Seasonal Cannery Work
The seafood industry is vitally important for many Americans. In several states, the industry is among the top employers.
Many fisheries process seafood in remote areas where the local workforce cannot meet seasonal needs. Processing facilities, therefore, recruit workers from other states and countries to work for weeks or months at a time. Workers are enticed with promises of big paychecks, paid travel to the facility, and free room & board.
Seafood processing plants, however, have historically put profits above worker health and safety. In Alaska, for example, the rate of industrial injuries is higher in the seafood processing industry than any other sector - more than double the state average for other industries.
The work is strenuous, at times requiring sixteen hour shifts for weeks without a day off. The workers sleep and eat at the plants, requiring additional safeguards for food and housing.
It is difficult to imagine the conditions on processing floors and in plant dormitories. Investigations show workers are required to use earplugs saturated with blood, wear rain boots filled with entrails, sleep in beds infested with rodents, and eat in cafeterias polluted with sewage. The workers, who are often thousands of miles from home, return traumatized by the experience.
This treatment is immoral and illegal.
EKO is filing cases against seafood processors who break the law. If you have information about sub-standard working or living conditions for seasonal seafood processing workers, contact us at the link below.
Learn more about what EKO can do for you.