South Mississippi fishermen rally for clean-up jobs - - The News for South Mississippi

South Mississippi fishermen rally for clean-up jobs


By Krystal Allan – bio | email

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - "We want to work" was the overwhelming sentiment among the droves of fishermen who showed up to a Monday meeting at VFW Post 6731 in D'Iberville.  South Mississippi fishermen organized the meeting.

State Senator David Baria of Bay St. Louis was on hand to answer some of the questions.

"We have asked our state agencies to ensure that Mississippi fishermen get first dibs on those sub-contracts," Baria said. "We trust that DMR, DEQ and the folks that are in charge of this from a state perspective will ensure that this will happen."

He also addressed one of the major issues of the night: How do fishermen work under contract without signing away the right to claim future losses?

"You wanna look for language that would require you to waive any claims against BP or TransOceans, or any of the companies involved in the drilling or production operation of BP," Baria said.

Baria suggested fishermen contact a lawyer or their state representatives to get some guidance before signing any contracts. 

Though confusion over contracts was a pressing concern, many fishermen said it's a non-issue if they can't get work in the clean-up process.

Tam Cu, a fishermen out of Biloxi, is expecting a baby. He said getting fishermen like himself involved in the clean-up is critical to their livelihoods.

"We're trying to figure out something that can help us," Cu said. "We just bought a house and everything. After this, it could really hurt us."

"We just don't want to get left out again," fisherman Anthony Pizzi said. "We need work. Our livelihood is coming to end, it looks like, if this oil keeps coming."

An initial count of the sign-up sheets showed more then 250 people attended the meeting.  If you'd like to get information on clean-up opportunities, call (281) 366-5511.

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