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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Coal Miners Were Forced to Attend a Romney Rally, and They Lost a Day's Pay, Too

Posted by on Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Jesus Christ, this story is depressing:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — When GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited an Ohio coal mine this month to promote jobs in the coal industry, workers who appeared with him at the rally lost pay because their mine was shut down.

The Pepper Pike company that owns the Century Mine told workers that attending the Aug. 14 Romney event would be both mandatory and unpaid, a top company official said Monday morning in a West Virginia radio interview.

What do you call workers who are forced to show up for free? Well, there are lots of words you could throw around, but you couldn't call them union workers, that's for sure. Right wing bloggers lost their shit over this picture when the coal mining event happened; turns out it was just Romney's old 1% cronies coming to the rescue for their pal Willard one more time.

(Thanks to Slog tipper Melissa for ruining my day.)


Comments (25) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
If you didn't assume this was what was going on in this pic before this story was posted you are stupid or being intentionally and disingenuously thick. Usa corp. makes people do unpleasant shit to keep their jobs for no pay? Knock me over w/ a feather!
Posted by Kansasboy on August 28, 2012 at 12:33 PM · Report this
"We're not saying you HAVE to go, just that you probably should go. You know, with the ever-present looming layoffs that we hold America hostage with now..."
Posted by WenWino on August 28, 2012 at 12:37 PM · Report this
Kinison 3
How many people lost a half day or full days wage thanks to Occupy Seattle's may day protest? At 8 months pregnant, my wife refused to walk though that mess to get to work, which was a block from Westlake.

Naturally it sucks to be these coal miners, because they have no choice but to go to the rally. But losing a half day or full days wage seems like acceptable collateral damage for the Occupy movement.
Posted by Kinison on August 28, 2012 at 12:39 PM · Report this

While I certainly sympathize, your wife made that decision on her own not to try to get to her job; she's wasn't told by her employer not to come in to work, and I'm guessing most of her fellow employees somehow managed it, despite the protests.

So, unless you have something to add to that, I'm calling "false equivalency".
Posted by COMTE on August 28, 2012 at 12:42 PM · Report this
Aaron 5
The difference being that your wife chose to feel threatened to the point where she wouldn't transit a public plaza (and I don't recall any reports of random violence on people passing by) rather than being told she had to forego a days pay and attend to an event at Westlake.

So, completely bullshit comparison.
Posted by Aaron on August 28, 2012 at 12:43 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 6
Anti-union people always proclaim that Unions are obsolete. There's no more need for them now that we have good working conditions and workers aren't bullied by their bosses.

Once unions are gone, Big Corporations will go right back to fucking their employees. Weekend hours standard. No vacations. No sick leave. Extra hours but no overtime. Anyone who thinks otherwise, anyone who thinks Big Corporations will happily go along with the things unions fought tooth and nail for, have their heads in the sand.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on August 28, 2012 at 12:44 PM · Report this
There's an old man called the Mississippi
that's an old man I wants to be.
What does he care if the world's got troubles
what does he care if the land ain't free?

@3 - your logic is utterly deranged, and beneath contempt.
Posted by johnjjeeves on August 28, 2012 at 12:55 PM · Report this
Hernandez 8
@3 As COMTE so handily points out, it ain't the same thing.

If you choose not to go to work, and lose a day's pay, for personal reasons, that's nice. I'd say your wife is fortunate she had the choice. These coal miners didn't have a choice. It was a mandatory unpaid event.

(As an aside, I actually pity you two if your lives are really so infested with paranoia and fear. Try not treating everything as a grave threat and you'll find life is richer and more rewarding.)
Posted by Hernandez on August 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM · Report this
Cracker Jack 9
Urgutha, unless one makes it a habit of transporting large amounts of sand in one's rectum, I don't think "in the sand" is where their heads will be.
Posted by Cracker Jack on August 28, 2012 at 1:11 PM · Report this
Kinison 10

There were dozens of workers who were sent home early, or told not to come into work. My wife was one of many who were affected that day. Remember the outrage when people found out Jennifer Fox was pregnant and hit with pepper spray? Nobody forced her to block the street. Yes we later know her story was full of holes, but for almost 2 weeks, there was non-stop outrage. But when my wife decides she doesnt want to get hit with a cloud of pepper spray, suddenly "Nobody is forcing her to do anything", seriously, go screw yourself.


Yes, not the same thing, clearly Occupy has cost working people far more than a days wage. Ask the organizers at the Art Walk in LA how much money they lost when Occupy LA hijacked their event? Ask the businesses and farmers market at Pershing Square how much money they're losing thanks to the Occupy LA moving to that location?

What Mittens is doing is peanuts compared to how much money Occupy is costing various cities in lost wages or sales. Im sorry, I cannot feel the outrage that others are feeling when a presidential rally is forcing dozens of coal miners to lose a days wage when the damage from Occupy protests is far greater.
Posted by Kinison on August 28, 2012 at 1:20 PM · Report this
@10: Serious question, is it OK to be outraged by both, or do I have to chose one or the other?
Posted by SLCamper on August 28, 2012 at 1:27 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 12

They didn't just lose a day's pay; they were illegally forced to attend a campaign event without pay or GET FIRED.

