North Carolina, North Carolina
June 11
Birdwatcher Extraordinaire


AUGUST 10, 2010 1:20PM

BP Fires 10,000~For Failing Drug Tests?

Rate: 25 Flag


"I apologize for lying to you. I promise I won't deceive you except in matters of this sort".
                                                                              Spiro Agnew 
It seems that BP, who have only had the oil leak or gusher stopped for a few days, have either fired or laid-off 25% of it's work force. When Hurricane Bonnie was threatening, they sent many workers home until further notice. The only thing they didn't tell them was, there would be no further notice. They weren't called back at all.
Then, in a sleight of hand that would make Houdini smile, they started drug-testing workers, even though they had never been piss-tested before. When the call went out for workers and thousands of men and women came forward, there was no mention of a drug test. But, as soon as the leak is plugged and the oil is harder to find, but still out there, they fire people for failing a fucking piss test. This is an outrage. 
This from Mother Jones Magazine:
"Friday, the day before Bonnie, they sent a bunch of people home until further notice, and a lot of people didn't get the further notice," one supervisor told me. "Then last week, they shut the whole [cleanup operation] down. It was 'Piss in a cup or throw your ID in the bucket.' This was a BP drug test, not a [subcontracting] company drug test. It's the first time BP tested us." 

This is total bullshit. These men and women were working in conditions of heat in the upper nineties, wearing protective clothing and masks to cover their faces. They could only work twenty minutes at a time, then they had to find some water and shade to escape the heat. They then went right back to work. After doing all this terrible work, in the worst of conditions, BP fires them for being dirty.

Again from Mother Jones:

A BP spokesman told me that all its subcontractors are required to drug test their cleanup employees and allow BP to do random checks itself; it just happened to do one of those checks last week. But the cleanup workers believe the company's motivation was to fire a bunch of people fast.  

From the start of this, BP has been lying to our government, our scientists, and the people  of the Gulf.  Now, instead of treating these workers with a little respect and giving them a little notice and a small bonus for helping them out of this multi-billion dollar mess, they give them to boot. What a bunch of asswipes, and they can damn well kiss America's bloody ass!



In this small piece, I didn't mention that many of these same workers are getting sick and being hospitalized from the oil, chemicals, or both. Please go to this link to find out more about this:



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Only 100% sober people should be allowed to clean the beaches - or work at Home Depot (sigh)
After a depressing read your tag line made up for it! The only pissers here are the Execs. ~r
What a load! Fuckers. Great tag!
I did not hear about that.
@ noah tawls very funny. Is Walmart also on that list?
I wish they wold make the Execs clean the beaches..
What a mess this is..
Rated with hugs
Why am I not surprised at all? Typical corporate shenanigans in the 21st century, except, they stoop lower in low in kicking the people who are already down.
What a bunch of douches.
There are some jobs and some work enviroments that need drug free workers. Heavy equipment operators, pilots, and firemen just to name a few. These are jobs where impairment due to drugs can result in the loss of life.

However, I do not believe that the job of beach cleaner falls within these guidelines. The drug test has long been used as a loop hole by big business to get out of paying either unemployment or worker's comp.

For example: I am a people greeter at Walmart. I could do this job with my eyes closed and in fact, a few hits on a joint might enable me to do it it were. But, if I were to trip and fall on my way to the time clock the first thing I would have to do is take a drug test and if i failed it, I would be fired and they would not pay my doctor's bill for the fall. As BP has shown, the drug test is a perfect way to cut overhead by downsizing without having to pay unemployment because the failure of that test would mean that Unemployment would be automatically denied.

