An Open Letter to Edison Chouest Offshore and Gary Chouest


Gotcha. I’m fairly certain that the poster was referring to a 401k, not a pension, but neither can be “sold with the boats”.


Yeah which kinda confirms that there is a bunch of belly aching going on with this guy - I feel for him to a point but I was always under the impression that Chouest was one of the better work boat companies. The fact that he’s working on a stacked boat is a sign that they are actually doing minimally better than most companies regarding their employees during this down turn


The whole thing just strikes as naive. The nail telling the hammer how its gonna be, and all. Bayou employees lived off the fat of the land for a while and laughed at the rest of the industry for their silly unions and workers rights “nonsense”. Now they are stark naked, destitute, and begging for scraps and a sympathetic ear. Maybe they will have better manners next time. If there is a next time?


That’s a nice perk.


Don’t be hatin’ on all those Bayou employees - people took work where they could find it. I don’t think anyone was laughing at the rest of the industry at all - they just all had it really, really good for a while and now they don’t! What did you expect them to do? Have the manners to give up a good paying job with awesome benefits and a good work schedule/conditions and go join a union which offered them far less? I promise you, they really didn’t think about Unions/etc as “bad”, or even think of them at all. As I’ve said before, they are all now paying for it in spades if its any comfort to you.


They largely did, in fact, think of unions as bad. I’m still not sure how the rich folk convinced the workers that unions are evil but they did.


They did by offering them better pay and benefits for a while, actually. Better everything. Trouble is, now a lot of them had the rug pulled out from under them.


No, I mean all the workers down there, not just on the boats or in the oil field. Somehow the workers in the deep South have been convinced that unions are evil, horrible things and they hate them with a passion. It also predates the boat companies paying big money too.


Well, that is the culture down there but up until a couple of years ago (and I would say, even now, from what I’ve seen around) there really wasn’t a need for unions. People generally got treated well enough with out them.


I love the way some of you talk about us Oilfield Trash and the money we are not making. It will come back
better than before and everyone will have a new State of the Art vessel to operate. I’ve been through 4 downturns
in my career and this is by far the worst due to it being Worldwide. The OP is a rookie and didn’t know to set some money aside and probably lived a Rock Star lifestyle.


I believe that cool aid was self-induced. I worked at Chouest for 1994-2010 and seen a few round of layoffs in that time, although not to the extent of this last downturn. Anyone that thought they do not layoff apparently don’t know the oil business that well or the company.


Nautical Wheeler couldn’t have said it better to this poster. I just didn’t want to waste my breath on a guy that’s spends all his time looking for another job but never leaves! I would never be able to change his mind anyway. Look, I have a great sympathy for everyone that is still working in the Gulf. I lost my job as an Unlimited AB. I ended up moving back up north because I was out of money. I had to take a job at an assembly line job for minimum wage and it took me 2 months to find that! I guess I was overqualified to make pizzas, but my point is I was looking for anything! Then I landed a job for a tug company along the river 2 years ago and still with them. I started at $140 a day and had to start at the bottom all over again because I knew nothing about tugs and barges. Now I am up to $198 and as soon as I make lead I can be at $240. This is as much as some ABs are making now and I don’t have to pay for travel because I live so close. I would love to go back to the Gulf but why would I at this point. Also now I have gained experience in a different line of work. I can always go back and forth from blue water to brown, depending on what the industries are doing. Sorry for the long reply, but this guy needs to count his blessings he has a job! I’m not trying to be an a hole but he is sooo lucky and he doesn’t even know it.


I respectfully disagree. I believe the fundamentals of this downturn are significantly different than previous downturns. I only came to the oilfield in 2012 and I’m not familiar with the dynamics of previous downturns but I am familiar with what drove the price of crude down, therefore eroding the GOM industry.

Quick summary is two things; #1. New technology, specifically horizontal fracking resulting in # 2. The U.S. becoming one of the top producers of energy in the world. I don’t believe we’ve ever exported energy (not sure on that) and don’t recall our energy reserves ever being maxed out to the point they are now.

So…this isn’t a case of OPEC price manipulation and has a lot to do with the two points previously mentioned.

I’m far from an expert in global energy so I might be off on some of my points but it seems between alternative energy and the surge in U.S. production that’s enough to make my point stand.


Which Union contracted companies match 401k contributions? I was unaware that they did that anymore.


i figured most,if not all don’t do this because of the pension contributions they make instead.


I know they used to but that went out in 98. Wasn’t sure if they resumed it or not.


i’ve been in two different unions in the last 15 yrs and they both did.


I don’t know if any do. How do unions have anything to do with Harvey Gulf and them selling their tugs?


I don’t know whether it started on the boats or in the office but I heard numerous, relatively high level, office people say it as well.


When (if!) you are sitting on the new state of the art boat take a moment to calculate what your average day rate has been up to that day. Don’t forget to include all those days that you made pocket change babysitting a stacked boat or made nothing while job hunting (hoping).

You might think your life is good and Jeaux Boss is great when you spend a year making good money but when he throws you off the corporate jet with no parachute that “good year” making a higher day rate than a union job doesn’t count for shit as your savings leak away, your pension has gone back in Jeaux’s pocket, and your job opportunities are about as good as Jeaux’s promises.