Silver Bay Seafoods – Iskustvo (2015) – Danica

Hello, My name isDanica Spasić I am working as a teacher in primary school in Belgrade I have traveled to USA in 2011 That time I've also worked for a companySilver Bay Seafoods So when I heared that it would be possible to go back to States in 2015 on H-2B program That I could apply for a program, go back to Alaska and work for Silver bay Seafoods without being a student I was very happy for that Baceuse I had a very good experience in 2011 And I decided to apply for program again I applied at agency United Work and Travel because it's the only agency working with Silver Bay Seafoods, with that company Regarding the agency my experience is very positive.

MIlan prepared me for an interview and my departure to Alaska He formed Viber groups so we were all informed In 2011 I applied for work and travel program.

i was in Craig and I also worked for Silver Bay Seafoods That's the reason I decided to apply again in 2015 to work for Silver Bay Seafoods.

But this year I worked in Valdez The company was founded in 2006 and it has a very professional and fair relationship with its employees They are full of understanding, especially to the workers who come from Europe They are aware of that we want to work and earn money and that's the reason they allow us to work more than Americans.

They understand our situation and they were very good with us The company points out their needs and what is important We all know that if we go there it doesn't mean that we'll earn for sure a lot of money All depends on season, on fish, on weather If there is fish factory works and when the season starts factory works for 24 hours The season starts at the beginning of June and at the beginning you work between 8 and 12 hours a day, depends on fish If we work 8 hours breaks are every two hours.

You work two hours then you have a break for 15 minutes, two hours of work and you do clock out for lunch break, half an hour After half an hour we go back to factory and continue to work, 2 hours of work, 15 minutes break, 2 hours of work and that's the end of shift.

But when the factory starts to work 24 hours your shift is 16, 5 hours.

Which means 4 hours of work, 15 minutes break, 4 hours of work, half an hour break for meal After half an hour you continue in same rhythm, 4 hours of work, 15 minutes break, 4 hours of work and that's the end of shift Before work you have a breakfast, at the end of the workday you have dinner It's very hard to work 16 hours a day, but after three weeks you receive your first paycheck They count all hours you have worked so far.

First 40 hours a week are regular hours paid 10$ per hour.

Every hour over 40 hours worked it's called overtime and it is paid 15$ per hour When you calculate everything you receive paycheck on over 2000$ and you do not want to have day off Because in Serbia you cannot earn that amount of money for sure This summer I was lucky because I worked in the kitchen and food was great It was great that cooks were open for all criticism and willing to make changes.

Our food is different.

For example they put sweet sauce on meat and oranges with beef But they were very understanding and made all adjustments, to make food we like to eat They had a lot of people from Mexico and Somalia and they were used to making food those people like And this summer they had Serbs so they made pasta, different kind of bread, not to make meat with sweet sauces We had sweets, fruit and everything was great.

That's about food.

When talking about the accommodationa, it is near to all of the factories which is very important , because when you work for 16 hours, you don't have time to travel so when you finish with your job you just go to your room, take a shower and go to bed, sleep and go back to the factory.

It is the case in all of the factories, except Sitka, where the accommodation is a little bit further, 15 minutes by foot.

When talking about our free tme, there is no free time at all when you work 16 hours per day, but when the production decreases, and when the shifts are 10, 12 or 8 hours per day, you can't wait to have your free time.

The first couple of shifts you sleep, but after it, since I was in Valdez and the city is very close to the factory, all bars, shops, souvenir shops and a museum were close to the factory, the HR ladies who worked at the factory were very kind to take us to some mini-picnics, and to see some surrounding lakes, glaciers, waterfalls.

The people from the factory really took a good care of us, in order to see and visit a lot of places.

When we needed transportation to a bank, a post, a shop they took care of it.

The year 2015 was very warm, it was about 20 degrees, which was not the case.

The lower temperature was expected, but not lower from 10 degrees.

The day lasted very long in June and July, I think that the sunset was around 8, 9 pm, but it is very bright until 2, 3 am , so there was no need for lights.

It changed in August, when the nights were as in Serbia, but the day was long anyway.

The sunrise is around 6 am, and the sunset was around 2 am, so the night lasted almost 3, 4 hours.

There are several positions in the factory, some of them are easier, some of them are harder.

When the fish comes, the first position is sorting, where the different types of salmon is divided: Silver King, Pink, the most common in Valdez was Pink.

The next position is at the butcher machine where you cut of the fish's head.

The head is used for pet's food (for dogs, cats, etc) and the body is used for human food.

The next position is at the fish house where the fish is being sorted and measured.

This position is the easer one , and it is usually done by women because there is no hard physical work.

The work is on the conveyor belt, and the boxes are just slided.

However the harder job is when you need to pack the box which weights around 20 kg into the huge one that goes to the fridge where the temperature is around minus 40, 50 degrees.

This job is usually done by men, because the job is a little bit harder.

When the fish is frozen, it is packed in paper bags, the name of the position is QC.

The hard part in it is that you need to be break and pack the frozen fish.

The next position is only for men, where those bags are being packed in the other bags and they are placed in the refrigerator car.

My last shift was on September 9th, when we traveled to Seattle.

We spent there 3, 4 days, because we had a flight to Serbia on September 14th, so we spent our time there visiting monuments such as Space Needle, the Chuck Norris' grave, and all shopping centers.

Seattle is great in September because there are a lot of sales.

When talking about interpersonal relations, since there are a lot of workers so there are some misunderstandings, but the company doesn't tolerate that at all.

They don't want to judge who is guilty or not.

It happened once that the two people had a quarrel, and both of them got fired and they went home.

On the other hand, alcohol is not tolerated at all, you cannot drink at the factory or in the accommodation.

We had a housekeeping girl who took care of rooms, toilets.

They were very strict when talking about the alcohol and narcotics.

My opinion about Silver Bay Seafoods is that they are very fair and professional.

Everything they promise , they fulfill.

If they say that they can do something, they will do it if they say that they cannot do it, they say immediately.

I would like to go again in 2016, because my experience is very positive, and even if there is some hard work, it very pays off, the salary is very good for Serbia, with that money you can do something here, but the person needs to be both mentally and physically to work in the factory.

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