Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tempers Flare At Fishermen's Meeting

Fishermen Concerned With Cleanup Pay, Workers Without Licenses

POSTED: 11:15 pm CDT May 14, 2010
UPDATED: 11:57 pm CDT May 14, 2010

Hundreds of frustrated fishermen in St. Bernard Parish said Friday night that they want to work for BP and help cleanup the oil spill, but they aren't happy about what the company wants to pay or some of the people working on the cleanup.
Tempers flared after a meeting with BP and St. Bernard Parish officials."Many people are very concerned about their livelihood and what's going to happen," said St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro.Fishermen showed up and waited in a long line to get in, but many said they didn't hear what they wanted to hear.The fishermen said they feel like their livelihood is being threatened and they're being punished twice -- first by the spill and now by their parish and BP."We have to suffer because of their damn mistakes," said Suzanna Guidroz, who works as a deckhand. "They should have had a backup plan for this oil spill before it even happened. It should have been in the works years ago."More of the frustration stemmed from the pay that captains and deckhands are being offered, which is far less than they're used to making."I dropped out of seventh grade to do this," fisherman Michael Thonn said. "I've been doing this my whole life, since I was a kid. It's all I know. How am I supposed to pay my bills? I got family to take care of. I got kids.""These fishermen make a lot more than $17 an hour and $250 a day for their boat," Guidroz said. "They could not compare to what these guys are making out there right now."Adding to the problem is the claim by many of the fishermen that people who are working out on the water right now shouldn't be."There are people down here that aren't even from here," one fisherman said. "They ain't even crossed the Hopedale Bridge in their life and they got a boat on down there."Taffaro said the parish and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are screening people to weed out those who aren't licensed fisherman in the parish.

1 comment:

  1. There is no small profit for BP.

    Listen to BP's chairman Tony Hayward

    and you'll understand what absolute contempt looks like and sounds like.


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