According to Fox News’ Fox Nation website, the re-election of President Obama has triggered a wave of layoffs across the country. Fox Nation is featuring the claim prominently on its website (screenshot above). The evidence? One Utah company owned by a prominent Romney supporter has decided to lay off workers in the wake of election day:
A Utah coal company owned by a vocal critic of President Barack Obama has laid off 102 miners.
The layoffs at the West Ridge Mine are effective immediately, according to UtahAmerican Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Murray Energy Corp. They were announced in a short statement made public Thursday, two days after Obama won re-election.
The layoffs are necessary because of the president’s “war on coal,” the statement said. The slogan is one used frequently during the election by Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray, who was an ardent supporter of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Fox also linked to a series of other unrelated layoff stories, including those announcing layoffs in other countries, as if they proved the point. There are hiring and firings at firms all the time, and Fox presented no evidence that these layoffs were either related to the election or unusual in any sense.
Also, the claim that Obama has launched a “war on coal” is nonsense: coal employment hit a 15 year high last November, and coal jobs are either higher or at the same level as four years ago in West Virginia, Virginia, and Ohio.
The coal CEO laying off workers is the same one who forced his workers to attend a Romney rally in August. Those workers had to forgo a day of pay in order to attend the rally. In the past, Murray has also forced his workers to make campaign donations to Republicans.
But Fox is not only blaming Obama for layoffs. Earlier this week, Fox Business anchor Stuart Varney repeatedly blamed Obama for stock market losses.
One of the laid off workers took to Reddit today to answer questions. He said, “Despite the fact that nothing has changed in the two days since the election they decide to lay off employees. I’ve seen how corrupt the company can be over the years and am fairly certain the layoffs are just a way to make the President look bad.”