Fisherman claims BP fired him two days after his hiring

By David Spunt - email

GRAND ISLE, LA (WAFB) - There is a program in place by BP meant to put Louisiana people suffering from the disaster in the Gulf back to work. However, one fisherman claims that isn't happening.

In the days following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, Steve Shook was among thousands across the country who was excited and united to fight the massive spill.

"I watched 60 Minutes and as soon as it was over, I went to the computer and pulled up British Petroleum," said Shook.

He signed up for BP's "Vessels of Opportunity" program, joining more than 2,000 local boats to help lay boom and transport heavy equipment. He was hired on a Friday and fired two days later.

"Shortest job I ever had in my life. I got a call Monday morning and they said they want local, but they are bringing in someone from Houston to run the operation," Shook explained.

A man who has worked his entire life found himself in one of the biggest unemployment lines Grand Isle has ever seen.

"I just want to go to work, just like the rest of the people in Lafourche Parish. We need a job. There's no income, no resources, no opportunity and there sure ain't no future," Shook added.

BP spokesman Curtis Thomas said the program is working, but admits it isn't bullet-proof.

"I know that we are doing the best we can," said Thomas. "BP is a huge company and sometimes we move slowly."

Thomas added BP doesn't want the public to lose faith in the company.

According to Shook, it's already too late.

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