Oklahoma Restaurant Gives Free Food To Struggling Oil Field Workers After Pay Cuts, Layoffs

While many people across the country are rejoicing over falling gas prices, there are some who aren’t so happy about lower prices at the pump. Oil field workers say they are struggling after pay cuts and layoffs due to oil companies backing off on production as prices plummet. One Oklahoma business decided to do something special for struggling oil field workers during this “hard time financially” by offering free food.

According to KOTV, Wild Country Meats in Hominy, Oklahoma, offered up a free burger basket and drink to oil field workers in the town. Owner, Chris Gabriel, noticed his customers were having “a hard time financially.” Therefore, he decided to do something nice for his customers in the only way he knew how, with food.

Gabriel says that workers in the oil field make up “a better part” of his business with 90 percent of his customers associated with the oil industry. He calls them the “bloodline” of the community and says they deserve a little relief during this hard time. During any given day, Gabriel says his meat market and restaurant are filled with oilfield workers, many times still covered in oil residue from a hard day’s work.

“These guys work long hours, day/night. They come in with oil from head to toe sometimes and just hard workers.”

The Wild Country Meats patrons seemed to appreciate the small gesture noting “it really means a lot to us.” One oil field worker and Wild Country Meats patron, Nick Blakey, spoke to KOTV and said the falling oil prices has impacted the community and they are just hoping prices will go back up soon. He said the cut in gas prices does nothing to make up for the loss in salary.

“Imagine if your salary got cut in half and then somebody says, ‘Well you’re paying a dollar less for a gallon of fuel, aren’t you excited?’ No, I’m not excited about it. My thought is, if you’re not in oil and gas, you’re affected by it. Every one of us, especially in this area.”

Gabriel said he served between 1,000 and 1,500 burgers during the promotion.

CNN Money reports that it isn’t just oil field workers who are directly affected by the gas prices. Though families will see approximately $100 extra in their pocket each month from low gas prices, some workers that rely on the booming oil industry for a job are worried. For example, more than 1,000 employees at Civeo, a provider of housing for oil workers, have lost their jobs in recent months. There’s concern this is only the beginning of the energy sector layoffs.

What do you think of the low oil prices and the affect it has had on the job market? Should we be happy that prices are falling and world-wide demand is decreasing, or is the US too heavily reliant on the oil industry to see if falter now?

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