Aside from the damages cap ($5000), BP was trying to require all boat captains to carry their own worker's comp and insure their own deckhands. They were trying to offer each boat, $1500/day, for the entire crew on the boat...a meager sum when the pie is divided.
On top of that, they expected the boat captains to front the expense of their own fuel costs...oh, the irony...a fuel company who can't supply fuel. When one of the captains asked what the pay cycle would be: 30, 60, 90 days, BP refused to answer. You have to understand that some of these boats can consume 20k in fuel in a month, that's a hell of lot of cash to subsidize BP's cost in cleaning up this fucking mess.
They also slipped in a non-disclosure clause in the contract to try and ensure the fisherman wouldn't speak about anything they saw. It appears BP has a lot to hide.
Overall, BP was trying to get any boat captains who take employment with them in the cleanup efforts to relinquish their basic legal rights.
Krewe of Truth reports that New Orleans attorney Stuart Smith and the Oil Disaster Recovery Group legal team called an emergency hearing in federal court and forced BP to nullify any signed contracts they received on Friday.
The shrimper I spoke with said many of the fisherman signed the 15 page document without even reading it as they assumed it was a standard work contract which oil companies regularly dispense. He said many of the fisherman were clamoring over each other to try and get their contract in the BP reps' hands first, thinking that would give them a better chance of getting hired. He said one of the BP reps then stated, "there's no guarantee we will hire any of you." At that point about half of the room got up and walked out.
I will be posting the video I shot on Humid Beings as soon as we can get it together, hopefully Wednesday.