Plant worker marks first anniversary of Marystown closure

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A year has pretty much passed since the workers worked their last shift at the local fish processing plant in Marystown.


For over 40 years this plant had been the work site for many. Many resettled communities were told to move to more urban places like Marystown where there was plenty of work such as in the large deep sea processing plant.

All species of fish was processed back then. Of course there was many good times and then the bad.

I reflect on the reasoning, which led to the final decision this plant will never operate again. I guess anyone involved could point fingers at the many to blame, but unfortunately that is not going to change anything.

However, for many it is still very puzzling in what really did happen.

To the end I firmly believe that this company had a long term agenda of short term losses for long term gains.

For years we all cried stop over fishing, for years we all cried give us more quotas. Today we have a healthy fish stock but these companies want to catch all the fish and ship it to foreign countries leaving a mere few crumbs for the hardworking Newfoundlander.

Or even to the point of having foreign workers work in the plants right here! All for greed and personal profit.

Just when we thought we had all our ducks in a row, a rich have province, a  majority government with nothing less than three out three of out local MHAs on the government side, two strong cabinet ministers at the cabinet table, a fisheries minister, a premier who got her political blood from demonstrations and fighting to save her own local plant.

She will draw a line in the sand for some issues but for some others she has turned a blind eye.

A dull union who told us everything we wanted to hear but did little to help the battle.

A company who signed deals and promised workers a bright long term future.

Within months the hold plan was on a downhill slide. They simply lost respect for the hard working people.

I asked a top company official a personal question at one of our union/company meetings. The question was: During these tough financial times in the deep sea fishery I just wonder what his annual salary was compared to ours? His reply was quick, “I get paid what I think I am worth to this company.”

I expected nothing less than this ignorant answer.

It has been a year since the workers got their last paycheck. Obviously, the company didn’t think we were worth much.

A company that was asked to produce an audit of its spending, income and losses. It was produced but only for secret eyes to see.

It has been very silent lately and many wonder what’s really going on behind the scenes. Who is in bed with whom?

In closing, I say to my fellow workers hold your heads high, you carry no shame. You have did your upmost to try and make this all work out.

I have seen many workers cripple and stager to the end of their work season with very little rewards. While our top officials and leaders (company, government and union) have suffered little in this historic crisis they ‘ALL’ continue to receive their six digit figure salaries.

Many of us have moved on to hopefully better careers. Sadly, many continue to struggle with this situation; they should not be forgotten.

It is so true the rich man gets to dance while the poor man pays the band.

Once again to my fellow workers the good memories will live on, all the best for a deserved better future.

Former plant worker,

Ray Nolan,


Geographic location: Marystown

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Recent comments

  • Crocker
    July 15, 2012 - 07:47

    I say to the MHA Jackman RIP you are a disgrace and a disaster from the time you were elected. Why you were elected i will never know but some times people have to be hit on the head many time before they see the lights. I remember working with Dunderdall campaigning for another political party many years ago,her views has changed a lot since then. Both of these people have let down the people. Sould never be another PC get elected in the area.

  • allan
    July 05, 2012 - 06:52

    I Agree with most of Mr. Noland's comments there were many things our Political Leaders should have and could have done to secure a long term future for plants on the Burin Peninsula Including Marystown.... if our premier could not deliver on her commitment to workers that... they were going to resolve those issues ...and that that plant has a future ,why would she make them during the election campaign publicly... as president of our local in Marystown I can honestly say as a local we worked hard to try and help find solutions.. we worked with then fisheries minister Jackman and the company in 2010 to see the company enjoy the privilege of shipping out half the entire quota un-processed... on the promise of a Brighter Future at the marystown plant.... But the company had other plans and no matter what the workers did to try an help the outcome was going to be the same from OCI.... and the unfortunate response Mr.Noland got from Mr. Sullivan at the meeting tell's you just that... they knew the day they put forward their proposal it would be soundly rejected and they took it off the table before leaving the hall rather than continue talks to try an find solutions... They Simply Had None.... Despite repeated attempts by our union to get further meetings to discuss alternatives... despite demonstrations at OCI's Offices... despite public meetings in marystown where The union outlined things that were wrong with OCI,s Plan and other Inatitives put forward by our Union so I don't agree with Mr. Nolands comments about a Dull Union.... the union should have gotten more support from Government to ensure the future of the plant and the workers there given everything the workers and the union did to help.

  • Joan
    July 05, 2012 - 00:10

    Great job Ray. You said it all. This company is all about the money and as for our government, they let it all happen when they could have saved us.....but you know Ray" What goes around comes around" and their time is coming. Take care Ray

  • Frank Mitchall
    July 04, 2012 - 23:43

    Well said Ray !!!!!

  • Rita Abbott
    July 04, 2012 - 21:52

    Well said and all is true, what goes around comes around.