Just fuck off.
Posted by keshmeshi on August 28, 2012 at 1:37 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 13
Well...given the lack of safety measures taken by the mine (I mean look who the owners are supporting) this did get the miners out of an environment where they could have been killed. *Cato the YY..Looking for the Bright Side of Corporate Fascism*
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on August 28, 2012 at 1:47 PM · Report this
CC-Rob 14
God bless the Free Market system - and @3 with his false equivalency B.S.
Posted by CC-Rob on August 28, 2012 at 1:48 PM · Report this
@3 Man that was dumb.

If your BOSS makes you go to Occupy, then you have an apt comparison.

Remember how during the first half of the GW Bush administration the Republicans controlled pretty much all three branches of government?

And THEN remember how that uber-majority implemented policy that pretty much got the US stale-mated for over six years in a pointless lie-based war against unemployed muslim teenagers (TRILLION dollar wars, that is), then alienated all our allies, blew up our economy, gave away ka-jillions of public dollars to super-rich people, AND let Osama Bin Laden get away.

Remember that?

Ok. When you remember that think, about #3 up there. It all makes sense now doesn't it.

Because it's morons like that who make up about 70% of the modern conservative movement.
Posted by tkc on August 28, 2012 at 2:06 PM · Report this
Let me help you a bit with this.

Just because you don't like A and you don't like B and someone else says that they don't like C does not mean that A and B and C are equivalent.

Yes, they might sound like they're the same in your mind.
But they aren't the same.

Being told not to come into work
is not the same as
Being told to be at a specific place at a specific time.

I hope that helps! :)
No need to thank me.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on August 28, 2012 at 2:23 PM · Report this
Isn't it ironic that the people who are branding Obama a socialist are manipulating the working class to advance their own political agenda?
Posted by Ken_in_los_angeles on August 28, 2012 at 2:26 PM · Report this
Posted by LukeJoe on August 28, 2012 at 2:26 PM · Report this
biffp 19
@2, looming layoffs are an excuse for any corporate excess these days. Threatening employees who are supporting families so that they will go to a rally to elect a guy worth $250 million for the benefit of his ego. The guy isn't even paying taxes or collecting salary.

It's almost as ridiculous as a giving tax deductions to churches who are bundling donations to an anti-gay campaign PAC. If Mittensmoneybags wants to eliminate deductions so that billionaires can have a 0% tax rate, he can fucking start with the deduction for donations to the Mormon church.
Posted by biffp on August 28, 2012 at 2:34 PM · Report this
@10 Please! Being blocked from going to work because there's a riot, or an earthquake, or a space alien on the streets is NOT the same thing as your employer telling you to show up somewhere AND NOT PAYING YOU!! It's bad enough if they pay you to attend their political rally. That's unethical enough. But not to pay you? That's like a power rape. That's their way of exercising their full degree of power upon you. That's them telling you that they have full control over your life and then showing you. That's a day of your life! That's your time! Isn't your time worth anything? You know what it's called when your master tells you to do something for free? It's called slave labor. It's called being treated as something less than human. And the fact that it's all done in order to support someone who represents the corporate interests to widen the income and power gap - to make the lives of these blue collar workers more miserable - makes it more despicable. It amazes my how much people like you can get lost in the flag waving and the "USA!" chants.

And yes, as Urgutha pointed out, this is why we will always need labor unions.
Posted by floater on August 28, 2012 at 3:08 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 21
"Moore told Blomquist that managers 'communicated to our workforce that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend.'"

My blood pressure just shot up by several ticks due to the stupidity of that statement.

Also, Kinison, sometimes you're actually reasonable. This is not one of those times. You presented a false equivalency, then presented another false equivalency to cover that first false equivalency. I can't tell if you're that confused or if you're trolling just to troll.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on August 28, 2012 at 3:11 PM · Report this
@Kinison. You're not gonna win this one. As explained over and over apples are not oranges not matter how much you complain. It's sad that you were so scared of something you openly mocked time and time again. Pretty silly.
Posted by CbytheSea on August 28, 2012 at 3:13 PM · Report this
quix 23
@20: "You know what it's called when your master tells you to do something for free? It's called slave labor."

I thought the modern accepted euphemism was "internship."
Posted by quix on August 28, 2012 at 3:38 PM · Report this
Hundreds of miners forced to forgo a day's pay to stage a photo op for their employer's candidate, and not one of them managed to sneak in a pickaxe?
Posted by PCM on August 28, 2012 at 4:15 PM · Report this
If this is true at all, and the AFLCIO is investigating it, I guess it's not much different than what happened here in Westport, CT when the Westport police were not paid for protecting the President during a posh $35,800 per head fundraiser here in Connecticut, Aug 6th at the residence of film mogul Weinstein at his Beachside Avenue home. Why should Republicans in the Town of Westport have to foot the bill with their tax dollars ???????

"Joseloff, a Democrat who did not attend the $35,800 per head Weinstein fundraiser, said he has not received a response from Obama for America or Weinstein. “I didn’t expect that we would get repayment, but it was worthwhile to ask,” he said."

See :…

Posted by Robert Pavlick on September 25, 2012 at 3:31 PM · Report this

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