The Maine Lobstermen's Association has been proudly and effectively representing Maine lobstermen for 59 years. The MLA was organized in 1954 by lobstermen who had the foresight to understand that they would be better off working together than on their own.
Over the years, the MLA has established a track record of being effective on the issues. With a constituency who rarely agrees, MLA has built trust with the industry by working honestly and with integrity. During the month of March alone, the MLA has given Maine's lobstermen a voice on issues ranging from mosquito spraying rules, North Atlantic right whale stock assessments, opening the St. Croix River for alewife passage, marketing the lobster industry and improving lobster quality; and we held our annual meeting and attended the Boston Seafood Show and the U.S.-Canada Lobstermen's Town Meeting. We know the issues, and we know the lobster industry.
Now, there's a new group coming to a town near you, and unfortunately for Maine lobstermen, it doesn't seem to share our ethics. Seeing lobstermen getting organized to improve their future is a good thing. The more lobstermen involved, the better. But the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, or IAM, is attempting to organize Maine lobstermen with false promises. It has gone so far as to take credit for stopping proposed legislation to establish a new marketing organization from being passed as written. The truth of the matter is that the legislation was never intended to be passed as written. It was a starting point for the Legislature to work from to rebuild the lobster industry's marketing organization to effectively serve lobstermen in the 21st century.
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