August 29, 2012

Dictionary Fun with Rob Moore.

Yes, it's time for another round of Dictionary Fun!  Today, we'll be checking out the vocabulary skills of Rob Moore.

Rob Moore is the CFO for Murray Energy, a company that operates coal mines in West Virginia.  He's also a fucking thug colossal prick and a miserable excuse for a human being an uncaring company stooge a cold-hearted business man, as we'll see.

Mr. Moore came to our attention after a friend posted this photo on Facebook:

Hard to believe, isn't it?  But some research lead us to recorded talk radio show on West Virginia's WWVA 1170 AM. If you don't have the 20 minutes to listen to the program, The Raw Story gives us a thorough good recap of the story.
A group of coal miners in Ohio feel they would have been fired if they did not attend an Aug. 14 event with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and contribute to his campaign — and to make matters worse, they lost of day of pay for their trouble.

“Yes, we were in fact told that the Romney event was mandatory and would be without pay, that the hours spent there would need to be made up my non-salaried employees outside of regular working hours, with the only other option being to take a pay cut for the equivalent time,” the employees told Blomquist. “Yes, letters have gone around with lists of names of employees who have not attended or donated to political events.”
What did the company have to say about it?
Murray Energy Chief Financial Officer Rob Moore told Blomquist that the charges were untrue.

“There were no workers that were forced to attend the event,” Moore said. “We had managers that communicated to our work force that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend the event..."
Hmmm. Attendance was mandatory.  But the employees weren't forced.  But if it was mandatory, doesn't that mean that they had to go?  Isn't that what "mandatory" means?

Let's see what Merriam-Webster has to say about the word "mandatory:"
MANDATORY (adjective)  1: required by a law or rule : obligatory <the mandatory retirement age>
So, yes, if attendance was mandatory, they were indeed expected to go.  That was the, um, mandate they were given.

Moore did have more to say about the attendance:
"... but no one was forced to attend the event. We had a pre-registration list. And employees were asked to put their names on a pre-registration list because they could not get into the event unless they were pre-registered and had a name tag to enter the premises.”
Then why did you just say it was mandatory?  If there is confusion, Mr. Moore, it was created by Murray Energy, who told employees they had to attend, not the employees who are pissed that they were told they had to attend a political rally for someone whose record for labor is pretty dismal.

But to add insult to injury:
“Our management people wanted to attend the event..."
We have cause to suspect that the fact that their boss told them they'd better be there had something to do with it, but heck, we'll play the game that they were all willing volunteers who not coerced in any way by the owner of the company who has donated over $900,000 to the Republican Party over the last year or so.

So what's the problem with all the manager going to the rally?  Because there were no managers on site, the mine had to be closed for a day.  Or more precisely, because management closed the mine to attend a political rally, every miner working for them lost that day's wages.

The radio host asked them why the workers had to be punished for their management team's decision to close for the day:
I’m not saying pay then to attend the event, I’m saying, ‘Hey look, we have to close down the mine, if you want to attend this event, that’s fine, but you’re still going to get a day’s pay for the work that you would have done,’” Blomquist pointed out. “Why not do that?”

“As a private employer, it was our decision and we made the decision not to pay the people,” the Murray chief financial officer said.
A responsible company would have ensured that operations continued.  A company that gave a shit about its employees would have declared "it's great that everyone wants to meet Mr. Romney, but we're a business first, and there are people depending on their paycheck to pay their bills, to put food on the table, so we need to have enough managers on site to continue operations."

A truly benevolent company would have paid the employees for the day's wages; after all, there is no good reason for them NOT to be working other than the fact that the managers and administration of Murray Energy are selfish pricks who don't give a shit about their workers decided not to show up to work so they could do something else.

They could have done either of those things, and everyone would have been happy, and there'd be no reason for me and the rest of the blogosphere to rip Mr. Moore a new one.

But sadly, that's not what Murray Energy did:
“We’re talking about an event that was in the best interest of anyone that’s related to the coal industry,” Moore added. “I do not believe that missing an eight-hour day, when you put it into perspective, when you think about how critical — critical this next election is, and how critical it is that we get someone in this office that supports coal — to give up eight hours for a career, I just don’t believe that there is anything negative about that.”
Well, Mr. Moore, that's because you are a steaming turd of a person.

While I certainly can see that if you don't want to run your mine with all the proper safety protocols to keep your workers safe, and if you're an owner whose income puts you in the top 2% tax bracket, attending Mr. Romney's rally makes perfect sense.  But if you're one of the workers who's going to wind up paying a big tax increase so the owner can pay an even lower tax rate than his employees, if you're a worker whose safety depends on the regulations that Mr. Romney has promised to repeal, if you're an hourly employee whose wages have been lowered because of Republican policies over the last few years, the last thing you want to do is lose a day's pay to support the candidate who is doing everything in his power to reduce you to living in poverty.

And if you think I'm being too hard on Murray Energy, consider this; the last time they made the news was 2009.  That's when a mine they owned in Utah collapsed and killed six miners and 3 rescue workers.  This was after receiving 325 citations in five years for exactly the kind of safety violations that resulted in the collapse.  That's an average of one citation every week.   Once a week for five years.

Charles Dickens wrote of greed-driven men like Moore, and his sleazy boss Robert Murray, nearly 170 years ago:

"I wear the chain I forged in life,'' replied the Ghost. "I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?''

Scrooge trembled more and more.

"Or would you know,'' pursued the Ghost, ``the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this, seven Christmas Eves ago. You  have laboured on it, since. It is a ponderous chain!''

The Ghost... set up another cry, and clanked its chain so hideously in the dead silence of the night, that the Ward would have been justified in indicting it for a nuisance.

"Oh! captive, bound, and double-ironed,'' cried the phantom, "Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere, whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness. Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunities misused! Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!''

"But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,'' faultered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.

"Business!'' cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!''

It held up its chain at arm's length, as if that were the cause of all its unavailing grief, and flung it heavily upon the ground again.
But I'm expecting too much of someone who doesn't even know what the word "mandatory" means.  These money-grubbing turds don't even own a dictionary, it's unlikely that they are bright enough to see how the parable of A Christmas Carol might apply to them.

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