Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Looking For A Job? High Pay, Warm Weather & Death Benefits

It's getting mighty dangerous to be a Halliburton employee in Iraq. An employee of Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), a subsidiary of Halliburton, was killed in a mortar attack in Iraq yesterday, "bringing to 54 the number of deaths suffered by Halliburton and its subcontractors in Iraq." But despite the danger, the high pay continues to attract job-seekers. According to the Dallas Morning News, "The company hires 300 to 500 people a week as part of the largest mobilization of civilians for non-combat war duties ever."

It's hard to resist for those that are out of work or looking for far more money than they can make here, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Typically, KBR pays overseas workers between $70,000 and $100,000 for a one-year contract. But it doesn't come easy. The company, which has about 40,000 workers in the Middle East, expects employees to work about 12 hours a day, seven days a week and gives them 10 days of paid vacation every four months.

KBR recruiter Peter Howatt does not sugarcoat the dangers of working in a war zone. During his hourlong presentation, Howatt showed pictures of camel spiders, death stalk scorpions and sand vipers. He also discussed the mandatory nuclear, biological and chemical training that each employee undergoes.

Howatt also talked candidly about the 51 KBR workers who have been killed in action and described the $25,000 death benefit and $25,000 accidental death payment that families receive.

"We don't hold anything back. We tell them what the risks are," Howatt said. "The important thing is that they fully understand what they're getting into."

Alvin Lee of Carrollton, who works as a ramp worker for America West airline, said he is willing to drive trucks in Iraq to get the six-figure income that some overseas workers earn. Up to $80,000 of an overseas worker's salary is tax-free if the worker spends at least 330 days outside the United States.