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Season Cannery Jobs in AK

Discussion in 'Migrant Work & Odd Jobs' started by Johnny Lightspeed, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Johnny Lightspeed

    Johnny Lightspeed Appreciated Participator

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    Whats up yall. Haven't been on this thing in a while. Anyhow I was wondering if any of you have worked cannery/fishing related jobs in Alaska and if you could share your experiences. I guess I just wanna know how you got your job, what working in the processing plant was like, and how much you were makin'.
    I applied for processing plant positions online for Alaska General Seafoods, Trident, and Peter Pan not really knowing what I'm getting myself into but I figure fuck it, the worst that could happen is I wind up out there without a job just riding the AAR broke as fuck. Worse things could happen ya know?
     
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  2. dmac66

    dmac66 Celebrated Poster

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    i would be interested in hearing about this, or any seasonal fishing related jobs wherever.
     
  3. thefourthgeorge

    thefourthgeorge just joined the board

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    I've worked on boats up there, never (yet?) in a cannery but it's a good place to start out if you're looking to get into the seasonal fishing scene up there and don't have an in like I (very fortunately) did my first year. From what I hear, it's long, hard hours doing messy work for not the greatest pay, but, hey, it's an income source, and it's easy to save the money since, depending on what part of the state you're in, there's not much to go spend it on. I'm always a little jealous of cannery crews because although I'm making better money, I'm stuck on a boat most of the time with the same 4-5 people for a month while they get to run around on dry land in not so cramped spaces and interact with the larger world. It's dorm-style living while you're there, communal showers, cafeteria, etc.

    If you think you can cut it working on a boat, a cannery job is a good base to have. Write up a flyer for yourself, how you can be contacted, your relevant skills, etc and put it up in the cannery office. All through the season boats have high turnover rates due to injury or people quitting or splitting halfway through the season to do something else.

    I could go on about what I know of Alaskan commercial fishing so ask any other questions you might have.
    I might be able to instil you with a little more knowledge as well if you applied to a specific town/region?
     
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  4. smallratbigcity

    smallratbigcity just joined the board

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    I might be able to help. I'm in Honolulu now and have made friends with an old homeless sailor who in May is going to Alaska to work in the Cannarys until August and I might go with him. As for how to get the job I'm not quite sure, he said he has been in contact with the hiring person for years and has been coming back up to work for them for years. I am a little intimidated myself by the description of the job, you work in a fucking fish packing plant, on your feet all day, and the pay he said was only $9/hour, and I asked "how is this a good job" and he said that you make the big bucks working overtime, you sign up to do a 16 hour shift, and make more money that way. It sounds gruling to me, but he said every half hour, every other half hour you get a 10 minute break, and every other half hour you get a 15 minute break so maybe its not so bad... But I don't know if I could stand the industrialness of the place, I'm vegan and freaked the fuck out of my mind by the videos that expose the working conditions of factory farms, I don't know if its really worth it, unless your desperate. I have heard it is free or really cheap dorm living and eating so you don't pay rent/meals, and I even heard they will fly you there and take it out of your first paycheck, they stop for about a week or two and people leave for a short break then come back, i guess that would take place in June or July sometime. Good questions let me ask my friend and get back to you, so far I can only imagine what its like based of what I was told.
     
  5. Hobo Huck

    Hobo Huck Hungry for Knowledge

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    I worked the canneries in St Petersburg during the summer salmon season, which lasted from late June to late august
     
  6. Hobo Huck

    Hobo Huck Hungry for Knowledge

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    We worked an average of 16 hours a day, 7 days a week...which is typical at most canneries. They put us up in some pretty nice dorms, which was paid for, as well as 3 really good buffet meals a day. The first 2 weeks will kill you...both physically, and emotionally...you'll either snap and quit, or find the strength to keep going. About 30 percent of the kids quit after their first check. I worked for icicle...they were fair employers and paid well. I've heard from others to avoid Ocean Beauty, but that's just hearsay. You should apply in march or February...you can still get in on it even as late as June.
     
  7. suprhromnn

    suprhromnn is getting to know the place

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    I grew up in Kodiak, Alaska which is one of the biggest fishing ports in the state.

    Cannery work can be cold, wet, physically draining, long hours (sometimes 18 hours) and smelly. Do not wear clothes to work in a fish cannery that you ever want to wear again, no amout of washing will ever get the rank fish smell out. You can soak 'em in lemons, wash them hundreds of times, let them sit out in the weather for weeks; that smell is not coming out.

    The pay is decent because you get mad overtime, get a cheap room with a few people/squat/camp and you have potential to make a ton of money. Growing up we worked the canneries in the summer and I made nearly $10,000 my best summer.

    Most have unlimited free cookies and coffee and you will meet many people from Turkey who come to work summers in our Canneries.

    Feel free to ask me any other questions you may have about it, I'm more than happy to help.
     
  8. HoboClown

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    They just called me today to work in a cannery in Alaska, I think I will try it.
    This place charges you $10 a day for your room and board and your flight from Seattle to Alaska and back as long as you don't quit or get fired.
    I have been to Ak. before and loved it the pay is low but sounds like what someone else said the money is made on the overtime.
     
  9. Johnny Lightspeed

    Johnny Lightspeed Appreciated Participator

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    What company was it?
     
  10. HoboClown

    HoboClown just joined the board

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    I am not going to put the company name out there
     
  11. Johnny Lightspeed

    Johnny Lightspeed Appreciated Participator

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    I've been talkin to the employer at Alaska General Seafoods outta Nak Nek. Looking pretty promising so far.
     
