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Romney Backer Who Forced Coal Workers To Attend Rally Unpaid Fires 160

by David Badash on November 9, 2012

in News,Politics

Post image for Romney Backer Who Forced Coal Workers To Attend Rally Unpaid Fires 160

Mitt Romney last month attacked President Obama‘s environmental and economic policies by running an ad featuring dozens of coal workers who, as the world now knows, were unpaid for their appearance, but forced to appear in the ad and lost a day’s pay for the privilege of doing so.

As it turns out, those workers are employed — or, in some cases as of this week, were employed — by Robert E. Murray, the owner of America’s largest privately-owned coal corporation, Murray Energy, based in Ohio.

On Wednesday, the day after Barack Obama won re-election, and because Barack Obama won re-election, coal magnate Bob Murray gathered some of his employees together, read them a prayer, and then fired them.

Dear Lord:

The American people have made their choice. They have decided that America must change its course, away from the principals of our Founders. And, away from the idea of individual freedom and individual responsibility. Away from capitalism, economic responsibility, and personal acceptance.

We are a Country in favor of redistribution, national weakness and reduced standard of living and lower and lower levels of personal freedom.

My regret, Lord, is that our young people, including those in my own family, never will know what America was like or might have been. They will pay the price in their reduced standard of living and, most especially, reduced freedom.

The takers outvoted the producers. In response to this, I have turned to my Bible and in II Peter, Chapter 1, verses 4-9 it says, “To faith we are to add goodness; to goodness, knowledge; to knowledge, self control; to self control, perseverance; to perseverance, godliness; to godliness, kindness; to brotherly kindness, love.”


(Full text of prayer here.)

By the way? Murray’s perception and description of what he sees as where America is moving is total hogwash. Turn off Fox News, Bob!

“The company was the subject of an article in the New Republic that said the company had forced miners to attend a Romney campaign speech in southeastern Ohio in August,” The Washington Post reports:

Murray denied the account. The New Republic also reported that Murray Energy employees have given more than $1.4 million to Republican candidates for federal office since 2007.

Here’s what The New Republic reported last month:

Over the years, CEO Robert Murray has brought in GOP pols from as far away as Alaska, California, and Massachusetts for fund-raisers. In 2010, the year John Boehner became House speaker, the firm’s 3,000 employees and their families were his second-biggest source of funds. (AT&T was in first place, but it has nearly 200,000 employees.) This year, Murray is one of the most important GOP players in one of the most important battleground states in the country. In May, he hosted a $1.7 million fund-raiser for Romney. Employees have given the nominee more than $120,000. In August, Romney used Murray’s Century Mine in the town of Beallsville for a speech attacking Barack Obama as anti-coal. This fall, scenes from that event—several dozen coal-smudged Murray miners standing behind the candidate in a tableau framed by a giant American flag and a COAL COUNTRY STANDS WITH MITT placard—have shown up in a Romney ad.

The ads aired even after Ohio papers reported what I was told by several miners at the event, a bit of news that an internal memo confirms: The crowd was not there of its own accord. Murray had suspended Century’s operations and made clear to workers that they were expected to attend, without pay. “I tell ya, you’ve got a great boss,” Romney said in acknowledging Robert Murray from the stage. “He runs a great operation here.”

The accounts of two sources who have worked in managerial positions at the firm, and a review of letters and memos to Murray employees, suggest that coercion may also explain Murray staffers’ financial support for Romney. Murray, it turns out, has for years pressured salaried employees to give to the Murray Energy political action committee (PAC) and to Republican candidates chosen by the company. Internal documents show that company officials track who is and is not giving. The sources say that those who do not give are at risk of being demoted or missing out on bonuses, claims Murray denies.

The Murray sources, who requested anonymity for fear of retribution, came forward separately. But they painted similar pictures of the fund-raising operation. “There’s a lot of coercion,” says one of them. “I just wanted to work, but you feel this constant pressure that, if you don’t contribute, your job’s at stake. You’re compelled to do this whether you want to or not.” Says the second: “They will give you a call if you’re not giving. . . . It’s expected you give Mr. Murray what he asks for.”

