T-Shirts Say Thanks To Cannery Workers


Kodiak City Councilman Gabriel Saravia (center) had the idea to congratulate Kodiak’s processing workers by giving them free T-shirts that say "Thank You" in 21 different languages. Saravia got the idea from a similar T-shirt giveaway in Cordova last summer. The shirts were paid for by eight local canneries and the city council joined in by issuing a proclamation recognizing the efforts of the town’s processing sector. (Photo by Casey Kelly/KMXT).


Casey Kelly/KMXT

As the summer fishing season winds down, the men and women who make up Kodiak’s fish processing workforce will be receiving a little something extra for their efforts. Eight canneries in town have banded together to buy them T-shirts that say “Thank You” in 21 different languages. It’s the idea of City Councilman Gabriel Saravia, who also works for one of Kodiak’s processors. KMXT’s Casey Kelly has more.

Gabriel Saravia got the idea to make the “Thank You” T-shirts from the city of Cordova, which did a similar T-shirt giveaway last summer. The city council supported it with a proclamation recognizing processing workers for their hard work. Saravia says those who work in Kodiak’s canneries contribute a lot to the city’s economy.

(Saravia 1 :19s “…come from the other sites.”)

Saravia is a personnel manager at Westward Seafoods processing plant in Kodiak, but says he started 27 years ago on the slime line and knows what hard work it is.

(Saravia 2 :10s “…that other people do.”)

In all about 2,000 workers from eight local processors will receive the T-shirts, which say “Kodiak Seafood Processing Workers 2008” on the front and “Thank you for your Dedication and Hard Work” on the back. Thank you is also written in 21 languages ranging from Spanish to Bulgarian to Korean, and the logo of the City of Kodiak appears along with one for each of the canneries that participated and a few local businesses that helped sponsor the project.

Island Seafoods Manger John Whiddon told the city council what a diverse and hardworking crew he has.

(Whiddon 1 :39s “…365 days out of the year.”)

One worker from each cannery also received a proclamation plaque from the city. Ben Doctolero works at Alaska Pacific Seafoods, and says he’s worked in Kodiak’s seafood industry for over 30 years.

(Doctolero 1 :22s “…send them to school.”)

The shirts were printed locally at Bases Loaded, and the participating canneries paid for enough to give at least one to each of their workers. Extras will be available for a short time at the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce.

I’m Casey Kelly.


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