain on fishers, or is this another example of do what I say and not what I do?
In conclusion, this is just a short list of concerns and questions that I would like comments and answers to from the FFAW.
There are many more inquires and observations I have that I will be looking to the FFAW for response to and comment on. But I will leave that for another day.