A massive crowd of union workers at the Pennsylvania petrochemical plant had two choices last week; attend Trump’s speech on Wednesday or stay home and lose the day’s pay.
No Scan, No Pay
No scan, no pay was the clear message sent in a memo before the speech. Workers who decided not to show up to work that day would have an excused, unpaid day off and would not qualify for overtime that week.
Those who arrived at 7:00 am, scanned their ID, and stood for hours waiting for Trump, would get paid for their time, which was not a problem for most workers. However, they had strict instructions not to show any resistance against the president.
The Shell spokesman, Curtis Smith, said the company did not write such a notice to the workers. He pointed an accusing finger at the construction site contractor, who did not reply to any request for comment.
In his speech, the president applauded natural gas extraction across Appalachia. He pointed out they were sitting on gold, and his team was taking advantage of it. The president also reminded the audience that this cracker is the biggest construction site in the US, and he is counting on their votes in 2020. Even so, he said the speech was a White House event, not a re-election campaign.
It Was a Training Day
Shell, on the other hand, said it treated the speech as a training day, only that the president happened to be the guest speaker. According to them, the event was about “safety training and other work-related stuff.” But that is obviously a lie. The only thing Trump mentioned about construction was his love for building equipment. Since childhood, he had this fascination for trucks and cranes, and he still does.
According to the workers, a lot of people did not show up for the president’s speech. Some admitted they showed up for the money. Anybody who stayed at home burnt $700 that day.
Others tried to leave early, in fear of not getting paid for the extra hours, as the event went past 3:00 pm. But the Secret Service wouldn’t let anyone out of the facility, before Trump and his party left.
After completion, the plant will employ over 500 people, making plastics from natural gas, and also serve as a symbol of Trump’s flourishing economy. The plastics produced will be used for packaging food products and auto parts.