It turns out the coterie of CEOs who spent October warning their employees to vote for Romney weren’t just making idle threats; now that the election is over, and Obama remains president, some of those CEOs have started laying off workers.
Robert Murray, the Ohio coal baron who forced some of his employees to attend a Romney rally without pay, laid off 156 workers only a day after the election. He also read a prayer to a small group of company staff in which he bemoaned the American electorate’s decision to reject “capitalism, economic responsibility, and personal acceptance.”
“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,” he prayed.
A spokesperson for the company told msnbc that Murray Energy Corp. was not accepting interview requests regarding the layoffs, but sent along a press statement which said the mass firings were a necessary response to the Obama administration’s “War on Coal.” (Quotes, and proper noun status, in the original.)
The statement argues that the coal industry’s overall slump is the direct product of administration policies, saying, “The actions of Mr. Obama and his appointees…have already led to the closure by 2013 of 204 American coal-fired power plants.” In response to follow-up questions, the company provided a list of 18 regulations they said had hurt the coal industry, including limits on CO2 emissions and rules instituted by the Mine Safety and Health Administration which aim to curb the prevalence of black lung among miners.
Other companies have taken action as well. An anonymous Las Vegas resident told a local radio station that, as CEO of an unnamed company, he had been forced to fire 22 people as a result of Obama’s re-election.
Westgate Resorts CEO David Siegel, who had warned his employees he might need to fire people pending the results of the election, instead gave his entire staff a 5% raise. “The CEO said he believes his employees will need higher wages to deal with increased costs he expects everyone will face under Obama,” reported CNN.
One company which has apparently not made good on its implied threats is Michigan auto parts company Lacks Enterprises. In October, the company warned that Obama’s re-election would mean less revenue “available to spread around to the working people of this company”—however, an employee who declined to provide her name insisted that she had seen no changes in company policy since Election Day. An official spokesperson for the company did not respond to a request for comment.