You may have heard that the NAACP is accusing BP of giving the most dangerous cleanup jobs to minorities while also paying them lower wages. Equally upsetting is that those workers – and many others – are still not getting the most basic protective gear.
As somebody familiar with doing worker interviews in the spill zone, I can tell you that it’s nearly impossible to do anything approaching actual surveys. Workers are painfully aware that speaking out means no more work – frequently, we’re told, that doesn’t mean getting actually “fired,” just not re-hired from the daily labor pool. More evidence of BP’s aggressive campaign to do anything and everything possible to coverup what’s happening on the ground… from rigidly restricting media access and environmental testing efforts, BP has worked hard to cover its tracks.
Jackie Patterson, the NAACP director of climate and justice, thus told reporters that her organization’s concerns are not based on “intense research” but, rather, anecdotal observations. She also confirmed that very basic safety equipment, like breathing masks, is not being provided.