Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Coal mines: No pay for mandatory attendance among friends

Remember that Republican candidates' day earlier this month in Ohio coal mining country that featured Mitt Romney, Josh Mandel and the gang telling a group of miners how much they cared for the welfare of the workers?

The back-channel story in the Plain Dealer  is much more interesting.  It  reported the backlash to the event  by some mine employes to Radio Station WWVA (Wheeling) over how the political love-in   was orchestrated.  The miners in attendance lost a day's pay because their mine closed that day in their absence.

The Pepper Pike owner of the Century Mine conveyed  word down the line that the event would be  mandatory and unpaid,  according to the company's  chief financial officer Rob Moore. "No one was forced to attend".  (In the companies I worked for over the decades, mandatory implied force.)

Moore did try to engage in damage control by  telling WWVA host David Bloomquist there was nothing wrong with having the miners show up for the GOP tourists.   "We are talking about an event that was in the best interest of anyone that's related to the coal industry in our area."

Lest I forget:  The PD reported that the Center for Responsive Politics "show that Murray Energy  [ the mine 's owner] has contributed more than $900,000 to Republican candidates over the past two years."
With that kind of money up for grabs,  you'd think that the company would find a way to pay the miners for their mandatory attendance to hear Romney assail Obama for his "job-killing war on coal."



Howard said...

The miners that were told it was mandatory to attend the Romney phony publicity op got the
"shaft" in more ways than one when the owner shut the mine down for the day and robbed
them of their pay. This is a microcosm of Romney/Ryan gilded-age-capitalism that will
be the norm if they gain the White House. Ayn Rand would be proud!

David Hess said...

Many moons ago, I covered the long struggle in Congress to finally provide black lung benefits for coal miners, a fight that was prolonged for years by resistance of the mining industry and its congressional allies, mostly Republicans, to the legislation. Over the past decades, various efforts to strengthen mine safety and prevent the periodic explosions that have killed or maimed countless miners have also been resisted by the same forces. So the notion that Romney and his Republican cohorts are deeply concerned about the "welfare" of miners tends to stick in one's craw. Now the GOP's message is that Obama is threatening mining jobs by insisting that coal-fired power plants install technologically advanced anti-pollution equipment. The aim of such technology is to further clear fine particulates from stack emissions and safeguard the health of millions of downwind citizens. What do Romney and his cronies have to say about the victims of such pollution? I could find nothing about it in the Republican Party platform in Tampa.