Earlier this month, Mitt Romney gave a speech with dozens of soot-stained coal miners behind him -- an attempt to show his support from the working class. One problem: Miners say they were forced to attend Romney's rally, without pay, by their bosses at Murray Energy. In the bizarre words of the coal company’s chief operating officer Robert Moore, “Attendance was mandatory but no one was forced to attend the event.”
Murray has a horrible safety record, significantly worse than the industry average,
leading to a 2007 mine collapse that resulted in nine deaths -- and now it has taken a good day's wages from employees to shill for a candidate vowing to strip government oversight from their industry and undermine the workers’ safety on the job.
Sign up on the right to tell Murray Energy to pay its workers for their mandatory Romney rally.
Murray Energy's CEO, Robert Murray, has used his position like a cudgel, holding "weekly or bi-weekly" meetings for his employees in which he goes on tirades against President Obama and the union that supported him, the United Mineworkers of America. Workers report that they sometimes have their pay envelopes stuffed with political literature.
Even worse, employees said they are routinely pressured to donate to Republican causes and that the company keeps track of who gives and who doesn’t.
But for many, being asked to support their boss's candidate, unpaid, was the final straw. One woman called in to speak about her husband, saying “He was really upset that they took his free time with his family away from him.” In general, she said “he felt like they were pushing the Republican choice on him and he felt a little intimidated by that.”
Murray Energy workers are forces to respond to their boss's whims in part because they work at a non-union mine, in an industry that has been vigorously undermining workers’ rights for years. Robert Murray has shown that he doesn't just want to control his employees' work while on the job, he wants to own their voting habits as well. In an area where jobs are hard to come by, the risk of punishment for speaking up can be too high to do anything. But by standing together, SumOfUs.org
members can help these workers use their voice, and fight back against abuses by tyrannical bosses.
Miners working for Murray Energy say they were forced to attend Romney's rally, without pay, by their bosses. In the bizarre words of the coal company’s chief operating officer Robert Moore, “Attendance was mandatory but no one was forced to attend the event.” Employees also report pressure to donate to Republican causes, with the company tracking who does and who doesn't. The miners have been pushed around by their bosses long enough. Now it's time to tell Murray Energy to pay the miners for their "mandatory" rally.