Ohio Miners Required to Attend Romney Rally

You may have seen this photo of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney from earlier this month. Shot by Wheeling Intelligencer photographer Scott McCloskey, it shows Romney appearing at a Beallsville, Ohio rally flanked by a large group of coal miners:

 Associated Press/Wheeling Intelligencer

Associated Press/Wheeling Intelligencer

The rally was meant to show that “Coal Country Stands With Mitt,” as the campaign signs touted. But it turns out that the owners of the mine told workers they were required to attend the rally, reports The Plain Dealer (via Grist):

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.

A group of employees who feared they’d be fired if they didn’t attend the campaign rally in Beallsville, Ohio, complained about it to WWVA radio station talk show host David Blomquist. Blomquist discussed their beefs on the air Monday with Murray Energy Chief Financial Officer Rob Moore.

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.” He said the company did not penalize no-shows.

The radio interview is here. Moore also confirms that they bused workers to the rally, and that the mine was shut down for the day (probably because so many workers would be at this “mandatory” rally). So even if workers wanted to, you know, work, they’d be forced to take a day off without pay anyway.

Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray is a major Romney supporter, and the company’s PAC has given $10,000 to the Republican presidential candidate. This, according to Murray, is because he worries about his workers whose “lives have been destroyed by the policies of Barack Obama.”

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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