Casino workers rally for their right to compensation

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - By Elizabeth Vowell – email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) – When BP Claims Administrator Ken Feinberg comes to South Mississippi Monday, gaming employees are looking to give him a clear message: they deserve compensation.

"Mr. Feinberg, we have families. We have bills. We were affected by the oil catastrophe as much as anyone else. It's our lives, it's our livelihoods that were affected here," said casino employee Connie Penuel.

Penuel will be one of many casino employees rallying along Highway 90 who have had claims denied by BP.

She said that her income, that relies greatly on tips, has slipped since the oil spill.

"Because the economy was affected so drastically, then you find that the tip rates were down, and the attendance were down," said Penuel.

The Casino rally will start near the Biloxi lighthouse and work its way west. Workers said they are being very careful not to mention what casino they work so their job isn't affected and they don't take the attention off the individuals.

"While we are so glad that other people have received compensation, because they were affected also, that we feel like we need to draw attention to our right to also be compensated," said Penuel.

Casino workers will walk down 90 for around three hours, peacefully making their claim that "casino workers deserve compensation also".

"When we initially filed our claims, the claims adjusters gave us great hope that there's going to be help out there for you, and all of the adds that say we're going to make it right for the Gulf Coast, and we're still waiting for them to make it right," said Penuel.

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