Unpaid Day Off for Workers Due to Obama’s Solar Panel Factory Visit (UPDATE)

Today in Fremont, California, President Barack Obama toured a solar panel factory to demonstrate his commitment to green jobs. Unfortunately for union workers at Solyndra, they were told to stay home — without pay — to effect security procedures for the presidential visit.

Construction workers at the Solyndra Plant in Fremont will be spending the day at home Wednesday without pay as President Obama visits the company to praise its work on solar panels.

Union workers have been told not to come back until Thursday because of security concerns associated with the President’s visit. Workers tell KRON 4’s Kate Thompson this day off means they won’t get paid.

"It’s with no pay and we have no choice," construction worker Adam Bracamontes told Kate. "We have to take a day off and come back Thursday. We don’t get to meet the President. We’re the workers and we don’t get to see him."

And why was Solyndra chosen for this Obama visit? Because the company received stimulus funds! Even though none of those funds will go to construction workers at the plant today:

"It’s with no pay and we have no choice," construction worker Adam Bracamontes told Kate. "We have to take a day off and come back Thursday. We don’t get to meet the President. We’re the workers and we don’t get to see him."

"I’m a little bummed because I would love to meet the President," worker Rich Patten added. "We were told we had the day off so it is what it is."

KRON 4’s Gabe Slate reports the President chose Solyndra because it received stimulus funds to help create green jobs.

Another demonstration of President Obama’s contempt for working people while he hobnobs with elites — the plant owners and executives.

UPDATE: From Carla Marinucci at the SFGate Spin Cycle blog:

President Obama’s visit Wednesday to a Fremont solar panel construction plant did not "cost local factory workers their paychecks."

[snip]

We got the scoop from Dianna Wright, spokeswoman for Redwood City-based Rudolph & Sletten, the general contractor which is building Solyndra and helped build the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Wright said the Fremont Solyndra site normally has 800 to 1,000 workers on the job daily. And at the request of the Secret Service — and for the protection of the president — "the workers were told in advance not to come to work today."

But to make up for that, "our contract has been extended for one day,” which will be paid, she said.

Moreover, Wright said the White House made clear that they wanted construction workers to come to the event — and meet the President. "They were very specific..they wanted construction workers..not suits and ties. That was a big part of the deal,” she said.

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