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Snow crab harvesters face final offer in search of better prices

Association of Seafood Producers Executive Director Jeff Loder, left, and FFAW President Greg Pretty will issued what the FFAW calls a final counter proposal in the search for higher snow crab prices. (CBC - image credit)
Association of Seafood Producers Executive Director Jeff Loder, left, and FFAW President Greg Pretty will issued what the FFAW calls a final counter proposal in the search for higher snow crab prices. (CBC - image credit)
CBC
CBC

The Fish, Food & Allied Workers Union and the Association of Seafood Producers have reached what the FFAW calls a final counter offer in their search for better snow crab prices.

Details were shared on the union's Facebook page at around 9:30 p.m. NT, over two hours after a meeting between the two parties began.

The proposal sets $2.20 per pound as the minimum price of snow crab for the rest of the season. There is an opportunity for increases, which would be tied to the Urner Barry Index, which dictates the market price.

The proposal, according to the FFAW's Facebook page, is as follows:

  • When the index reaches $5.25 US, the price will increase to $2.25 per pound.

  • At $5.50, the price will increase to $2.30.

  • At $5.75, the price will increase to $2.40.

  • At $6, the price will increase to $2.50.

  • If the index price goes above $6, the union can submit for reconsideration to the price-setting panel.

The index price sat at $4.65 US as of last Friday.

"The Bargaining Committee has done everything they can to move the price of crab from the original decision. It's been a very difficult few weeks for our members; enterprise owners, crew members, plant workers, dockside monitors and other fishery workers are experiencing economic strain and enormous stress due to the unknown," FFAW President Greg Pretty said in a news release shared on Facebook.

Harvesters who hold snow crab licences will vote on the proposal over the next two days, the post said. Licence holders will recieve an emailed poll according to the post, with a deadline to respond of 9 p.m. NT on Thursday.

CBC News contacted both FFAW President Greg Pretty and ASP Executive Director Jeff Loder for comment before the meeting. Loder responded, but didn't have details to share before the meeting.

Fisheries Minister Derrick Bragg told the House of Assembly Wednesday that the two sides were negotiating a deal to get crab boats out on the water for the first time this season. By the end of the session, he had to stand up and report that talks had broken down again.

"This is the third time talks have broken off within that department so if anybody's got some suggestions from the opposite side please bring them forward," he said.

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