Over the month of May, UFAWU-Unifor held Part One of the 2022 All Fishermen’s Meeting Tour.
The tour saw Union staff connect with harvesters across many areas of coastal B.C. including the Sunshine Coast, North Vancouver Island, Alert Bay, Sointula, and Bella Bella.
While UFAWU-Unifor has held several All Fishermen’s Meetings over the recent past, this series was the most ambitious project of its kind organized in years — with Union staff holding a total of seven meetings in seven different locations over the span of two and a half weeks.
With the purpose of bringing commercial fish harvesters together to discuss the topics and issues most pressing to the commercial industry, All Fishermen’s Meetings are organized so that the discussion topics and the material covered are heavily dependent on the individual harvesters who attend them.
At these meetings, fishery closures, compensation, hope for the future of the industry, and a plan to get us there became consistent discussion themes.
UFAWU-Unifor also acknowledged concerns regarding the many obstacles to entry in the industry for young fishermen — while recognizing the significant input over the past few years from the young fishermen we do have who are working to remove the barriers they’re facing.
UFAWU-Unifor staff presented updates including information on the Pacific Salmon Strategy Initiative; the outlook for salmon in 2022; the threat of explosive pinniped populations; the Union’s political, public, and harvester engagement work; and a message of unity in the face of adversity.
Face-to-face meetings, like the ones held in May, give Union staff the opportunity to hear directly from harvesters while sharing important Union news and updating fishermen directly about the work done on their behalf. Hearing what matters to harvesters provides the Union with an important road map — allowing the Union to prioritize the work that matters most to active commercial fishermen and those that represent them.
Meetings like these have another purpose too: helping to bring UFAWU-Unifor staff closer to the harvesters they represent, in turn strengthening existing connections and breeding new ones.
Those interested in attending future UFAWU-Unifor All Fishermen’s Meetings can find information on upcoming meetings at UFAWU-Unifor.org, the UFAWU-Unifor Facebook page, and by joining the Union’s email list (see UFAWU-Unifor.org to join).
These meetings are just one example of the work that UFAWU-Unifor does on behalf of fishermen. Feedback from the Commercial Fish Community is that the work of the Union is hugely valuable and appreciated, but Union resources are limited and UFAWU-Unifor needs the help of fishermen to continue fighting on their behalf.
The best way to support UFAWU-Unifor’s work is by becoming a member.
Join by visiting UFAWU-Unifor.org or contacting Union staff directly at info@ufawu.