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Clean, innovative fuel for the future!Mitt Romney is a hot ticket, everybody! People want to see him; and, until the secret Romney Cloning Project finally achieves success, there is only one of him to go around. According to the immutable Laws of Supply and Demand, this means that most humans have to pay big money for some Mitt Time. But what about the working classes — don’t they deserve to hear about all the jobs Mitt is going to create for them in a few months, even if they can’t pony up for Romney-Tix? Have no fear, poors, Mitt has an innovative structured financial deal for you: instead of paying with money, you’ll just pay by taking unpaid time off of your job in the coal mine, because your boss wants to use the coal mine (and you) as a prop for a Romney rally!

So you may have heard that Obama is literally making war on the coal industry (i.e., the EPA is regulating coal-fired plants to help us maybe not die, from pollution). Mitt Romney, meanwhile, is going to make America energy-independent by 2020 by mining the shit out of some coal, so energy industry folks like those at Murray Energy want Mitt to come and speechify and be photographed in front of their coal mines. But it wouldn’t do to have Mitt accidentally die in a mine explosion while he was there, so they’ll need to shut the place down for the day. And you don’t pay miners to not work! What is this, Communist Russia? The workers were just required to attend the political rally instead, which isn’t something that would happen in a Communist regime ever.

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.

Because the company’s mine had to be shut down for “safety and security” reasons during Romney’s visit, Moore confirmed workers were not paid that day. He said miners also lose pay when weather or power outages shut down the mine, and noted that federal election law doesn’t let companies pay workers to attend political events.

Mitt Romney, he’s like, a force of nature, man. Like a storm blowing through and shutting down the mine, you can’t anticipate him or control him; you just need to admire him. (Also, nice way to blame this whole problem on job-killing election laws, Rob.)

Anyway, even though the event was mandatory, you didn’t actually have to attend, so quit your whining, whining coal miners! Plus, don’t you know what’s good for you? “We are talking about an event that was in the best interest of anyone that’s related to the coal industry in this area or the entire country,” Moore pointed out. Remember: your boss can arbitrarily cut your hours and pay, if he decides the politics are in your best interest! [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

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