Shell officials in Beaver County, PA gave workers a choice, they could either attend Trump’s event or not be paid for the day.
As Trump brags about his huge crowd sizes at his rallies, here is the story of how Shell got workers to attend Trump’s Western PA event.
The choice for thousands of union workers at Royal Dutch Shell’s petrochemical plant in Beaver County was clear Tuesday: Either stand in a giant hall waiting for President Donald Trump to speak or take the day off with no pay. “Your attendance is not mandatory,” said the rules that one contractor relayed to employees, summarizing points from a memo that Shell sent to union leaders a day ahead of the visit to the $6 billion construction site. But only those who showed up at 7 a.m., scanned their ID cards, and prepared to stand for hours — through lunch but without lunch — would be paid.
“NO SCAN, NO PAY,” a supervisor for that contractor wrote.
“No yelling, shouting, protesting or anything viewed as resistance will be tolerated at the event. An underlying theme of the event is to promote good will from the unions. Your building trades leaders and jobs stewards have agreed to this.”
The union went along with these conditions because they didn’t want to make trouble for their workers, and according to the PG story, they are grateful for their jobs.
In other words, the union decided that a one day Trump visit that would soon be forgotten wasn’t the hill that they wanted to die on.
The company didn’t mandate that workers attended Trump’s event. They just made it clear that workers would not be paid if they did not attend Donald Trump’s illegal taxpayer-funded rally. The event may have soothed Trump’s feelings about his 2020 chances in Pennsylvania, but the company loaded the deck for the president.
We will never know how many of the workers really wanted to be there because the company didn’t give them much of a choice. They could lose a day’s pay, or they could stand around all day and listen to rambling Donald Trump.
Whatever you want to call it, what happened at Shell was not freedom of choice.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.