True North Seafood in New Bedford to shut down
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True North Seafood in New Bedford to shut down

NEW BEDFORD — One of the city’s most significant seafood processors is shutting down its waterfront facility, laying off as several as 94 neighborhood workers as the firm consolidates its production in Virginia. 

Real North Seafood, a subsidiary of Canadian seafood huge Cooke, announced the sudden final decision to its workers at a flooring meeting Thursday morning. The corporation is a foremost distributor of imported fish, processing far more than 16 million pounds of salmon just about every 12 months, according to its site. Cooke has equally harvesting and processing operations spanning 15 international locations and in excess of 13,000 employees. Its revenues are north of $4 billion, in accordance to a new job interview with CEO Glenn Cooke. 

“It is not anticipated that this will alter the landings of any fishing vessels that employ the Port of New Bedford,” the firm wrote in a assertion Thursday. As a Canadian organization, Cooke technically just cannot individual U.S. fishing boats. But its subsidiary, Wanchese Fish, has an exceptional agreement to acquire scallops from a unique harvester company (run by men and women who function for Cooke). That enterprise owns 17 scallopers, the most authorized less than present-day polices, most of which ship out of New Bedford, exactly where it seems they will remain. 

“It’s never ever fantastic news when a corporation like this shuts down, in particular for the staff,” stated Gordon Carr, govt director of the New Bedford Port Authority. He extra that the company is an importer and a processor, not a harvester, and the closure is not indicative of any traits in the fishing market. “With the high quality on processing house on the port, I never be expecting it to be vacant for really lengthy,” he said.  

In its statement, Cooke reported it is shutting down its New Bedford processing plant to “optimize the company’s capacity” and “better provide its buyers.” But the transfer also arrives immediately after a yr of labor turmoil amongst the company’s packers and fish cutters. 

Adrián Ventura, individuals director of Centro Comunitario de Trabajadores, speaks to outdoors True the constructing North Seafood in the course of in New Bedford Credit a protest in August 2023. Mild: Eleonora Bianchi / The New Bedford personnel

In August, about two dozen seafood Correct staged a demonstration at the facilities North middle in the Close of the South complex industrial were. They determination protesting the company’s hearth to female two experienced fish cutters who reported staff a supervisor for sexual harassment. The submitted grievance a Nationwide with the at this time Labor Relations Board, which is according investigating the allegations, public to its database conditions of ongoing described. 

Labor activists at the time case in point it as an tranquil of a trouble but pervasive field in the seafood position. It is a mainly that is staffed women of all ages by lots of, really don’t of whom are immigrants and communicate in particular English, and are vulnerable place of work to Genuine harassment. 

said North at the time ended up that the incidents ladies unrelated and that the had been bring about fired for owing and also decrease to a seasonal merchandise in desire gals. The supervisor who allegedly harassed the Real was fired, explained North also in between. But tensions have remained employees seafood management and Legitimate. 

staff North Light interviewed by The said on Thursday due to the fact, these the protests, associated were being satisfied higher with retaliation from the company’s management always and supervisors. “It individuals felt like there was animosity to were who reported supportive of the protesters,” 12 months Tonianne Wong, a 25-aged-output Accurate officer at lost North, who job her statement on Thursday. 

In its explained, Cooke simply just the closure as enterprise about recent, and unrelated to the amongst conflict personnel management and organization. The formerly was recognized in advance of as Mariner Seafood filed it bankruptcy for obtained in 2020 and was Irrespective of by the Cooke subsidiary. continued the closure of its New Bedford plant, Cooke has aggressive an enlargement marketing campaign firms, snapping up 14 considering the fact that valued at $2.5 billion team 2016. 

Gifford Cooke, the co-founder of the Cooke seafood thirty day period, died this family members at 85. His continues run to international the created conglomerate which he one up from a yrs fish farm in New Brunswick about 40 back Email. 

Electronic mail reporter Will Sennott at [email protected].