Prince Edward Island's largest lobster processing plant is importing workers from Russia to fill jobs that couldn't be filled locally.
The Ocean Choice plant in Souris, P.E.I., about 80 kilometres east of Charlottetown, flew in 19 Russian workers last week, with the full support of the union. Another group from Russia will be arriving in a couple of weeks.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 864 said that there simply aren't enough workers available near Souris, a town of about 1,200, to staff the plant.
The plant runs at full operation for eight months of the year. At that time, it employs 300 workers and pays $9 an hour.
The official unemployment rate on the Island was 15.4 per cent in March, but many people who might have been interested in seasonal employment are currently working in Alberta, where the worker shortage has led to high wages for labourers.
The company paid for the Russians' flights to Canada and arranged places for the workers to live. The Russian workers will be paid the same as the other plant workers.