So, it would appear that Murray sees his employees as pawns, props, and even pimps for his political purposes, using the fruits of the labor, the cash from their paychecks, and their tacit endorsement by appearing in an ad for Mitt Romney. And when he doesn’t win, who loses? Not Bob Murray, who certainly has enough cash to support himself and his family. No, his workers, whose personal financial support and likely their votes for Romney just weren’t enough to turn the tide.

Bob Murray is Mitt Romney’s “job creators.”

If this isn’t illegal, it sure ought to be.

This is why we need unions. Because those who live off the hard work of others can’t be trusted to do the right thing.


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barbonine November 9, 2012 at 3:05 pm

There is a trend. This isn't the first to fire a large group because Obama won the election. I would like to hear what these coal miners have to say about this crap.

robthomaseyes November 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Good. The more people that get fired because of this election, the more new democrats that are created. For every 1 person fired, at least 4 dems are created on average (the fired person, their spouse, and their kids). Bring it on, republicans. You'll never win another election again.

barbonine November 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm

The funny part, Rob, is the way the Rightards have analyzed their huge loss and have determined that they should have focused even less on the economy and more on religious issues, marriage equality and women. In other words, the very things that lost them the election in the first place. It's quite entertaining!

LOrion November 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm

NAME DAVID splash his name everywhere!

DenguyFL November 9, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Mine workers are unionized. Lets see what UMWA has to say about this. Pretty sure he will get hos ass handed back to him

jbandsma November 9, 2012 at 3:44 pm

No, not all mine workers are unionized. This one isn't, despite what Rush Limbaugh has tried to convince people of.. Murray has coerced workers, threatened anyone who even mentions a union. This mining company goes back to the days of mining a hundred years ago. Dangerous even above ground.

BearFlagCitizen November 9, 2012 at 4:29 pm

How about those "Job Creators" eh? Of course, this Mr. Murray is probably saying now, "Look at what you made me do!"

Not only that, he probably just created 160 new Democratic voters. I sincerely hope that those workers take a good hard look at their former boss and the GOP and realize that they do not have the people's best interests at heart. GOP is greed and selfishness and screw the little people.

Serenifly November 9, 2012 at 6:02 pm

These people (including the Romneys) see themselves as feudal lords and their employees as serfs – with absolute power over every tiny aspect of their lives

barbonine November 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Their problem now is this.
Serf's up!

Dave_Koch November 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Wow, this is a wet-dream for a plaintiff attorney.

Why did the Republican Party take a Shellacking?

The incentives of Karl Rove and Grover Norquist to report that the polls inaccurately favored a democratic victory were obvious – they wanted to continue taking money from their wealthy donors. Let’s not forget that although Karl Rove and Grover Norquist purport to serve their wealthy constituents, that facade is really just window dressing to continue filling the donations based trough from which they feed themselves.

Read the article below for full details.

KROB609 November 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Can the employees sue under harassment laws that protect them from a "hostile workplace?"

SewerRatz November 9, 2012 at 9:16 pm

The employees were not fired they where laid off. Also they were not forced to attend the rally which if you paid attation to the video they released, it plainly states that Obama lied about them being forced. Watch it for yourself.

kittensmonster November 9, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Because Youtube says so, it MUST be true…

David Badash November 10, 2012 at 12:02 am

The plant was closed for the day. The workers were told attendance at the Romney event was mandatory. They also were not paid for their attendance. Not sure what facts are unclear here.

mosaickmind November 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm

This video looks just as staged as the Romney one…

gravebayne November 9, 2012 at 11:30 pm

get out there and tell them i didn't force you to do it or you 're fired!

Dave_Koch November 10, 2012 at 12:46 am

Nice admission to voter intimidation there Bob Murray. That is a felony.

Dave_Koch November 10, 2012 at 12:48 am

Open letter to Mitch McConnell and John Boehner

mosaickmind November 10, 2012 at 1:15 am

Recommended reading: "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair

cajun_snake November 10, 2012 at 3:31 am

IMO, this seems to be the growing trend since President Obama's win. I believe in Vegas a hotel owner let 22 employees go for the same reason. But the sad part this is only the beginning, look for a lot more of this to happen. Maybe just not as foolish as Murray did it.

mosaickmind November 11, 2012 at 4:59 pm

So I wonder if Righty employers are going make you tick off which political party you are affiliated with. Since Dems out number them, there may be a shortage of workers for them.

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