Labor issues further stress maxed out processors
Aside from massive fish harvest, Petersburg canneries felt the added pressure of worker walkouts and no shows. This summer was the first time the companies couldn’t hire foreign student workers coming on J1 Visas after the federal government ended the program in an attempt to provide more jobs to American workers.
Some estimates early in the season put no show rates between 15-20 percent.
A local manager said working with a changed employee pool combined with peak production was a “double whammy.”
“There were less workers in the pool and more expectations from them,” he said.