Murray Energy Corporation has come under fire and now a union is asking Ohio and federal labor officials to investigate whether the company violated wage and hour laws.
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) claims Murray Energy closed mine operations without pay to workers to host a campaign event for Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney to ensure the site's security.
The Secret Service says it did not request the mine's closure.
Robert Moore, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Murray Energy says workers were told by managers the event was mandatory, but has repeatedly said no one was forced to go.
The SEIU wrote a letter to the U.S. Labor Department stating: "several employees have indicated they feared they would be fired if they failed to attend. At this time, I request that your office investigate whether the workers should have been compensated for their time at the mandatory rally."
In a phone interview this afternoon, Murray said the mine was shut down because the Secret Service had to conduct a thorough security sweep of the surface facilities to ensure that the facilities were secure, and that the employees were not permitted to occupy these facilities during that time.
"We couldn't have men in the mine without managers in place to monitor their safety," Murray said.
Murray added that Murray Energy does not pay miners to attend political rallies. This event was completely voluntary and attendance was not taken.