MS Oil Workers Upset with BP for Hiring AL Crews for Tar Ball Cleanup

Reported by: Sarah Duffey
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Updated: 3/25 9:24 pm
After tar balls washed ashore on the Barrier Islands last week, BP has contracted cleanup crews out of Alabama to clean up the mess, a move that has angered many laid off Mississippi oil techs that are still searching for work. Last December, Danos, a company sub contracted by BP to help clean up the 2010 oil spill, fired their Mississippi crews, but kept the Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida workers on board. Jim Talbot, a former employee, says, "Three days before Christmas, they shut down all oil operations, all cleanup operations in Mississippi." After three months of no work, Mississppi oil techs thought they were back in business when tar balls from the BP oil spill washed up on the Barrier Islands. Talbot also says, "We heard news reports that they we're finding a lot of oil out on the islands and a bunch of us were expecting to get calls to come back to work."

But that was not the case. Danos has employed an out of state crew for the job. Talbot also says, "We found out yesterday they are bringing in teams from Alabama to clean our beaches.” Talbot says it’s not fair that local workers who are H.A.Z.W.O.P.E.R. certified are being overlooked for a job in their own backyards. Talbot says, "I want to say at least 20 of us went back through and got recertified, so there are at least 20 people who can start work tomorrow morning. All they have to do is give them a call." Talbot and the others have contacted local politicians for their help, but were told it's beyond their control.

Talbot also says, "They were telling me that it’s something not in their hands. With Danos and BP being private companies, they don't have to answer to government officials." Talbot says his former employer has contacted him about jobs in Galveston, Texas, but he says he will not go knowing there is perfectly good work in Mississippi. Talbot closes, "It’s not right. They need to put people in Mississippi back to work." News 25 contacted Danos about the out of state contracting, but did not receive a response. Talbot says he has reached out to Danos for answers as well, but has gotten nowhere.




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