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More seafood plant closures coming: NL fisheries minister

The fisheries minister in Newfoundland and Labrador says there's nothing he can do about the closure of the High Liner seafood processing plant in Burin.


May 4, 2012
by CANADIAN PRESS

ST. JOHN’S, NL: The fisheries minister in Newfoundland and Labrador says there’s nothing he can do about the closure of the High Liner seafood processing plant in Burin.

Darin King said the government will help displaced families with training programs, but that’s about all.

The plant is the main employer in the town in eastern Newfoundland. About 140 people will lose their jobs by the end of the year.

King said the seafood industry in the province simply has too many processing plants – and he expects more plants to close in the months ahead.

As well, he says seafood companies are struggling with higher costs for transportation and fuel, and a strong Canadian dollar.

Five processing plants have closed across the province since December.

High Liner Foods announced it will close two plants in Burin, NL, and Danvers, Mass., laying off more than 300 workers.

The Lunenburg, NS-based firm said the facilities are its highest-cost and most underutilized operations.

It said the closures are part of a consolidation of its North American supply chain due to overcapacity and the acquisition of a more modern plant in Newport News, Va.

The Burin plant is scheduled to close by the end of December, leaving 121 full-time and 28 casual employees out of work.

The plant in Danvers, which employs more than 160 people, will remain open until the first quarter of next year.

© 2012 The Canadian Press