The Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) has a new president.
In a secret ballot Thursday at the Comfort Inn in St. John's, Greg Pretty walked away with the top job.
"Thanks to everybody in the room today, particularly those who put their faith in me and chose me to be the leader of this incredibly historic, important union," Pretty said during his victory speech.
"I bring experience and gumption to get things done. But most importantly, I have a robust network of dedicated individuals behind me."
The election marks the end of Keith Sullivan's eight-year tenure as leader. Sullivan announced his resignation in December. At the time, the announcement was unexpected as Sullivan was just one year into a three-year term.
Pretty — who was a director with the FFAW — had been endorsed by the executive board at the union. He took on west coast fisherman Dave Callahan.
The vote tally from the inshore council and the industrial/retail/offshore council was 43-11 in favour of Pretty.
Pretty will now lead the union's 15,000 members, primarily in the fishing industry, with smaller segments in the industrial, retail and offshore sectors.
"I can tell you today that we will stand together and fight and take on the people who would put us down. That will start tomorrow," said Pretty.
"We're putting these companies, these fish merchants on notice that if in fact they want to play the same trick they did last year in posting prices, something they did 40 years ago, if they do that this year they're going to be shut down."
Pretty said the union is going directly to Premier Andrew Furey to develop a long-term strategy for the sector and will also "hold the feds' feed to the fire" on the seal issue.
"That has to be done," he said.
"The other issue is mackerel, the northern cod — we have the product, we have the resources, we need the drive to create more and better jobs and longer fishing seasons. Out of the gate, we're going to start doing that."
Pretty is just the fourth president in the union's more than 50-year history.