Former Deer Island lobster plant employees to receive financial help
Published Monday, March 12, 2018 8:28PM ADT
Nearly two weeks after a destructive fire, employees who worked at Paturel's lobster processing plant on Deer Island, N.B., received some good news on Monday.
The company will be providing financial assistance to its displaced employees. Displaced worker Darrell Tidd says he’s happy the company is stepping in.
“Especially the temporary foreign workers. They're in kind of a unique situation because they aren't entitled to Employment Insurance," says Tidd.
Forty workers have been able to return back to work at Paturel’s only building left on Deer Island.
"I'm in better shape than most people,” says employee Jennette Jesso. "I just wish I woke up two weeks ago and it never happened."
The lobster processing facility burned to the ground on March 1 around 2:20 a.m. The plant employed over 100 people.
Paturel International general manager Stuart MacKay says the company is doing whatever it can to help its employees.
"We do have housing on the island. We have room for quite a few people. We are not charging rent for any of our accommodations and it’s open to all employees that feel that they need to give up an apartment for a short time," says MacKay
MacKay wouldn’t comment on how much the employees will be receiving, but he expects a dollar amount to be announced later this week.
"It's catastrophic for our operation,” he says. “It’s not going to be the way it was for a long time.”
Companies in the Saint George area are taking applications for those out of work, including Cooke Aquaculture. Paturel also hopes to hire at least 20 more employees in May.
But the company says it will still be months before a permanent solution is made on rebuilding the company.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mary Cranston.