Donald Trump has shown before that he’s not above paying people to listen to him speak. When he infamously came down that Trump Tower escalator to announce his candidacy, calling Mexican immigrants drug dealers and rapists, the crowd that gathered to hear that announcement had been paid to be there.
So this is ridiculous. Shell FORCED workers to attend this trump rally or face losing hundreds in pay. https://t.co/23y36zid9Q
— Mueller, She Wrote Podcast (@MuellerSheWrote) August 17, 2019
In Pennsylvania, Trump appeared at a petrochemical plant to give a speech on energy. Union workers attended the event, which became more of a taxpayer-funded campaign rally than a presidential speech. It turns out those union workers were paid to attend and told that they had to give up pay if they didn’t.
KTLA reports that:
‘Workers at the Pennsylvania petrochemical plant where President Donald Trump spoke Tuesday were told that if they didn’t attend the event, they either had to use paid time off or receive no pay for the day.
‘At least some of the workers who attended the speech were instructed not to protest the President, who told the crowd of workers at the Royal Dutch Shell plant he would be imploring their union leaders to support his reelection.’
— Ichabod (@Toobigtomail) August 16, 2019
Forced attendance at a political event in exchange for pay is an all-new Trump low. Workers were told that they could either attend or take paid time off, but taking paid time off meant giving up their overtime pay. In a memo to workers, they were told they didn’t necessarily have to go to hear Trump speak, but that their paychecks would be shorter if they didn’t. They were also informed that they were not to say or do anything that would indicate that they stood in protest to Trump.
The memo stated:
‘Your attendance is not mandatory. This will be considered an excused absence. However, those who are NOT in attendance will not receive overtime pay on Friday.’
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports: ‘Shell employees were ordered not to protest. No attendance, no overtime. Workers were paid and bused to event.’
— ʝεɳ🌊 (@jennerific713) August 17, 2019
In addition to the paid attendance, there’s also the fact that Trump is in an election season and spent his time in front of the union workers encouraging them to vote out their union leaders if they didn’t support him. Of course, there was the requisite reciting of all of Trump’s perceived “accomplishments,” as well, which qualifies the speech more as a campaign event than a presidential speech. This is what taxpayers are covering with their own hard-earned money.
A spokesman for Shell told CNN:
‘It was understood some would choose not to attend the presidential visit and were given the option to take paid time off (PTO) instead. As with any workweek, if someone chooses to take PTO, they are not eligible to receive maximum overtime.’
@Shell @Steamfitters449 Share your feelings about union using gangster intimidation to benefit a political party and the employer who paid workers $700/day to attend Trump Rally Under pretext of Guest Speaker at union meeting CALL YR Rep #FakeShellTrumpRally#BoycottShell https://t.co/VFQSUWG9PC
— Mary (@DignifyPolitics) August 16, 2019
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