Murray lays off 156, cites Obama victory

Nov. 9, 2012 at 3:56 PM
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BEACHWOOD, Ohio, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Murray Energy Corp. chief Robert Murray laid off 156 workers, saying "takers outvoted the producers" in re-electing U.S. President Barack Obama.

Murray -- chairman, president and chief executive officer of the company -- laid off 54 workers at its subsidiary American Coal and 102 at a second company-owned property, Utah American Energy, The Washington Post reported.

The newspaper said Murray read a prayer to his employees Wednesday, saying voters "have decided that America must change its course, away from the principals of our founders. And, away from the idea of individual freedom and individual responsibility. Away from capitalism, economic responsibility and personal acceptance."

"We are a country in favor of redistribution, national weakness and reduced standard of living and lower and lower levels of personal freedom."

Murray's prayer said young Americans "never will know what America was like or might have been" and will suffer a lower standard of living "and, most especially, reduced freedom."

"The takers outvoted the producers," his prayer went on.

"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."

Murray Energy, which employs an estimated 3,000 people, says on its website it is the country's largest privately owned coal mining company.

Murray said in a statement he expects the re-election of Obama to result in "drastically reduced economic activity," reduced electric power consumption and "total destruction of the coal industry by 2030."

"While putting Murray Energy into a survival mode, I will be fighting allegations from radical Obama supporters that you know are blatantly false and were inspired only to shut down our opposition to them on behalf of our employees, your area and our country," he said.

Murray came in for criticism in September when coal miners shown in a TV ad for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said the images were shot at a campaign event their company required them to attend.

The "War on Coal" ad, filmed Aug. 14, shows miners in hardhats with coal dust on their faces, standing behind Romney at a mine in Beallsville, Ohio. Miners said the mine was shut down during the campaign event and their pay was docked.

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