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Lobster 207 LLC, an association based cooperative based in Trenton, Maine’s lobster industry, has announced it has finalized the organization’s new management structure.

Lobster 207 is a Maine Lobstering Union wholesale and retail business, which is itself a division of the International Association of Machinists and Workers in Aerospace District 4. Maine lobstermen wholly own and operate the organisation.

The organization named Mike Yohe as the CEO of Lobster 207, after serving as the business development director and most recently as the executive Ddrector.

Lobstermen are self-employed, and they contribute significantly to Maine communities’ economy and identity. Prices of lobster crashed in 2012 amid high supply, regulatory demands and market conglomeration. Lobbies had to act to protect and advance their livelihoods. To do so they decided to work with a union.

The International Machinists and Aerospace Workers Association (IAM) had no experience of collaborating with self-employed workers, but agreed to help the lobstermen. The lobstermen formed a cooperative together and began wholesale business operations.

The strategy executed over the course of four years by independent workers and the IAM gave the lobstermen a political voice and economic power in the market.

To consider the needs of frontline or self-employed workers; to recognize the range of strategic and tactical options open to lobster men and union partners; to assess the value of political power as a mechanism for promoting economic well-being; to examine the role of unions in today’s economy; and to determine if the lobstermen’s approach can be replicated in other sectors or locations.

In April 2019, the former CEO of Lobster 207, Warren Pettegrow, was fired and later sued by the union, which claims that Pettegrow and members of his family defrauded the organization by nearly USD 2 million (EUR 1.8 million). In 2019 Yohe was announced to be the new CEO.

More recently, the chief financial officer for Lobster 207 was called Carmen M. Look. Look is a graduate of the University of Maine at Machias, and has earned a master’s degree at Husson College, according to a release from the union. She is also a public accountant with certification and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

The Lobster 207 site offers more than a chance to order lobster, Sullivan noted; it is also an opportunity for consumers to develop a better understanding of the people and places where their seafood is made. The site includes video interviews with fishermen on why they’re fishing, as well as the Union story.

The aim is simple: By taking out the middlemen of seafood dealers and distributors and negotiating directly with UPS, the lobstering union claims it can take some of the income from retail seafood sales and at the same time make lobsters a little more available to customers.

“We have really worked hard as a union operation to get shipping rates that help us make lobster affordable for the everyday citizen,” Sullivan said. “The only place you’ll find lobster out in Kansas City is at a fancy restaurant. Most supermarkets don’t even sell it there. It is more of a luxury. But we’re making it accessible for everyone.

Lobster’s going rate is $9 a pound, shipping them in boxes ranging from 5 to 50 pounds.

And, more importantly, it gives lobstermen an opportunity to really develop a relationship with their consumers, Sullivan said.In the past, he said, members of the union would run into tourists asking to buy their lobsters, only to turn them down because that’s not how the system worked.

“Now that we have the project up online, they will [say] yes, go to our website. We had members pull their phone[s] out right there, and [show] people how to find their business, buy their lobster, watch their stories, “said Sullivan. “They are so proud of that, the guys. The online business dividend will be nice but they really love the fact they are now selling their own lobster.

Aside from Look, the union also named Brian Hemingway as the business development director.

“He has over a decade of sales experience in the grocery-specialized food distribution industry, a sector Lobster 207 has positioned itself to join in 2020,” Lobster 207 said in a press release.Lobster 207 is the only lobster industry association-based cooperative, and was started in 2013. review review