Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 39 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

America as a Company Town: Royal Dutch Shell Workers in Penna. Coerced to Show up for Trump

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     (# of views)   1 comment
Author 511263
Message Juan Cole
Become a Fan
  (3 fans)

From Informed Comment

Donald Trump Says China Remix
Donald Trump Says China Remix
(Image by YouTube, Channel: Chris Kogos)
  Details   DMCA

Anya Litvak at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that a contractor handling the Trump appearance at the Royal Dutch Shell plant instructed the workers not to yell or protest and informed them that they would not to be paid that day unless they came to the Trump event. Their attendance was worth as much as $700 in pay, benefits and overtime. Shell denies having instructed the workers not to protest. This was a White House event and not a campaign rally, on the surface, but we have had all the trappings of campaigning including Trump bashing his political opponents by name and calling on the union workers in attendance to unseat their union leaders if the latter did not support Trump. The contractor attempted to imply that this rally resembled entertainment events when celebrities visited the plant and workers were given off to hear them.

In fact this campaign rally was a way for Royal Dutch Shell to force its workers to show up for Trump and to put them under his political influence. It is all about climate change, because this is a gas extraction plant, and Trump does not believe in global heating. Indeed, he believes that the climate crisis is a Chinese piece of fake news. If you did believe in climate emergency you would stop the extraction of fossil fuels. That would hurt the bottom line of Royal Dutch Shell. As for the workers, while they no doubt benefit from the jobs provided by this extraction venture there are other jobs to be had in the green energy field and indeed wind and solar are the fastest growing job sector in energy.

The entire episode sheds enormous light on the ways in which the United States is one large company town. The company town was an institution of the early 20th century where, for instance, miners would work in a place where they were given housing and staples, the costs of which were deducted from their salaries. These provisions were a form of loan and the workers never quite got out from under their debt burden. Obviously in a company town there is no room for democracy, and workers are not free to speak their minds about company policy or even about national politics. Royal Dutch Shell has managed to re-create the conditions of the company town at their rally for Trump.

In the early 20th century the state of Montana was essentially a company town of Anaconda Mining, and going against the company was a form of suicide. The noir mystery writer Dashiell Hammett maintained that he was offered $5,000 to kill a union agitator named Frank Little. Indeed, noir as a genre of fiction may well owe its existence to this incident, since Hammett was horrified, quit the Pinkerton Detective Agency, and turned to writing.

Noir mysteries (from the French roman noir or "black novel") have as their premise that the very structures of polite society that are to be upheld by the law and which ought to ensure justice for victims are those structures that actually oppress the innocent and commit the murders that the hard-boiled detectives have to solve.

You might say that from the day that Donald J. Trump was elected president, the United States entered a timeline where the whole country is living in a dreary noir pulp novel, but the fact is that Trump's election simply made very clear what has been going on all along.

As for Royal Dutch Shell, it was a major engine of colonial oppression in what is now Indonesia, and there is a sense in which all colonialism is a form of company town writ large. Now, that's America.

Bonus video:

CBS Pittsburgh: "Protesters At Shell Cracker Plant"

 

Must Read 1   Supported 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Juan Cole Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Juan Cole is an American academic and commentator on the modern Middle East and South Asia.  He is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. Since 2002, he has written a weblog, Informed Comment (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Rupert Murdoch's Fox postpones Pirro, as his Sky Channel is Pulled from NZ Airwaves for airing Shooter's Video

Top 5 Mistakes GOP's Wohl Made in allegedly framing Mueller for Sex Charges

Who's Running John Bolton to Start a war with Iran? He worried even Mad Dog Mattis

India Doubles Iran Oil Imports: Are Trump's Sanctions Cratering?

Senators Grill Rick Perry on Transfer of Nuclear Info to Saudi Arabia Despite "Troubling Actions"

Jared Kushner Tries to Strip Refugee Status, Aid from Millions of Displaced Palestinians

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments


shad williams

Become a Fan
Author 63282

(Member since Apr 13, 2011), 22 fans, 58 articles, 1 quicklinks, 2650 comments, 2 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

The elites are in a hurry. They can't be bothered it seems to keep their lies in order, whether it is bringing freedom to the people of Venezuela and Iran, or freeing Syrians from the evil dictator Assad and promoting democracy in Hong Kong, or blaming white nationalists for keeping the other under control. Oh, we mustn't forget, Russia did it. You choose the cause.

I think transnational capital class narrative is becoming disconnected. I wonder what instructions they will give to the G7 later this month? Will Macron fail to be arrested by the yellow vests in Biarritz France, when he shows up or will they instead hang him in the public square?

The lying, stealing, murderous elites are becoming increasingly uneasy as they finally should be... exposed, with their fake humanitarian masks ripped from their ugly faces and their sorry asses uncloaked and hanging out everywhere. There is no reason for humans to allow them to have any effect outside of their own physical bubble.

Yet their Prop Force is strong and true evil continues to live. Let us make no mistake. These bastards are a evil.

Submitted on Monday, Aug 19, 2019 at 4:03:14 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment