If this isn’t an inadvertent admission of how a Romney economy would work for labor, I don’t know what is. Today, Romney debuted two ads in Eastern Ohio and Western Virginia hitting Obama on coal, and he used coalminers in his ads who were forced by their employer to attend Romney’s rally at no pay. In fact, they lost pay due to Romney’s rally because the mine was shut down.
How does Romney repay them? He uses them as unpaid propaganda tools in “War on Coal” and the Freudian slip “Way of Life”. Unpaid labor being exploited as tools for the plutocrats? Way of life, indeed.
Watch “War on Coal” (another embarrassingly untrue Republican belief, by the way) here:
And here’s “Way of Life”
The miners standing behind Mitt Romney at the rally are not necessarily the people you see featured in the ad, though it’s meant to give you that impression. There’s no word on whether or not the miners in featured spots in the ad are actors are actual miners, but that footage stands out as very commercial – high end production – as opposed to the rally coverage.
The Romney campaign tells us, “For many across the country, working in the coal industry is a way of life. President Obama is attacking their livelihood. President Obama said he was going to bankrupt new coal-fired power plants and he’s keeping his promise.”
President Obama isn’t the one forcing them to attend unpaid for political rallies and then using them in his ads.
The workers shown in both of Romney’s ads were told by their employer that attendance at Romney’s Romney’s Aug. 14 rally in Century Mine in Beallsville, Ohio, was mandatory. They lost pay when Mitt Romney visited their mine, because the mine was shut down at the same time as they were instructed to attend Romney’s rally.
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.
The interview on WWVA:
WWVA radio station talk show host David Blomquist brought on Murray Energy Chief Financial Officer Rob Moore to speak for the Pepper Pike mining company. Murray said that managers “communicated to our workforce that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend.”
What does mandatory mean, if not mandatory? Not forced at what – gun point? The definition of mandatory suggests that is means required by law or rules:
Required by law or rules; compulsory: “wearing helmets is mandatory”.
Of or conveying a command: “he did not want the guidelines to be mandatory”.
The workers were told that they would have to make up their hours lost posing for Romney in the evenings and on weekends.
(T)he miners on stage were ordered out of the mine because of Romney’s campaign stop and were not paid for the portion of their shift that was canceled by the event.
The Romney campaign confirmed the miners shown in the two ads were the miners from Romney’s campaign stop.
Wow. This is how Mitt Romney manages? And yes, his campaign knows about it and still chose to run the ads. They also chose their usual tactic of blaming the other guy for their own ineptitude:
The Romney campaign and Murray blamed each other for the decision to pull the miners out of the mine.
No one but the managers of the mine is responsible for ordering the miners to appear at Romney’s rally as unpaid tools who were losing pay to beef up their boss’ political ideology, even if the Romney people pressured them into doing it. But the Romney campaign knew this, and still chose to feature these unpaid workers in ads attacking Obama over the way they claim he wants to change the way of life for coal miners.
Then, instead of apologizing for it or even offering to compensate the miners somehow, the Romney campaign blames the mining company. For Mitt Romney, the working stiff is just another tool, like the deaths of four Americans and like the attack on his wife.
You can’t make this stuff up.
As for the content of Romney’s ads, not only has the the Obama administration has made significant federal investments in “clean coal”, attracting more than $10 billion in private investments, but in 2011, employment in the coal sector hit its highest level since 1996.
Nationwide, the total number of coal jobs is at its highest level since 1996, with 90,354 jobs in 2011, according to federal Mine Safety and Health Administration data.
In Appalachia, the 59,059 jobs reported were the most since 1997, according to the MSHA data. In West Virginia, coal employment reached its highest level since 1992, with 23,353 jobs, the data shows.
That’s a 15-year high in coal mining employment under Obama, and he didn’t even have to force unpaid miners to stand behind him. It’s the Romney way; make labor pay.