OCI getting exemptions from government, giving little back
Recent statements made by government about minimum processing requirement (MPR) exemptions given to one of the province’s largest fish processing companies have raised more questions than they’ve answered for NDP Parliamentary Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi). She asked some of those questions yesterday, but didn’t get a clear response, so she tried again today.
“Yesterday the Premier refused to answer my questions about information OCI was to supply in return for cod MPR exemptions,” Michael said in the House of Assembly today.
“I ask the Premier, did you really give OCI cod exemptions with no strings attached?”
Michael is also alarmed at the massive decrease in work given to OCI employees at the Fortune plant. She says it looks as though the company has not held up its end of the bargain announced in an extraordinarily-timed news conference held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, 2012.
“In return for MPR exemptions for yellowtail, government said they had secured from OCI 110 full-time processing jobs for five years for Fortune workers. But last year they only got 35 weeks and this year 20,” she said.
“Does the province have any legal mechanism to force OCI to live up to its commitment to provide those full time jobs?”
Michael says it looks to her as though government is catering to the wishes of OCI instead of serving the workers of the Fortune plant.