It is just big business doing what big business has always done....screwing the little guy to save themselves money.
Scanner..while rather RAW..I love your tag..loved the quote, loved the movie and a very good way to let some one know they fucked up, BAD! (Pardon my French.)
Noah, especially Home Depot. Wouldn't want a person high ringing up the wrong price!
TME, these guys worked in terrible conditions and to be treated like nothing pisses me off!
Miko, thank you. Yeah, I liked the tag too! hah!
snarkychaser, definitely. Especially WalMart, ask Torman!
Linda, it just shows how slimy these people are. Thanks!
Sparking, they used these people and threw them away like trash. I get really pissed when the poor are screwed with. They catch enough grief without pissing in a cup so they can pick up balls of nasty oil. Bastards!
Tor, I used to work a lot of construction, for Dupont, Brown & Root and such. If you got hurt and even had a Valium in your system, they would throw you off the grounds and not pay any medical bills. But, as quick as they had to get these guys working, they had to of sub-contracted it out. The sub-contractor is supposed to do the test. I just think they wanted to get rid of these people, because they knew most were dirty. Bloodsuckers!
Big Business is your friend. Just keep repeating that until your pee turns clean. What a mess. R-
And it just continues to get worse...I don't when the bottom dollar became more important than a human being. It just depresses me more...
BP will never kiss America's ass. The 4th largest transnational corporation in the world is the single largest supplier of petroleum products to the world's single largest user - the US Military.
No, BP will never kiss our ass.
I too like the idea of the executives, in their suits and white shirts, silk ties cleaning the beaches, hauling the booms, with no masks. Sounds like a plan to me...R
Just ten minutes in a closed room with those guys from BP and one bayou oysterman, and they would be begging to be kissing our collective asses
Cindy, I made it a little dirty to attract attention. Hope it worked!
Dave, I don't think I could say it enough! Thanks~
LL2, can you imagine how these families felt. A lot of these people came from across the US to work. Now they go home broke. Sad!
Tim4change, well, they can kiss my bloody ass. I think the Justice Department should get involved. I've also read where they've lost billions in stock value, along with having to sell off some oil sites. So, they may not kiss America's ass, but they won't come out without some damage to their name and reputation!
Just when you thought Big Business could not sink any lower...
Don't ever believe their lies... BP has also played on nationalistic pride in Great Britain--their media coverage their bends over backwards to excuse BP of all wrongdoing.
Yes, BP's practice is appalling, but it's not illegal. Why not? We depend on "market forces" to keep employees from being screwed. The same is true for tenants, who can be thrown out of their homes in most parts of the country with little ceremony. The same is true for patients (though hopefully less so in the future). The same is true for consumers. This country has a threadbare idea of rights.

What we need, first of all, is some employment laws that limit an employer's intrusions and some limits to "at will" types of employment. Certainly there is nothing wrong with hiring for a project or a season, but there should be some responsibility on the part of the employer for notice, if not severance pay, and a flat prohibition against firing on a pretext.

The issue here is searches, which the government is constrained (to a point) from doing without probable cause or a reasonable motive, such as airline searches. Drug testing makes sense for airline pilots or truck drivers. It makes no sense, and therefore should not be legal, for office workers, cleanup workers, and jobs where a minimal exposure to drugs would make no difference or where the level of intoxication that would make a difference is detectable without a drug test. If the constitutional protections against certain kinds of discrimination can be extended to the workplace, why not protections against unreasonable searches and seizures? We never thought about this--at least, not until some people began losing their jobs for what they said on company email or even anonymous blogs--but the company could always search your desk or locker.

