New Outrages Keep Gushing From BP
With BP’s well capped and CEO Tony Hayward exiled to Russia, perhaps you thought that surely there will be no additional revelations about BP to enrage you. But now comes this: prison labor.
In its national PR blitz to buff up its image, the oil giant has loudly been boasting that it has hired devastated, out-of-work local people to handle the clean-up. Many have been hired, but the people themselves say not nearly enough. The Nation magazine now reports a big reason for the shortfall — BP has been using inmates to do much of the shoveling and scooping to remove oil from Louisiana beaches.
In the early days of the cleanup, crews suddenly appeared wearing scarlet pants and white t-shirts with bold red letters spelling out, “Inmate Labor.” Investigative reporter Abe Louise Young writes that the sight of prison laborers outraged the local community, so they were removed.
Not the inmates, the uniforms. Now they wear BP shirts, jeans and rubber boots with no prison markings, and they are moved to and from the job in unmarked white vans. No officials with BP or the feds could or would tell Young how many inmates are being used or what they’re being paid. However, a local sheriff’s official told Young, “They’re not getting paid — it’s part of their sentence.”