GRAND ISLE, La. —
Hundreds of fishermen from Lake Charles to Moss Point, Miss., were supposed to get checks from BP on Wednesday but didn’t.Wednesday night, their lawyer wanted answers. Jeffrey Briet represents more than 500 fishermen, and he said the payment system he set up with BP required his clients to be paid every 30 days. Now that process has suddenly changed without warning, Briet said.
“Not only did they spring it on us that the process has changed, but the people I’ve been dealing with for six weeks who’ve done a good job said, ‘We don’t know what the process is going to be. We’re not authorized to talk to you about it. Someone from BP will contact you,'” he said.But Briet said he hasn’t heard from BP or its lawyers. He said the claims people have been given so much conflicting information about the process that they can’t provide answers.”They couldn’t tell me,” he said. “And I said, ‘I’ve got 500 people I’m meeting on Saturday. They want to know what the process is.'”It’s not the first time BP has given conflicting information.On June 11, BP’s security contractors tried to keep WDSU from speaking to cleanup workers despite the fact that BP released a statement two days earlier saying the workers could speak to the media.On May 14, St. Bernard Parish fishermen were upset with low pay and out-of-towners taking their work.Briet said he’s meeting with some fishermen from Moss Point Thursday morning and more on Saturday in Jennings. He said BP hasn’t given him any indication when the payments will resume.