LANDOVER, MD – The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 400 supports Omega Protein’s decision earlier this month that keeps our members working and fishing safely in the Chesapeake Bay. In 2017, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission passed a management measure to reduce the cap of the harvest of menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay that was not based on scientific need. The science shows that these fisheries are healthy. This is in part because our members fish responsibly and sustainably.
We appreciate that in 2018 and 2019, the Virginia General Assembly listened to our fishermen and decided that enough was enough when it came to reducing the Bay cap without any supporting science. Our members, and the family-supporting jobs they have thanks to their union contract, are the backbone of Reedville and the Northern Neck.
This month, Omega Protein could have shut down fishing in the Bay early, but that would have meant sending our members into the Atlantic to fish in unpredictable, and potentially unsafe conditions. We are pleased that Omega put safety first, and kept our members fishing safely in the Bay.
Local 400 will continue to oppose any efforts that would unnecessarily harm this over 100-year old fishery and threaten the ability of our members to make a living.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 represents 35,000 members working in the retail food, health care, retail department store, food processing, service and other industries in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.