The Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) will have a new president by the end of Thursday, marking the end of Keith Sullivan's tenure as leader.
Union members will choose between Greg Pretty and Dave Callahan in a secret ballot Thursday afternoon at the Comfort Inn in St. John's. A winner will be declared by 5 p.m. NT.
Pretty — a director with the FFAW — has been endorsed by the executive board at the union. He's taking on west coast fisherman Dave Callahan, who will have to overcome the executive's position to win the job.
Whoever wins will inherit the position from Sullivan, who has served as president for the past eight years. They'll lead the union's 15,000 members, primarily in the fishing industry, with smaller segments in the industrial, retail and offshore sectors.
One person won't be running
The election saw controversy earlier this week, when longtime FFAW opponent Jason Sullivan was disqualified from the race. Jason Sullivan was a member of the former upstart group FISH-NL, which aimed to break away from the FFAW and form a new union for fish harvesters.
"For the better part of the last decade, Jason Sullivan has made it his mission to discredit our union and the hundreds of democratically elected members who volunteer their time and energy on the executive board, councils, and various committees," said FFAW secretary treasurer Jason Spingle in a news release on Wednesday.
Sullivan, meanwhile, lashed out at the union leadership for allowing Pretty's ex-wife to sit on the election board.
"Having an election that is chaired by one of the candidate's ex-wife is unbelievable, however nobody in Newfoundland and Labrador is surprised by the dirty antics of the FFAW anymore," Sullivan wrote to news outlets in the province.
Spingle defended the union and hit back at Sullivan in a personal way.
"He continues to make vile, slanderous attacks on individuals, making it abundantly clear the type of character he embodies," he said.