Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Creating Support

A couple of weeks ago, Romney attended a rally in Ohio that was attended by hundreds of miners. It was an incredible turnout, and the crowd seemed to be incredibly supportive of the Republican nominee for President.

Yeah, well, appearances can be deceiving.

As it turns out, the miners were told that the rally was mandatory for them to attend, they were not paid for the day, and many of them were worried that they would be fired if they did not show up. The CFO of the company has denied that this is the case, but then followed it up with this little gem of a statement:

"Our managers communicated to our workforce that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend". I cannot tell you how happy I am that he said this, mostly because it is so hilariously ironic. It's also worth pointing out that the company these miners work for, Murray Energy Company, has donated $900,000 to Republican campaigns in the last two years, and their CEO has stumped for Romney in this election.

Now, I don't have a problem with Romney giving a speech to miners, and I'd be surprised if many miners were not Republicans. After all, Republicans tend to be more favorable toward the coal industry by wanting looser regulations on things like emissions and safety standards. But what I take issue with is a company forcing its employees to attend a rally, and then docking their pay when they attend. It shouldn't matter what the CEO's political opinions are, they should not be forcing their employees to go to a rally for a political candidate, period.


samp said...

So, what is the difference between this "mandatory" attendance and mandatory "joining" of the unions such as the teachers union whose leaders generally take the member's dues and send them in support of the Democratic candidate? I would be surprised if all mandatory union members are Democrats. However, they have very little or no say in how their dues are spent.

I feel both things are wrong. Especially, if true, in the miners case where attendance was mandatory and they were not paid that day. I find it hard to believe that is action by the mining company is legal under any circumstances.

TinCanMan said...

It is another example of injustice against workers and one of the many reasons workers unions formed in the first place. These workers lost a day's wages. If the attendence was 'mandatory' they should be compensated for their time. I also do not agree with forced union membership and dues but the difference is the unions work for worker's interests, not agains them.