Ocean Choice provides update on Port Union Facility
June 23, 2011
Ocean Choice International (OCI) today announced that it will contribute to a fund in collaboration with the Provincial Government to assist the affected workers at its Port Union shrimp processing facility. OCI will contribute up to $200,000 to the program, which will mean that affected employees will get an additional 4 weeks work (from 10 to 14 weeks). It will also mean increased earnings for employees from Employment Insurance payments. The Company will also fund a daily bus program for employees from Port Union to work at a nearby shrimp facility that has a contract with the Company for processing its excess supply.
OCI’s Port Union facility sustained extensive damage in excess of $10 million during Hurricane Igor in September 2010. The company continues to process shrimp at its Port au Choix facility and under a contract with another processor. Employees at the Port Union facility were offered positions at our other locations and we continue to work with the Fish Food and Allied Workers Union to help affected workers.
Martin Sullivan, CEO of Ocean Choice, said the impact of Hurricane Igor continues to affect the communities in Newfoundland and in particular workers at our Port Union facility. “We hope that the program announced yesterday by the Government and with the support from OCI will help provide much needed assistance to the workers”, said Mr. Sullivan.
The Company will conduct a full assessment of the shrimp industry over the coming months and make a final decision on the Port Union operation by the end of October 2011. The Company will continue to work with government and the union in a collaborative effort to determine the long term viability of shrimp operations within the Province. The engagement of all stakeholders is critical in determining the way forward.