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FFAW renews call for income bridging due to ice conditions in N.L.

Persisting ice in some coastal areas of the province is causing problems in the fishing industry.
Persisting ice in some coastal areas of the province is causing problems in the fishing industry.

Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) president Keith Sullivan says the federal government has a responsibility help harvesters and plant employees unable to work due to persisting ice conditions in the province.

According to a news release from the union on Thursday that renews calls for assistance, some workers have been without income for over two months.

The union says its leadership has met with the senior officials with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), as well as Premier Dwight Ball and provincial Fisheries Minister Steve Crocker to emphasize the need for income support.

While the federal government has acknowledged the situation, no action has been taken.

“These people want to be working but we are experiencing some of the worst ice conditions we’ve seen in recent memory,” Sullivan said.

The FFAW release notes the federal government set aside $7.9 million for a special income-bridging program in areas affected by the heavy ice conditions in the spring of 2007. Similar programs were also implemented in 1974 and 1990.

Forecasts are predicting the ice situation will persist into June in many areas, the release notes.

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