Making Private Labor Look Just Like Public Employment, One Industry at a Time

Workers get tax money to play cards

Workers at LG Chem, a $300 million lithium-ion battery plant heavily funded by taxpayers, tell Target 8 that they have so little work to do that they spend hours playing cards and board games, reading magazines or watching movies.

They say it's been going on for months.

"There would be up to 40 of us that would just sit in there during the day," said former LG Chem employee Nicole Merryman, who said she quit in May.

"We were given assignments to go outside and clean; if we weren't cleaning outside, we were cleaning inside. If there was nothing for us to do, we would study in the cafeteria, or we would sit and play cards, sit and read magazines," said Merryman. "It's really sad that all these people are sitting there and doing nothing, and it's basically on taxpayer money."

Two current employees told Target 8 that the game-playing continues because, as much as they want to work, they still have nothing to do.

"There's a whole bunch of people, a whole bunch," filling their time with card games and board games," one of those current employees said.

  • NL7

    Politicians can't claim credit if they don't get involved. They spend money on "investments" so they can claim credit at the end, not so any any actual benefit is created. So their investment would have been successful, if only LG employees hadn't publicized the obvious futility of it. If only LG had created batteries that got sold to the government and sat undiscovered and unused in a government warehouse, then nobody would be the wiser.

    Even if unnecessary batteries were made and then found sitting unused in a warehouse, a wily politician could claim they were needed surplus, or that they weren't being used only because of the dastardly policies of the party opposite hamstringing the economy.

    Politicians get rewarded for the way they make people feel, so in "public investment" value creation itself is irrelevant. But there need to be enough results at the end for the politician to claim credit; if virtually nothing is produced, then it's hard to claim credit.

  • Daublin

    If you click through, it says this company received $151 million via Obama's Recovery Act. That's a lot of money.