Thousands of union workers at a western Pennsylvania petrochemical plant were given a choice last week — show up for President Donald Trump's speech on Wednesday or stay home and lose some of their weekly pay, NBC News reports.
One of the construction site's contractors wrote in rules for the speech ahead of the event that employees' attendance was "not mandatory," though it said only those who arrived at 7 a.m. with their work IDs scanned and stood for hours to wait for the president would be paid for their time.
“NO SCAN, NO PAY,” those rules, which were handed out to employees prior to the speech, read. That memo was first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which noted that those who opted against attending Trump's address would have an excused, unpaid absence and would not qualify for overtime pay on Friday. The publication reported workers were told "anything viewed as resistance" to Trump was prohibited. The speech was arranged to foster "good will" with building trade unions, The Post-Gazette added.
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Ray Fisher, a spokesman for Shell, told NBC News in an email that workers who opted to stay away from the speech would still be paid for the week, but less than those who scanned in and were on site Wednesday.