The Times-Picayune reported Wednesday that Grand Isle Shipyard Inc., the company whose workers were aboard the West Delta Block 32 platform Friday when it exploded and killed one worker, left one missing and injured 11 others, is accused of running a "labor camp" for foreign workers. The allegations surfaced in a class action federal lawsuit filed about a year ago by former workers from the Philippines.
According to the story, 20 former Filipino employees claim they were required to pay between $2,000 and $3,500 a month to live in 10-by-10-foot rooms, six to a room — some in a work barge in Lafitte and others in a Galliano bunkhouse that had been converted from a bowling alley.
The T-P noted that the allegations surfaced as the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which regulates the oil and gas industry, began its investigation into Grand Isle Shipyard and Black Elk Energy, the Houston-based owner of the platform.
The independent federal Chemical Safety Board announced it also was considering an investigation into the accident and served two subpoenas on Black Elk on Monday. ...
The lawsuit alleges that the workers were required to sign two different contracts, containing differing pay rates, with the contract containing higher wages complying with federal law filed with the U.S. Embassy in Manila, and a second contract, with lower wages, filed with the companies.
“Plaintiffs executed the contracts because they believed that, in order to work in the United States, they had no choice,” according to the suit. “Further, they were deceived and/or otherwise fraudulently induced to sign the contracts with the promise that (Grand Isle Shipyard) would sponsor them for E-2 visas, making them eligible for permanent resident status.”
The state labor department figures released Friday show the initial claims decreased to 2,312 from the previous week's total of 2,543. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 2,627.
The hip little River Ranch shop will open in the Acadiana Center for the Arts in time for the September ArtWalk.
Lafayette’s first-ever Whole Foods Market will open its doors in September.
"Although the administration is moving forward with climate change regulations at home, we don't consider how policy decisions in the United States impact greenhouse gas emissions in other parts of the world," says Roger Martella, the former general counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush.
Louisiana agriculture officials say prices for long-grain rice are projected to drop this year.
First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending July 19 decreased from the previous week's total.
A judge is getting ready to set a new trial date for a former BP executive charged with obstructing a congressional investigation into the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Midsouth Bank has released its second quarter earnings report, showing a year-over-year increase for shareholders.
The parent of Investar Bank says its second-quarter earnings fell to $1.1 million or 26 cents a share from $1.7 million of 44 cents a share in the same period a year ago.
1,554 rigs were exploring for oil and 315 for gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,770 active rigs.
Most personal auto insurance policies exclude coverage when people charge money to drive others in their personal vehicles.
Louisiana's 21 casinos took in $203.5 million statewide in June, edging up one-half of a percentage point from a year earlier.
Business First Bank has announced plans for a Baton Rouge market expansion through a merger deal with American Gateway Financial Corp.
Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers opens on Johnston.
Acadiana's Top 50 Private Companies
It would be an understatement to say Schumacher Group had a challenging year in 2013.
Hampton Toyota has been serving Acadiana as the premier Toyota dealership for more than 10 years. And now, the glossy Johnston Street dealership is looking forward to a makeover.
Even when Floyd Degueyter is on “vacation” he’s hard at work.
As the second largest metal heat treating company in the country, Analytic Stress Relieving Inc. has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 1979.
When the Prohibition era came to an end in 1933, Joseph R. Streva saw an opportunity to make a little extra money to supplement his day job.
When a hurricane hits, Brent Mouton doesn’t run. The convenience store chain owner is proof that the challenges of mother nature can almost break a business, but Mouton learned to grow out of temporary closure from near devastation in 2002 and of lost potential revenue.
By launching a Super PAC to end all Super PACs, our Top 50 keynote speaker hopes to change the game in Washington.
Oil Center-based private facility extends its offerings with special events venue in failed women’s store.
One year later, is his expansion plan paying off?
Newspaper industry insiders question John Georges’ expansion plan.