This does not sound right at all.
How may people were affected? 5? 10? 20?
The word along the waterfront is that Harvey prefers to hire experienced guys rather than train kids. As I recall, Harvey was paying large signing bonuses specifically to get quality captains (especially Chouest captains) to come over to Harvey. Harvey apparently believed that it was cheaper and easier to attract proven top guys from a competitor, than to train new guys and develop them in house. Most of corporate America works this way too.
It seems very odd that Harvey would want to piss away all that extra money they paid to attract top talent, and lose the talent too. The process of hiring and firing employees is expensive, especially when a company has just paid a large signing bonus to get a guy onboard.
What would a typical OSV captain know about running a tug anyway? Next to nothing.
Maybe I could believe that Harvey saw a chance to get rid of some deadwood by putting those guys on vessels being sold.
There is no way that Harvey and Chouest conspired to “punish” dollar chasers by defrauding them out of there jobs. The companies certainly wouldn’t want people thinking they had done this? That would make it harder for both companies to attract and retain top talent in the future. I bet the management at Hornbeck and other companies are smiling while they read this thread.
Who bought the Harvey tugs?