29 July 2009

Fisheries activist passes away

Father Des McGrath, the Roman Catholic priest who was instrumental in the drive to organize the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union has passed away at age 74.

McGrath was found dead in his garage by police.

Born in Corner Brook in 1935, McGrath was ordained in 1961.  in 1969, McGrath and Richard Cashin helped fisherman organize the Northern Fisherman’s Union.  It amalgamated with the Canadian Food and Allied Workers Union in 1970 to form the predecessor of the FFAW.  Cashin served a president. 

McGrath held no union office but remained an advocate for fisheries union for the remainder of his life.