Real Class Warfare: Murray Energy Fires 156 Employees After Obama Victory

In August workers at the Century Mine in Ohio, which is owned and operated by Murray Energy, lost a day's pay and were required to attend a rally for Mitt Romney so they could have their picture taken.

Employees of the mine who lost their pay for the day said they were intimidated into attending the "mandatory" event, and Service Employees International Union, District 1199, filed a complaint with Ohio and federal labor officials several days later.

Fast forward to today, and the Chairman and CEO of Murray Energy, Robert E. Murray, announced that he will lay off 156 employees because President Obama was reelected.

Robert E. Murray read a prayer to a group of company staff members on the day after the election, lamenting the direction of the country and asking: “Lord, please forgive me and anyone with me in Murray Energy Corp. for the decisions that we are now forced to make to preserve the very existence of any of the enterprises that you have helped us build."

On Wednesday, Murray also laid off 54 people at American Coal, one of his subsidiary companies, and 102 at Utah American Energy, blaming a “war on coal” by the administration of President Barack Obama.

To recap -- we're going to take away your pay, require that you appear in a photo op for Mitt Romney, and then fire you if Mitt Romney loses.

The prayer Robert E. Murray read to his employees reads in part:

The takers outvoted the producers. In response to this, I have turned to my Bible and in II Peter, Chapter 1, verses 4-9 it says, “To faith we are to add goodness; to goodness, knowledge; to knowledge, self control; to self control, perseverance; to perseverance, godliness; to godliness, kindness; to brotherly kindness, love.”

Lord, please forgive me and anyone with me in Murray Energy Corp. for the decisions that we are now forced to make to preserve the very existence of any of the enterprises that you have helped us build. We ask for your guidance in this drastic time with the drastic decisions that will be made to have any hope of our survival as an American business enterprise.

And you will display "goodness, knowledge, self control, perseverance, brotherly kindness, and love" by firing 156 people who have their own bills to pay and families to feed? Many of whom may have even voted for Mitt Romney.

In this scenario, is Robert E. Murray a "producer" and the miners who inherit black lung on his behalf the "takers?"

As a non-religious person I cannot speak for the intentions of the "Lord," but I'm fairly certain that if such an entity does exist, he doesn't give a damn about your "American business enterprise" and he certainly wouldn't want you to sacrifice the lives of others so that you may escape being required to follow proper safety regulations or pay marginally higher taxes. But may he forgive you, because no one else will.

If you want to know the real story behind the dwindling fortunes of Big Coal, observe the testimony of Representative Ed Markey.

According to The Center for Responsive Politics, Murray Energy donated at least $1 million to GOP candidates during the 2012 election cycle not including spending on super PACs.

  • bphoon

    According to The Center for Responsive Politics, Murray Energy donated at least $1 million to GOP candidates during the 2012 election cycle not including spending on super PACs.

    I don’t suppose the thought of using that money to defray some of his anticipated costs due to the ACA in order to keep his employees on the payroll crossed his mind?

    Ed Schultz asked a cogent question tonight on this topic: What happened in the coal industry between Tuesday and today that prompted a business decision to lay off these workers?

    Dickheads like Murray are taking their anger at the black man in the White House out on their employees. That he would try to cloak this in “Christian” rhetoric is beyond reprehensible. It’s sinful, tantamount to violating the Third Commandment imho.

    Based on what I’ve seen here, Murray is anything but Christian in his actions. He’ll reap what he sews.

    Karma is a motherfucker sometimes…

  • Victor_the_Crab

    When the revolution comes, Robert E Murray will be among the first ones dragged out and flayed alive by those he had wronged. No thoughtful person would consider the actions of this piece of shit to be anything Christian.

  • rob black

    I would just like to point out the worst and most craven part of the “necessary firings and layoffs”…is that they are in no way necessary….at least not because of Obamacare.
    Employers with more than 50 employees may required to carry health insurance for their workers, but they wont if the workers already have insurance they would prefer to keep. Which will be the case in the vast majority of instances (especially when the workers are low wage hourly), once the various subsidized options become available….which happens at the same time the employer requirement kicks in. Not to mention, premiums across the board will come down with more people in the system…which would save them money …ect…
    The thing is, these plutocrats know that. They have accountants who have explained it to them. So they most probably have mismanaged their companies (or in the case of coal their entire industry) and would have done these layoffs in any case.
    …and in the really ugly ones (like screwing low wage service and food workers), it only threatens to make some minuscule cut in their obscene margins….if any cut at all.
    Fuck them. If denying health coverage for their slave labor force is so important to them……they should state the real reasons they want to do it. Because they can. Its all about power, and feeling superior to the slave caste…and doesn’t have anything to do with the bottom line.

  • i_am_allwrite

    I can’t even describe the bile spewing from the mouths of my conservative friends here in Charlotte, and one of them is posting an ongoing tally on her fb page of layoffs announced by companies (irrespective of whether the layoffs have anything to do with the election). Including these layoffs. Apparently oblivious to the fact that this prick fired these people be cause he’s a mean, spiteful motherfucker throwing a tantrum because he didn’t get his way. Not because the economy has changed.
    It’s fucking crazy–they’re enraged because they were CERTAIN that Romney would win, but it doesn’t occur to them turn on or even question the people who misled them so badly.

  • Ned F

    It’s a shame that the miners losing their jobs will most likely blame their loss on Obama, buying into the whole benevolent Christian (millionaire) boss being a victim.

    • BuffaloBuckeye

      Not sure about that. I’d think they’d go or the more immediate cause.. Murray.

  • Brutlyhonest

    I’m sure the jeebus baby would have been appalled if murray, and the other asshats like him, trimmed their ridiculously high executive pay to make up any actual “losses” caused by trying to help “those people” afford medical insurance.

  • Draxiar

    I hope all of the workers that were laid off are able to find jobs in Green Renewable Technology and that the workers for Murray Energy unionize or find jobs in Green Renewable Technology…

    …and that Santa Claus leaves a solar panel in his stocking.

    • MrDHalen

      If I had a few billion dollars laying around, I build a wind tower production plant right next door to the mine and start hiring & retraining miners. I don’t care if I lost money on it for 5 years, I do it just to spite this guy.

    • incredulous72

      “…and that Santa Claus leaves a solar panel in his stocking.”

      I prefer up his ass.

  • rob black

    I remember back when the Chick Fila thing blew up, reading somebody saying that boycotting businesses that support the right was an exercise in futility ect..
    ..and of course there is no way to boycott this business, but I will say that it is a practice I privately employ and encourage others to do so as well.
    Keep in mind, I am someone who lives in a town of less than 25k in the south, and I haven’t set foot in a Walmart in 10 years. By my estimation, that has cost the union busting, foreign worker exploiting, American manufacturer killing (see Rubbermaid) mega giant something n the order of $$12,000.

    In this election cycle I have added:
    Chick fil-a
    Papa Johns Pizza
    Godfathers Pizza
    Applebees (today one of their owners did the same thing as Murray here)
    ….and any of the businesses associated with Bain Capital

    …and if I figure out a way to boycott this guy, I will as well…maybe targeting t.v. stations that run those onerous coal ads…

    Additionally, I have a long standing boycott of any business that has Fox News blaring on the t.v. in the waiting room.

    …and oh yeah…any Clear Channel media outlet.

    Makes me feel better.

    • I do much the same thing, and Walmart hasn’t seen my business for 10 years either.

      Someone should put together a list of right wing owned businesses. I imagine that if we made a group effort, we could have quite an impact.

      Now, there are those who say it isn’t “fair” to boycott a business because the owner has political beliefs to which we have a deep aversion.

