The Barge Workers are a group of various workers and employees working on the 'worlds largest trash barge'. This includes their Captain, his crew, and the two Barge Workers.
During the events of The Beach, the group is planning on dumping 60 thousand tons of radioactive trash into the Gulf of Santa Catalina. The Hippies of the S.S. Catalina plan to stop them, but, due to their complete ineptitude when it comes to taking action, this is no issue. When Dan learns about the plan, he views it as an opportunity to finally destroy LA Beach, and so recruits the hippies to help Chris and him infiltrate the barge.
The Barge Workers immediately become suspicious of Chris, as his manor of speaking is completely inconsistent with the Jersey-Staten dialect spoken by the barge workers. Chris accidentally backs into a claw crane and knocks them overboard before they can attack him, however. After Dan does this, he gets Chris to enter the bridge(who apparently thought it was a literal bridge). The Captain attempts to force them to back off under threat of dumping the trash, but this fails, mostly because they planned on doing that anyway.
Dan knocks the entire crew overboard shortly after and hijacks their boat for his mission against LA Beach, and they are never seen again.
- Dumping of low level radioactive waste(which is what contaminated trash would be classified as) into oceans by way of boat and plane was outlawed in 1993 by international law. Thus, the entire crew would technically be violating international law. High level waste dumping has been illegal since the 60s, and would carry an additional penalty in the event of it is that dangerous. Note this doesn't apply to land based dumping from pipelines.
- Despite operating in California, the entire crew speak in Jersey-Staten dialect. This could be a reference to the large barge industry in the general area. It could also allude to them being mobsters, perhaps working with The Berelli Mafia
- In real life, the Sicilian Mob often dumped radioactive materials off the Somalian coast due to a lack of government in the area.