Joy Thorkelson to be the president of the United Fishermen and Workers Union. (File photo)

Thorkelson elected president of United Fishermen and Workers Union

Prince Rupert city councillor elected at the 62nd UFAWU-UNIFOR convention

City councillor Joy Thorkelson has been elected as president of the United Fishermen and Workers Union UNIFOR (UFAWU-UNIFOR).

The 62nd bi-annual UFAWU-UNIFOR convention took place on Dec. 2 at the Fisherman’s Hall in Prince Rupert where approximately 20 fishermen and other stakeholders gathered to take stock of the industry. Thorkelson was previously the union’s northern representative, and will now being taking on a broader leadership role as the UFAWU-UNIFOR moves ahead with its plans over the next 12 months to lobby the federal government about issues affecting its members.

Thorkelson said that while the province is interested in working for fishermen on the West Coast, the federal government is not focusing enough on the issues that affect those in B.C. who make a living from fishing.

“We are really trying to let this minister know that…the people that are doing all the work, the fishermen and the shoreworkers…are becoming poorer and poorer,” she said. “And its time the minister took an interest in this coast, as well as the East Coast.”

READ MORE: Shoreworkers’ employment hours plummet

The group at Fisherman’s Hall connected via Skype with union chapters throughout the province. Together, they outlined the most pressing concerns affecting their livelihood. Among the concerns discussed were policies managing fish populations that restrict fishermen’s access to fish, and factors impacting the amount of money fishermen can make on their catches.

“Their incomes have been falling and that’s why we can’t attract new people to the industry [on the West Coast],” she said.

READ MORE: UFAWU-Unifor makes public plea to feds to save jobs

Thorkelson said the union plans to take these concerns across the province to get feedback from fishermen in other communities with the aim of presenting a refined document to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

“We’re going to see if we can come up with a consensus on the coast from active fishermen about what needs to happen to make fisheries productive,” she said.

Thorkelson said she hopes to collect the feedback in the next 4-6 months, and have a document ready by the end of the summer in 2018.


 


matthew.allen@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Disaster in store for Prince Rupert, announces Lester Centre of the Arts

Auditions set to take place at the end of October

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Pembina CEO says ‘noise’ makes Trans Mountain pipeline bid unlikely

Trans Mountain was sold to federal government in 2018

Northwest Wave Riders return from Victoria Dragon Boat Festival

This was the first time in 25 years that northern B.C. teams competed

Fore-get about golf this weekend, Vic Marion Seniors tournament postponed

Rainy forecast in Prince Rupert pushes tournament to later date

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

The Northern View announces inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby in Prince Rupert

More than $7,000 up for grabs for biggest legal salmon and halibut

The Northern View 2019 Readers Choice

It’s that time of year again! Vote online or at the Prince Rupert office before noon on Aug. 30

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town hit by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders an intruder broke in

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

Most Read