Shell Workers Had to Attend Trump Speech to Get Paid

Photo: Jeff Swensen (Getty Images)

When Donald Trump stood before a crowd of workers earlier this week at a Royal Dutch Shell petrochemical plant in western Pennsylvania, and rambled on about how much he likes large trucks, the workers weren’t necessarily Trump fans. They had to be there to get paid.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that while attendance was not mandatory, rules distributed to workers days ahead of Trump’s Tuesday visit made clear that those who didn’t attend wouldn’t be paid.

To receive full pay, workers had to show up at 7 a.m., scan their IDs, and stand for hours without lunch. “NO SCAN, NO PAY,” a sheet of rules distributed ahead of the speech stated. They also had to abide by other rules including no “yelling, shouting, protesting or anything viewed as resistance…”

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How very dictatorial.

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Per the Gazette:

That company and scores of other contractors on site and their labor employees all have their own contracts with Shell. Several said the contracts stipulate that to get paid, workers must be onsite.

Those who decided not to come to the site for the event would have an excused but non-paid absence, the company said, and would not qualify for overtime pay on Friday.

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A Shell spokesman told the newspaper that the situation was treated like a “paid training day” for those who attended.

During Trump’s speech, the president urged workers to vote out union leaders who don’t support him.

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“I’m going to speak to some of your union leaders to say, ‘I hope you’re going to support Trump.’ OK?” Trump said. “And if they don’t, vote them the hell out of office because they’re not doing their job.”

Trump also tried to take credit for the manufacturing complex, which is located northwest of Pittsburgh. According to the Associated Press, Trump needs to look good in the Rust Belt to get reelected in 2020. But there’s one problem: Shell had announced its plans to build the $6 billion facility in 2012—when Barack Obama was president.

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“This would have never happened without me and us,” Trump boasted, clearly lying.

The speech and tour were supposed to be part of an official White House event, but of course Trump had turned it into a campaign rally.

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And as the AP noted, the project currently employs about 5,000 workers. But once it’s fully operational, the number of permanent employees will drop to about 600. And Donald Trump will have long since forgotten about them.

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