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Letter to the editor: Judge rules a new meaning to ‘compensation’

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“Where you can demonstrate you are rich enough to join forces and pay a lawyer enough to take what doesn't belong to you.”

There were three groups of fishers who were involved in the scallop court case along with the FFAW/UNIFOR:
Group one was the minority group — the group the union were representing — Scallop harvesters who have fished scallops 15-25 weeks a year for the past 20 to 30 years and depend on the scallop fishery for their livelihood. They can demonstrate a loss with the closure of this area and will be depending on the scallop fishery for many years to come.  
Group two was a small group of scallop harvesters who fish scallops approximately four to eight weeks a year, mainly for EI benefits. They have not found it feasible enough to see any future in it. Some of those members have not participated in the scallop fishery for the past five to seven years.
Group three is the majority group: shrimp, crab, seiners, etc. fishers. This group holds a scallop license but has not fished scallops for the past 20 years or so, or has never fished scallops in their lifetime.
This court case was brought about by a couple of fishermen from group two. They have no intention of ever fishing scallops again; therefore would not benefit from this compensation package. They approached the majority group stating, "if you sign this paper and give me $1000 to hire a lawyer you will get $33,000 in return".
Who wouldn’t? Really, they had nothing to lose.
I am an active scallop fisherwoman, 52 years old who has taken this court case very personal. My husband has fished scallops for the past 30 years, many of which were 800-pound a week quotas for $5 a pound or less. But we survived it.
In 2005, my husband’s dad retired at the age of 65. For the next six years he struggled to keep crewmembers because of the more lucrative shrimp fishery, and of course the oil patch. Consequently I made a decision to leave my job as a plant worker, which at the time I was making a decent salary with the position I was in, and joined my husband in the scallop fishery.
For the past four years we have been fortunate to find a buyer to purchase our scallop in shell stock in order for us to participate in the scallop fishery, with a crew of two in a 38-foot vessel to make it feasible. The scallop fishery has not been a very lucrative fishery for a living, therefore when this deal was signed by NALCOR and UNIFOR it looked very promising to the actual scallop harvesters who had much to benefit from this compensation package in the future.
If LIFO stands you may see some of this majority group have to return to the scallop fishery again and I’m sure they will regret the decision they have made.
By the way, the correct meaning of COMPENSATION is something, typically money, awarded to someone as a recompense for loss, injury, or suffering.
As an active scallop harvester, I rest my case.  

Maunda Genge
writes from Anchor Point

There were three groups of fishers who were involved in the scallop court case along with the FFAW/UNIFOR:
Group one was the minority group — the group the union were representing — Scallop harvesters who have fished scallops 15-25 weeks a year for the past 20 to 30 years and depend on the scallop fishery for their livelihood. They can demonstrate a loss with the closure of this area and will be depending on the scallop fishery for many years to come.  
Group two was a small group of scallop harvesters who fish scallops approximately four to eight weeks a year, mainly for EI benefits. They have not found it feasible enough to see any future in it. Some of those members have not participated in the scallop fishery for the past five to seven years.
Group three is the majority group: shrimp, crab, seiners, etc. fishers. This group holds a scallop license but has not fished scallops for the past 20 years or so, or has never fished scallops in their lifetime.
This court case was brought about by a couple of fishermen from group two. They have no intention of ever fishing scallops again; therefore would not benefit from this compensation package. They approached the majority group stating, "if you sign this paper and give me $1000 to hire a lawyer you will get $33,000 in return".
Who wouldn’t? Really, they had nothing to lose.
I am an active scallop fisherwoman, 52 years old who has taken this court case very personal. My husband has fished scallops for the past 30 years, many of which were 800-pound a week quotas for $5 a pound or less. But we survived it.
In 2005, my husband’s dad retired at the age of 65. For the next six years he struggled to keep crewmembers because of the more lucrative shrimp fishery, and of course the oil patch. Consequently I made a decision to leave my job as a plant worker, which at the time I was making a decent salary with the position I was in, and joined my husband in the scallop fishery.
For the past four years we have been fortunate to find a buyer to purchase our scallop in shell stock in order for us to participate in the scallop fishery, with a crew of two in a 38-foot vessel to make it feasible. The scallop fishery has not been a very lucrative fishery for a living, therefore when this deal was signed by NALCOR and UNIFOR it looked very promising to the actual scallop harvesters who had much to benefit from this compensation package in the future.
If LIFO stands you may see some of this majority group have to return to the scallop fishery again and I’m sure they will regret the decision they have made.
By the way, the correct meaning of COMPENSATION is something, typically money, awarded to someone as a recompense for loss, injury, or suffering.
As an active scallop harvester, I rest my case.  

Maunda Genge
writes from Anchor Point

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