Murray Energy Reportedly Hiring, Months After Blaming Obama For Layoffs: Report

01/24/2013 05:02 pm ET
  • Bonnie Kavoussi Master's student in economics, the University of Michigan

The coal company that announced layoffs right after President Barack Obama's reelection now is hiring again, according to The New Republic.

Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray said on Nov. 7 -- the day after the 2012 election -- that he would lay off more than 160 workers because Obama had won. Murray blamed regulations and taxes for the move.

But Murray Energy is hiring again at the site of an Ohio mine that it recently shut down, The New Republic reports, citing two former mine employees.

Murray Energy is pushing back against the report, calling it "inaccurate."

"OhioAmerican is in the process of performing reclamation work and clearing up certain coal remnants. This is work that is required by law and does not represent a 'reopening' of the mine," a Murray Energy spokesperson wrote in an email to The Huffington Post on Thursday. "Employment at OhioAmerican is currently hovering at forty-two (42) employees, which is a fraction of the two hundred thirty-nine (239) people previously employed at OhioAmerican. Unfortunately, these two hundred thirty-nine (239) jobs are never coming back." It's unclear whether those lost jobs include the ones Murray threatened in November.

Murray Energy's CEO was vocal about his opposition to Obama. In August, the company forced its workers at a different Ohio mine to give up a day's worth of pay to attend a rally with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The workers said at the time they feared getting fired if they didn't attend.

The company has made more than $1.2 million in political donations over the past two years, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Other CEOs also threatened to lay off workers if Obama won. David Siegel, the CEO of Westgate resorts, made such a threat in October -- but after Obama won, he decided to give all of his employees raises instead.

Earlier on HuffPost:

4 CEOs That Threatened To Fire Workers If Obama Was Reelected

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