Workers at Shell plant were given choice between hearing Trump speak or losing a day's pay

Now there’s a fun game of “Would You Rather?”

Would you rather listen to Trump speak or be sent home without pay?

Or … would you rather listen to Trump speak or watch live video of your skull being hollowed out with a swizzle stick and turned into an aquarium for Eric Trump’s Sea Monkey collection?

I know how I’d answer.

Sadly, though, plenty of workers at the Royal Dutch Shell petrochemical plant in Pennsylvania chose poorly. 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

“Your attendance is not mandatory,” read the rules that Shell sent to union leaders a day ahead of the visit to the $6 billion construction site. But only those that showed up at 7 a.m., scanned their cards, and prepared to stand for hours — through lunch but without lunch — would be paid.

...

Those that decided to sit out the event would have an excused absence, the company said, and would not qualify for overtime pay on Friday. The company has a 56-hour workweek with 16 hours of overtime. That means those workers who attended Mr. Trump’s speech and showed up for work on Friday meeting the overtime threshold are being paid at a rate of time and a half, while those that didn’t go to hear the president are being paid the regular rate, despite the fact that both groups did not do work on the site on Tuesday.

According to one union leader contacted by the Post-Gazette, one day of pay might equal “$700 in pay, benefits and a per diem payment that out-of-town workers receive.”

Still not worth it.

Oh, and Shell didn’t want any backtalk from the proletariat:

Several union leaders said they were not consulted about the arrangement before it was sent out. Shell’s list, however, suggested they had green lit it.

“No yelling, shouting, protesting or anything viewed as resistance will be tolerated at the event,” the paper read. “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.”

By the way, the event — which was an official presidential visit, not a political rally — was chock-full of political ax-grinding and whining, which is pretty much all Trump does these days when he’s not mawing fast food or watching Fox & Friends.

In fact, after complaining that he was losing between $3 billion and $5 billion as a result of being president (dude, you have to have $5 billion to lose $5 billion), he launched into a crazy rant about the emoluments lawsuits against him and President Obama’s lucrative book deal:

“I got sued on a thing called emoluments, emoluments. You ever hear the word? Nobody every heard of it before. They went back. Now nobody looks at Obama getting $60 million for a book, that’s okay. Even though nobody in history ever got that much money for a book. Obama got $60 million. Think of it, $60 million for a book. Nobody looks, nobody looks at anything. But with me it’s everything. Emoluments. Nobody knows what it is. Here’s the good news. Last month, I just won two cases on emoluments, and the judge was scolding of the other side. And what it is is presidential harassment, because this thing is costing me a fortune, and I love it, okay? I love it because I’m making the lives of other people much, much better.”

Maybe I’d sit and listen to an hour of this crap for $7,000. But $700? Fuck, no. Not worth it.

 

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by Aldous J Pennyfarthing

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August 16, 2019