President Trump made an appearance on Tuesday at a Shell petrochemical plant in Beaver County, Penn., and workers there were given a choice to attend the speech or get an unpaid day off, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Union workers were reportedly given the option to either attend the president’s speech or take the day off and not get paid. Contractors and construction workers who have contracts with Shell were told those who do not come to the event will have an excused absence, however they would not get paid, according to the Post-Gazette. (RELATED: OPINION: California Workers Triumph Over Axis Of Union And Government Goons)
Trump’s visit to Shell’s plant was supposed to be an official White House event but seemed to turn into a political rally. White House events are taxpayer funded and federal law states taxpayer dollars cannot be used at rallies or campaigns, Business Insider noted.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) August 17, 2019
The speech mostly focused on energy but the president’s remarks also included a dig at Sen. Elizabeth Warren and a reference to former Vice President Joe Biden as “Sleepy Joe.” (RELATED: De Blasio Shouts Che Guevara Slogan At Miami Rally)
During his speech the president spoke about his hopes of gaining union leaders’ support in 2020. “I’m gonna speak to some of your union leaders to say, ‘I hope you’re going to support Trump,’” President Trump said. “And if they don’t, vote them the hell out of office because they’re not doing their job.”
Workers of the plant were told “no yelling, shouting, protesting or anything viewed as resistance will be tolerated at the event,” in an effort to “promote good will” from unions, the Post-Gazette reported.
Curtis Smith, Shell spokesperson, said, “PTO comes from a personal account of accrued hours.” Included in their 56-hour work week is 16 hours of overtime. So those workers who decided to not attend the rally and take paid time off would not be recited overtime and get paid at their normal rate, according to Business Insider.