      I don’t feel that way. It is just another way to make the market aware of the wants and needs of consumers. If right wing owned businesses want to remain solvent, then perhaps they should consider how right wing politics affects the rest of us.

      Adding…….Whole Foods is also right wing owned.

      • Ned F

        Really? Whole Foods? Jeez.

      • muselet

        John Mackey is more glibertarian than Righty, for what it’s worth.


        • ranger11

          Is there a difference? They both seem to want a complete dog-eat-dog world.

          • muselet

            They both want to create a hell on Earth, but they’re aiming for different kinds. (A distinction without a difference, perhaps.)


      • rob black

        I kind of think of my dollar as a ballot. Giving it to businesses that do things I find abhorrent, implies a tacit endorsement or their practices.
        People constantly ask me things like: Do you think Walmart gives a shit if you shop there? (In actuality they do…but that doesn’t matter) I care.
        …and just so they know it, I send their corporate headquarters a running tally of the money I didn’t spend there… in the form of a Christmas card every year! …along with the things they do that I find despicable.
        It may make me a crank (it and leaving long winded comments on various blogs), but having spent some time in the business world, I have seen some truly dirty, greedy, immoral practices in my day…
        They can do whatever they want, I just don’t have to pay for it…..

        • “They can do whatever they want, I just don’t have to pay for it…..”


          “People constantly ask me things like: Do you think Walmart gives a shit if you shop there? (In actuality they do…but that doesn’t matter) I care.”

          How I feel as well. I despise Walmart’s business practices, and if nothing else, I know that I’m not subsidizing them.

    • bphoon

      Make sure to add:

      -Any product with the Georgia Pacific logo (Koch Bros owned), ie, Sparkle paper towels, Angel Soft toilet paper among others.
      -Dunkin’ Donuts: Some years ago, Rachel Ray did a print ad for them wearing a paisley scarf that looked, because of the way she wrapped it around her neck, like it had a houndstooth pattern. Michele Malkin went batshit, calling it a “terrorist scarf”. Dunkin’ immediately pulled their ad. Weasels.
      -Hobby Lobby: They bought full page ads that ran on July 4th this year in various newspapers around the Midwest with quotes from the nation’s Founders intended to bolster their argument that the US was founded as a Christian nation. They’re also suing to be able to deny contraception coverage to their employees because they say it infringes on their religious freedom.

      • rob black

        Yep…I think the owners of Hobby Lobby (the Greens) are a christopathic family from Oklahoma, long know around these parts for their embrace of any wingnut political cause.
        The ACA’s provision about including birth control in their insurance coverage being the last thing to set them off.
        Thankfully, the internet itself is taking care of hammering down their businesses (crafts and christian books).

  • zirgar

    If there really is a problem it’s one of perception, a false perception, not one of concrete fiscal matters. The idea that President Obama is bad for business is just an excuse for those who have, to sacrifice those who don’t have, just to keep from having to sacrifice anything substantial of their own; “I will make a sacrifice–you!” “Why, you don’t really expect ME to make a genuine sacrifice and cut MY 10 million dollar a year salary just so hundreds of people can keep their jobs, and by extension, keep their families in basic necessities like food and shelter, do you?” Obviously the business/finances is/are still there or they would’ve already laid off these workers. Or some such shit. Fuck.

  • This may be an unpopular thing to say, but what the hell.

    I am not religious at all. I respect your right to be religious, but good grief, people like this simply use religion to excuse their own bad behavior. Behavior which affects other people, usually other people with less fucking money.

    Stupid prick. If there is a God, may he strike this asshole down!

    • Brutlyhonest

      Just another case of their deeds not matching their words.

  • gescove

    Privileged petulant prick. That he sugar-coats his despicable behavior with a Bible verse about brotherly love is un-effing-believable.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    I am unaccustomed to hate. I have only truly and sincerely hated two or three people in my lifetime.

    I do not like what I’m feeling about Mr. Murray.

    And there will be more.

  • zirgar

    What a fucking dick.