Staff stage walk-out at Clearwater factory

Workers say air quality is causing respiratory problems.

Around 60 staff walked out of Clearwater’s Pierce lobster processing facility in Lockeport Monday, citing unsafe working conditions.

The company recently expanded the plant and relocated the processing line within the building, Christine Penney, VP of sustainability and public affairs at Clearwater, told IntraFish.

"After the plant began operations we began receiving some complaints about air quality in a specific area of the lobster production facility," she said. "Collaboratively we have been working with the employees and the health and safety committee to address the concern."

In the short term, the company has fitted staff with respirators on a voluntary basis and in the long term the company is looking at additional ventilation around the identified problem area, said Penney.

"The issue was unfortunately exacerbated today with the high heat and humidity and a number of our employees have opted not to remain at work. The plant remains operational and employees who are comfortable working with a respirator are continuing to work.

"Health and safety of our employees is our utmost concern," said Penney.

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