Burin Action Committee
Year Published: 1983
Organization profile published 1983
Resource Type: Organization
Cx Number: CX2811
In its Augsut 1982 newletter, Fishery Products Corporation of Newfoundland described its 43 year-old Burin deep sea fish processing operation as its most productive plant. Yet just four months later, on November 27, the company announced that the plant would be closing permanently early in 1983. Despite the promise of several hundred new jobs at Marystown, some 20 kilometers away, the 600 Burin employees and the rest of the community were convinced that the closing of the plant would mean the death of Burin. And so they formed an 18-member BURIN ACTION COMMITTEE (BAC) to direct the struggle to keep the plant open.
In order to pressure Fishery Products to negotiate with them, the BAC set up a picket line around the plant to prevent the nine company trawlers from leaving Burin for other ports. And when the company sent in a truck to take $1 million of frozen fish to market, a town maintenance crew dug up the road to the plant in order to fix a broken water main. Repairs were completed just in time to let the truck depart empty.
All the while, the BAC has been promoting its "Blueprint for the Fishery", according to which the assets of Fisheries Products would be transferred to a new crown corporation for $1. The new company would be controlled by a Board of Directors with representatives from government, the Fishermen's Union, others involved in the industry and shareholder's representatives. Despite endorsement by a People's Conference on teh Fishery in St. John's on March 28, the Blueprint was still awaiting a response from the federal government as of mid-May 1983.