So, yeah, this is an instance of bad behavior on the part of BP, but it should remind us of the fact that we have no protection against being let go for no reason and no protection against unwarranted intrusions by employers.
Good post, Scanner. But does this surprise anyone? Really?
would love to see the execs pass a LIE dectector TEST.
They probably had to smoke a little pot for the nausea.
Thanks for the story and the wonderful TAG
Dragonfly, I really am starting to believe that big business runs this country, from the 5-4 decisions in the Supreme Court, to all the politicians that must take the lobbyist money to raise millions for their next campaign. Thanks!
Sheila, that will happen when pigs fly. Hah!
moviegeekjn, BP and the workers pensions are directly related. The more BP's stock goes down, so goes their pensions, just like when the stocks of this country tank!
Linnn, let me be the time-keeper. I really hope my watch wouldn't break for an hour or so!
Sirenita Lake, most companies that have drug-tests, make you take one "before" you are hired. I guess hey were OK before when they needed them, but all of a sudden when the leak stopped, they needed to be pissed-tested. Morons!
Fay, not really. But with BP's image problem around the world, you would think that coming off of a few hundred dollars dollars for these workers would be peanuts for them. Now, what will they do when the Motels and Restaurants and boat owners when they get the bill that will be billions. This, just like the Exxon-Valdezx, will go on 20 years or more.
bethybug, I believe the machine would blow-up they lie so much!
They drug tested from the beginning of the clean up hiring, but were using a saliva test. That only picks up pot smoking within the last few hours, if at all. The truth is that unless the worker showed up stoned or drunk, the test had a good chance of not detecting anything.
I assumed this to mean they were more concerned about hiring than hiring casual drug users, the saliva test serving the purpose of drug test in name only, basically.
Now that the spill is out of the 24/7 news cycle, break out the pee cups and trim down the ranks in a way that avoids unemployment claims.
I wonder if the piss test picks up Corexit residue.....
My Mom used to say - "Don't do as i do, Do as I say!" Maybe, just maybe we should come up with a plan for the Execs to trade places on the employment ladder and see how long they last? Then we can yell at them for not knowing their job but expecting us to. Just Jali Smiling.
Paul, thanks for clearing that up. I had no idea they had any kind of test before they started working. But as you say, this will stop people who try and get unemployment checks. I think a lot of these people have already drawn it out, or have not worked long enough to be eligible. Either way, they're fucked!
I ain't planning on fuckin' ya, ScanDude, so don't be expecting no kiss, hear?

I think it's time Obama exercised his executive authority and simply seized the goddam company - or at least its U.S. assets - and booted their arrogant, greedy asses out of here.
BP memo to Scanner:There is no more oil left to clean up ( the TV set has told us so) time to get rid of all those dope addicts who were moraly depraved enough to work for BP, pelicans indeed.
I should stay away from stories such as this, Scanner. In my readings of entries as far back as a year ago in your blog after I encountered the Charlie Brown entry, I noted that we were both very reluctant to write about this oil spill in the first place. We both knew that it is not a good thing for either of us emotionally to dwell on.

Here is what troubles me profoundy. It is the feeling of powerlessness on the part of an individual citizen with some love of justice to do anything whatsoever about it all. To tell you the truth, that feeling of helplessness in the face of conduct like this on the part of the powerful toward those without it on innumerable previous occasions brought me to the point of disavowing politics and a helluva lot of other things, giving most of my worldly goods away, and running. I had to get out of the middle of that. Now, that was not the only issue, but it ranked right up there at the top.

No wonder you are a bit depressed. You and your wonderful wife are still there right smack dab in the middle of it still.

There is very little sense of community up there, not that there ever has been. Individualism has been gloried nearly to the entire exclusion of any feeling of care for all members of the community. The devil take the hindmost, and of course the hindmost that the devil takes are the powerless, the poor, and the weak.

And you know something? Nobody really gives shit. Not really. I am convinced that this is exactly the way the vast majority of the citizen-consumers in the Unites States want it.

And make no mistake about it. This has always been the way our country operates. Always. This is not something brand new there.

By the way, I am going to post a late comment on that Charlie Brown entry. Soon.
Fuck them. Just fucking fuck them.
I hate this whole mess so much - I'm glad you have the heart to keep up with the fact, scanner. Thanks!
I observe BP with the same wondering disdain I once viewed George W. Bush (And still would if the fuckwad were still in office). You think they can't sink any lower, that even they must surely have an atom of shame left somewhere, but they then manage to tunnel under your estimation of them and set up a whole new low in the annals of utterly crappy, underhanded behavior.
I want to see some BP board members cleaning the Gulf Coast members of a chain gang. And whips, did I mention whips?
Just more proof that when you're the 4th largest corporation in the world, all shall bow down to you - at your own will or through force.
BP needs to be over. NOW. All of it a travesty. They are collectively unfit to manage this company. I cannot believe anyone anywhere would purchase gasoline or oil from BP. xoxox
Anyone without political power should always be held accountable for everything they do especially if those with political power can receive a benefit from it. How else are we going to maintain a virtual slave state which we call democracy.