Cleaning Up on the oil spill

Phil Boehmke
An unemployed friend recently told me that he was going to be leaving town for a while to take a job in Alabama as a member of the oil spill clean-up crew. I told him that he should give the matter some very serious thought because of the potential health effects from exposure to Corexit, but my friend assured me that he would be taking an extensive training course before being deployed to the Gulf.  I asked him when he would be leaving and he told me that he still needed to scrape up the $500 fee for the Hazmat course and complete the application process. In doing some research on the matter I found a number of articles about oil spill clean-up scams.

The Sun News reports that.

Some people-including the desperately unemployed-have paid hundreds of dollars for training that they say turned out to be worthless or unnecessary, or that they took a course but now find themselves beholden to the training company that provided it.

They include Misty Gill of Pensacola, Fla. After taking a course in hazardous materials training, the company then asked trainees to pay a hefty fee, Gill wrote in a complaint to the Florida attorney general's office.

"They have not provided us with work and have asked us to pay a fee of $450 to provide us with our course certificates," Gill wrote. She didn't pay the fee and is still looking for a job. "The oil spill has created scam after scam."

Jason Surbey, a spokesman for OSHA recently said that most oil spill clean-up training should be free and that training for the majority of the operations (shoreline, skimming and boom laying) is being facilitated by BP at no expense to the participants. Surbey said that "the only training that is not being paid for by BP is the 40-hour Hazwoper training which is required of supervisors or boat captains."

There have also been stories of Identity Theft and a number of other scams designed to prey upon desperate job seekers. My friend found the help wanted ad that he nearly fell victim to on Craigslist as he was specifically looking for a clean-up job in the Gulf Coast, strangely enough the ad in question has miraculously disappeared from the site.

We are witnessing another repetition of depression era history. Mr. Obama seems to be dedicated to using the current recession as a means to enact legislation aimed at government expansion and control, not unlike FDR during the Great Depression. Obamanomics is creating a level of despair not seen in our lifetime and desperate people are easy prey for scam artists, union thugs and corrupt politicians alike.

For anyone who is searching the Internet and want-ads looking for a job, I would offer this piece of advice; take the time to either read John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" or watch the classic 1940 film version starring Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell (best supporting actress as Ma Jode). The Internet help wanted ad of today is beginning to look an awful lot like the employment handbill of a distant yesteryear.
An unemployed friend recently told me that he was going to be leaving town for a while to take a job in Alabama as a member of the oil spill clean-up crew. I told him that he should give the matter some very serious thought because of the potential health effects from exposure to Corexit, but my friend assured me that he would be taking an extensive training course before being deployed to the Gulf.  I asked him when he would be leaving and he told me that he still needed to scrape up the $500 fee for the Hazmat course and complete the application process. In doing some research on the matter I found a number of articles about oil spill clean-up scams.

The Sun News reports that.

Some people-including the desperately unemployed-have paid hundreds of dollars for training that they say turned out to be worthless or unnecessary, or that they took a course but now find themselves beholden to the training company that provided it.

They include Misty Gill of Pensacola, Fla. After taking a course in hazardous materials training, the company then asked trainees to pay a hefty fee, Gill wrote in a complaint to the Florida attorney general's office.

"They have not provided us with work and have asked us to pay a fee of $450 to provide us with our course certificates," Gill wrote. She didn't pay the fee and is still looking for a job. "The oil spill has created scam after scam."

Jason Surbey, a spokesman for OSHA recently said that most oil spill clean-up training should be free and that training for the majority of the operations (shoreline, skimming and boom laying) is being facilitated by BP at no expense to the participants. Surbey said that "the only training that is not being paid for by BP is the 40-hour Hazwoper training which is required of supervisors or boat captains."

There have also been stories of Identity Theft and a number of other scams designed to prey upon desperate job seekers. My friend found the help wanted ad that he nearly fell victim to on Craigslist as he was specifically looking for a clean-up job in the Gulf Coast, strangely enough the ad in question has miraculously disappeared from the site.

We are witnessing another repetition of depression era history. Mr. Obama seems to be dedicated to using the current recession as a means to enact legislation aimed at government expansion and control, not unlike FDR during the Great Depression. Obamanomics is creating a level of despair not seen in our lifetime and desperate people are easy prey for scam artists, union thugs and corrupt politicians alike.

For anyone who is searching the Internet and want-ads looking for a job, I would offer this piece of advice; take the time to either read John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" or watch the classic 1940 film version starring Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell (best supporting actress as Ma Jode). The Internet help wanted ad of today is beginning to look an awful lot like the employment handbill of a distant yesteryear.