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Audio: Coal Miners Say They Were Forced to Attend Mitt Romney Rally Without Pay

A group of coal miners at the Century Mine in Ohio said they were forced to attend an Aug. 14 rally with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and contribute to his campaign (audio below), reports

In phone calls and emails to WWVA radio host David Blomquist, the miners said: “Yes, we were in fact told that the Romney event was mandatory and would be without pay, that the hours spent there would need to be made up my non-salaried employees outside of regular working hours, with the only other option being to take a pay cut for the equivalent time. Yes, letters have gone around with lists of names of employees who have not attended or donated to political events.”

One miner added: “We do not appreciate being intimidated into exchanging our time for nothing. I heard one of your callers saying that Murray employees are well aware of what they are getting into upon hire, or that they are informed that a percentage of their income will go to political donations. I can not speak for that caller, but this is news for me. We merely find out how things work by experience.”

In response. Murray Energy Chief Financial Officer Rob Moore told Blomquist: “There were no workers that were forced to attend the event. We had managers that communicated to our work force that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend the event. We had a pre-registration list. And employees were asked to put their names on a pre-registration list because they could not get into the event unless they were pre-registered and had a name tag to enter the premises.”

“By federal election law, we could not pay people to attend the event. And we did not want anyone to come back and see where anyone had been paid for that day. As a private employer, it was our decision and we made the decision not to pay the people."


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