Benefit Fund History
In 1947, reduction herring fish harvesters decided to form a Herring Welfare Fund. In 1948, the Pilchard and Herring Fishermen and Tendermen Welfare Fund was created to ensure that the commercial fish harvesters, Tendermen and their families had a benefit plan that would help them financially for medical expenses.
The Salmon Welfare Fund was created In 1949 by the Native Brotherhood of B.C., the Union and vessel owners. The Tendermen’s Welfare Fund was first negotiated in 1954.
In 1957, the halibut fleet created the Longliner Welfare Fund. The LWF was funded by contributions specified in the Longline Agreements between the UFAWU and the Vessel Owners Association and between the UFAWU and BC Packers and other fish companies.
By 1969, fish harvesters decided to amalgamate the Pilchard & Herring Welfare Fund, the Salmon Welfare Fund and the Longliners Welfare Funds to form the “United Fishermen’s Welfare Fund.” In 1984, the Fund was renamed the “United Fishermen’s Benefit Fund.”
The Benefit Fund Today
The Fund remains under the direction of trustees elected by UFAWU-Unifor and the Native Brotherhood of B.C.
The Benefit Fund is now self-funded and will charge yearly premiums for coverage. The Fund has received contributions and negotiated with CFC on behalf of their Salmon Seine fishermen. Eligibility for coverage with the United Fishermen’s Benefit Fund shall be: Members in good standing of the UFAWU or NBBC and; engaged in regular commercial fisheries.