CAW Calls for Emergency Action on Fishing Crisis

August 19, 2009, 12:08 PM EST

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The CAW is calling for immediate intervention on the fishing crisis that has hit the Fraser River in British Columbia.

This crisis comes after years of failed government policies on the fishing sector which has devastated communities on both ends of the country, said CAW National President Ken Lewenza.

"Thousands of workers could be out of a job as a result of the dramatic drop in salmon in British Columbia this summer," said Lewenza. "The economic crisis has already had terrible consequences for the fishing industry which was already faltering as a result of poor government policies and unsustainable off-shore competition."

As part of the union's Constitutional Convention which has brought together more than 1000 CAW members, staff and guests in Quebec City, the union has passed an emergency resolution demanding government action on the environmental, economic and social degradation which has occurred on both the east and west coasts of the country.

"The federal and provincial governments on both coasts have neglected this industry and the loss of approximately 9 million salmon should be a wake up call to government and industry," said CAW-FFAW President Earle McCurdy. "On both coasts, the global economic recession has had a devastating impact on fishing families and communities."

The CAW represents approximately 2,500 fishery workers in British Columbia (CAW-affiliated United Fish and Allied Workers Union-UFAWU) and approximately 10,000 fish harvesters and 6,000 fish plant workers in Newfoundland and Labrador (CAW-Fish, Food and Allied Workers-FFAW).

As part of the union's emergency resolution, CAW leaders and members will ramp up lobby efforts to all levels of government, including the applicable provincial and federal departments.

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