Coal production at the Blacksville No. 2 Mine in Monongalia County, W.Va., came to a halt for one day last week when all the miners stayed home in protest after a National Rifle Association camera crew tried to get them to bad-mouth Barack Obama on film.

The United Mineworkers of America has endorsed the Democratic candidate for president, and union officials were miffed that the NRA was allowed on the property. Here’s the story:

Union officials say they took the day to protest after a film crew from the National Rifle Association showed up at the Consol mine last week to interview union workers.

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They say the crew tried to get union coal miners to speak out against Barack Obama.

The UMWA has endorsed the Democratic presidential nominee.

“This was a surprise visit,” explained VP Local 1702, Safety Chairman Eric Greathouse, “and a lot of the miners felt this was a direct slap in the face of the union because they were trying to coerce our people into saying things against Barack Obama.”

“Consol doesn’t let anybody on their property — never,” said Safety Committee Member Mark Dorsey, “And for them to let the NRA come on the property and solicit our membership was totally uncalled for. We made our endorsement to our political process and we didn’t bother them and they shouldn’t be harassing our membership over this.”

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While we’re on the subject of coal miners and Obama, check out this Los Angeles Times piece on race and the election in Virginia, which focuses largely on miners. “Barack Obama Won’t Take Away Your Gun,” says one flier circulating among coal miners, “But John McCain Will Take Away Your Union.”

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