BP hires prison labor to clean up spill while coastal residents struggle.

In the first few days after BP's Deepwater Horizon wellhead exploded, spewing crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, cleanup workers could be seen on Louisiana beaches wearing scarlet pants and white t-shirts with the words "Inmate Labor" printed in large red block letters. Coastal residents, many of whom had just seen their livelihoods disappear, expressed outrage at community meetings; why should BP be using cheap or free prison labor when so many people were desperate for work? The outfits disappeared overnight.


Hiring prison labor is more than a way for BP to save money while cleaning up the biggest oil spill in history. By tapping into the inmate workforce, the company and its subcontractors get workers who are not only cheap but easily silenced?and it gets lucrative tax write-offs in the process.


Nation. 23 July 2010.

With scores of coastal residents out of work after the spill, BP is hiring inmates to clean up its mess—and getting lucrative tax breaks in the process.