  12. shittickit

    shittickit is getting to know the place

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    i just got an add in the paper it says go to hookedonfish.com
     
  13. Isaiah54

    Isaiah54 just joined the board

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    I got a call back today from ocean beauty, the cannery in cordova. I have to fill out a background check they emailed me and send it back. fingers crosed. Its only 7.75 an hour but they bump it up to 8.50 after you work a while there. What bad things did you hear about ocean beauty???
     
  14. Hobo Huck

    Hobo Huck Hungry for Knowledge

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    I worked at Ocean Beauty in Petersburg, AK, and also at Icicle Seafoods in the same city the following year. I had a far better experience at Icicle. The accomodatios were better, and so were the work conditions and te attitude of my supervisors. Icicle is very understanding of new workers, as where Ocean Beauty simply didn,t give a crap about whether you are new to the industry or not. At the end of every week we always had people coming to Icicle because they were treated like crap at Ocean Beauty. Dont't get me wrong though, its hard work and long hours at either place, but Icicle simply treats their workers better. I really really encourage you to contact Icicle in Petersburg and fill out an application. I assure you that they will hire you, especially if you start talking to them now. Dont be discouraged if they dont call you back...they are extremely busy in the offices righ now, so make it your job to call them EVERYDAY and even seceral times a day. Don't talk to a secretary either, adk specifically who is in charge of hiring and ask to be connected to him/her...if the hiring supervisor is busy or away, leave a voice mail. To make a long story short, they will hire you, but show some persistence and dont get discouraged if they forget to call you back the same day youd called them. I truly suggest you a oid Ocean Beauty and if you just take my advise, you WILL get hired.
     
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  15. Isaiah54

    Isaiah54 just joined the board

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    Thank you for the advice, i will call icicle tomorow and see. I DID fill out an app for their petersburg facility and 2 others I cant remember the name of, but I gotta be more persistent i take it. I heard that cordova is a beautiful place, so I was just going to run with that, but im not looking to get treated badly so Ill look into icicle. Any tips for surviving and making it through the first couple weeks?
     
  16. HoboClown

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    I am getting my backpack ready I leave in 2 weeks I have to get to Seattle on my own and the company is paying for my flight to Alaska.
    The company I went with did the background check after they paid for my flight so they must not be too worried about it.
    Does anyone know exactly how long this usually lasts? I don't really care I will stay as long as it takes just curious.
     
  17. Hobo Huck

    Hobo Huck Hungry for Knowledge

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    Dont' worry about beauty, as Petersburg is equally beautiful. It's a mountainous island surrounded by beautiful rivers and oceans...bald eagles, bears, reindeer, and berries everywhere..its a majestic place.

    Yes its all about persistence when it comes to a GOOD company. Companies that don't care about their workforce will hire anyone instantly because all they know half of their workforce will end up quitting because of the shitty conditions and treatment, so they intentionally overhire and will basically hire anyone with 2 arms and 2 legs. A company like icicle likes to know that heir worker is motivated and atleast TRY to work through the whole season. Of course, the job is simply too much for some people and even Icicle realizes not everyone can make it through...but they will show you some sympathy and try to work with you to make things better so you dont quit...where as ocean beauty will simply tell you to fuck off and go find another job.

    Call icicle in petersburg....go the on,ine application, and KEEP calling them. Show them you really want to work for them and they will hire you.
     
  18. Hobo Huck

    Hobo Huck Hungry for Knowledge

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    Typical season lasts from mid-june to the end of august. Do understand that most companies only reimburse your flight if you finish the whole season, and if they pay for your flight it usually comes out of your future checks. Not a big deal though since youll be making plenty of money and basically wont have any time to spend it while you are there.
     
  19. Hobo Huck

    Hobo Huck Hungry for Knowledge

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    The first 2 weeks is the hardest...it will break your spirit and youll constantly be thinking about giving up and going home. Just about everyone goes through this, so dont feel bad if you do also. Just push yourself...what got me through it was by getting tunnelvision and telling myself "dont worry, youve already done 2 weeks...another 6 weeks ill be done and ill have wayyyy more money than any of my friends back home."....you just have to keep reminding yourself that it will be WORTH IT to stay he whole season. Plus, icicle gives a huge bonus to those that finish the season and thats even more incentive to stay. The best thing to do is start getting your mind ready NOW....tell yourself you are not going to quit. Tell yourself that thousands of kids and adults just like you do this every year, and that if they can make it, then so can you. Promise yourself right now that youre going to try your hardest and your best to stick it out just like the others.

    Icicle gives you 3 days that you can simply not show up to work. So anytime you feel your aout to break, take the day off. Icicle doesnt care what your excuse is, they know you simply needed a day off to gather your brains and your spirit. So you use those 3 days wisely. I took one day off after my second week, and then another day off after my 4th week, and then another day off after my 6th week. By that week, we all knew the season was slowing down and going to end soon, so the next 2 or 3 weeks was a piece of cake.

    Just rided it out man...and keep looking at the end. No matter how hard it might seem in week 3, remind yourself of how AWESOME it is at the end of the season. If you finish the season, you will have more confidence in yourself than youll ever imagine. And its something to brag about to anyone you meet, in the future. Youll be able to say "hey, i worked 7 days a week, 17 hours a day, for 3 months...in ALASKA"...and just about anyone you say that too will be absolutely mindblown...and the chicks really dig it too. Youll have the confidence to know that you can do any job on earth, despite the hours or conditions or the job...and that any other job you do in life will be a cakewalk. Just that feeling alone is worth making it through the whole season.
     
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  20. Isaiah54

    Isaiah54 just joined the board

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    Thanks alot for the tips I really appreciate it.
     

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