March 7, 2022
Employee-led Outreach Helps Co-Workers
Seattle, WA –March 7, 2022 – Employees at OBI Seafoods have formed a support group for their fellow workers suffering from the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine. The effort, OBI Crew Ukraine Invasion Support Group, is working to find and connect people in need, and is also sourcing housing, food, clothing, and medical equipment for fellow workers living in Ukraine and those displaced by the conflict.
The effort was begun by an OBI Seafoods employee who met and married a Ukrainian H-2B worker at one of OBI’s Alaska plants. When not working in Alaska, they live in Odessa, Ukraine. Rather than leave the country during the invasion, they have chosen to stay and do what they can to help. To facilitate communication with those who need help, they have started an OBI Crew Ukraine Invasion Support Group Facebook page and are attempting to locate and help the 364 Ukrainian employees that OBI Seafoods hires through the H-2B Visa program each year. The page has also been helpful in identifying OBI workers in neighboring countries who can volunteer to house those fleeing from the conflict.
“Many of our Ukrainian workers are returning employees who are very skilled processors,” said OBI Seafoods CEO, Mark Palmer. “They are an integral part of our workforce, and we consider them a part of the OBI family. We will continue to do whatever we can to support them during such a difficult time.”
OBI Seafoods is providing funding to expand the support effort to ensure the Ukrainian employees get the help they need, with goal to support as many OBI workers as possible. The funding will also be used to help others; whoever has a need for it. The funds go towards housing, clothing, basic household items, transportation, food, and medical equipment.
OBI also encourages anyone who can help to donate to one of the following groups:
International Rescue Committee
About OBI Seafoods:
OBI Seafoods was formed in 2020 through a merger with Ocean Beauty Seafoods and Icicle Seafoods, two of the oldest and most successful seafood companies in Alaska. The company operates 10 processing plants throughout the state and is a leading producer of fresh, frozen, and canned Alaska seafood. OBI brings together the experience and heritage of both companies, along with the legacy Ocean Beauty and Icicle brands, and the new company continues its predecessors’ commitment to responsible seafood resource management and community sustainability. OBI Seafoods is owned by Cooke Seafoods and Ocean Beauty Seafoods.