Gulf shrimper John Wunstell Jr.
has filed a restraining order in
federal court against oil giant BP. Wunstell became sick and was hospitalized
from inhaling dispersant that BP used to break up oil as a result of the
Deepwater Horizon rig explosion a month earlier.
BP has sprayed more than 800,000
gallons of dispersant into
the Gulf of Mexico. The company solicited local fishermen to use their boats
for BP’s clean-up attempts, and Wunstell was one of those who volunteered his
Soon afterward, Wunstell began to
experience headaches, nosebleeds and nausea. Other workers experienced similar
symptoms. Fisherman Gary Burris explained, “[I]t filled my lungs with fluid.
I’m hurting—I’m sore from coughing.”
In response to these complaints, BP threatened workers who wore masks or spoke
out about their health concerns.
willful disregard for the health and welfare of its workers in the face of
environmental disaster shows the criminality of capitalist profit hunger. BP’s
assets must be seized for the protection of workers and the globe.