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Monday, May 12, 2003
Employees at a plastics factory in Omaha won't get paid while Bush speaks there.

Airlite's chief executive, Brad Crosby, has announced that more than 300 hourly workers might lose all or part of a day's pay unless they work next Saturday to offset the time lost when the plant closes for the speech.

An Airlite spokesman said in a telephone interview last night that most workers would be given four options when the plant is partly closed for one and a half shifts during the speech: They can take an official day off whether or not they attend the speech and make up the work on Saturday to receive full pay. They can use a paid vacation day. They can work their regular shift in part of the plant that will remain open. Or they can take an unpaid day off.

Which is pretty funny given that Bush's speech will be about tax cuts spurring job growth. I'm sure Rove will jump right on this one and get a retraction, but let's focus on the far more important point: the plant is non-union, which is why the employer could get away with this shit before the consultants make a call. The irony here is easy, but the problem of non-union shops is actually significant.

Of course, Bush's vacuous image-mongering by cynically utilizing factories to promote a policy that most agree will be bad for the economy, and certainly no better for non-union industrial laborers, who will get very little back under Bush's plan, is problematic too, but I suppose that's politics.