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Maine Lobstermen Sign Up to Union Amid Price Fears

24 April 2013

US - Lobstermen in Maine have begun siging up to a union which promises to fight bad legislation and negotiate prices for their catch.

Currently the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the union will become the IAM Maine Lobstering Union, reports ThePortlandPressHerald.

So far more than 250 fishermen have signed up due to the low prices for their catch and the rising costs of fishing.

Commenting on why he joined the union, lobsterman Riley Poole told the newspaper: "I'm looking toward the future and if other people don't, they won't be able to continue being independent. They'll have to get a job somewhere else or work on a corporate boat."

Despite many fishermen joining the union, some believed it to be a bad idea.

"I think commercial fishermen are fiercely independent, and to give up that independence to an organization without any experience in the industry would be a mistake," said Stonington lobsterman Genevieve Kurilec-McDonald, speaking to the newspaper.

The goal is to form a large union member-owned cooperative where fishermen would bring their catch and wield some power in the marketplace, union organiser Joel Pitcher said.

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