There is no must for 16-hour day

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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Editor: I can’t be the only person shaking my head at Dennis King’s logic. He opines that able-bodied workers are forsaking his $11-$14 an hour to head to Alberta for $50. This is true in a great many cases but the numbers say that 7,300-9,700 are currently still on the Island looking for work. Surely 400 of these are able-bodied enough to gut fish.

Perhaps Mr. King should read over his own musings a few times to see if he could possibly spot the answer to why he can’t hire them.

Specifically these two gems: “Seafood plants workers must work 10 to 16 hour days, standing in a production line, six days a week.” Followed quickly by “King said the industry has tried everything to attract locals to work in their plants, to no avail.” Imagine what the conditions were like before they ‘tried everything’ and got to this sweet spot of Dickensian work-house bliss.

There is no ‘must’ for a 16-hour day standing at a station performing the same task. It is a choice of the processors to impose these conditions because two, eight-hour shifts probably cost marginally more. I guess ‘trying everything’ only means ‘things that don’t cost us anything.’

Owen Stephenson,


Geographic location: Alberta, Iceland

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