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Surprise Update: Maine Department of Labor Removes 'Anti-Business' Mural From Walls


Maine's governor said that he doesn't care where the mural goes, as long as it doesn't go in the Department of Labor.

After Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) said that a mural adorning the walls of the Department of Labor was biased against businesses and ordered it to be removed, Maine's Department of Labor quietly took down mural from its walls this past weekend. The mural was initially put up in 2008. Last week, the unions decried the governor's "mean-spirited" removal of the murals, as The Blaze reported.

“The mural has been removed and is in storage awaiting relocation to a more appropriate venue," Gov. Paul LePage's Press Secretary Adrienne Bennett told The Huffington Post. "Workers and employers need to work together to create opportunity for Maine's 50,000 unemployed. We understand that not everyone agrees with this decision, but the Maine Department of Labor has to be focused on the job at hand."

The Sun Journal reports, that "Labor Department employees seemed surprised to see [the] mural replaced by bare walls and spackling. Several popped into the waiting area as news about the sudden removal spread."

AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage has ordered the removal of a 36-foot mural depicting Maine's labor history from the lobby of the Department of Labor.

Worker advocates described the move as a "mean-spirited" provocation amid the administration's high-tension standoff with unions.

Acting labor chief Laura Boyett emailed staff Tuesday about the mural's pending removal, as well as another administration directive to rename several department conference rooms that carry the names of pro-labor icons such as Cesar Chavez.

According to LePage spokesman Dan Demeritt, the administration felt the mural and the conference room monikers showed "one-sided decor" not in keeping with the department's pro-business goals.

"The message from state agencies needs to be balanced," said Demeritt, adding that the mural had sparked complaints from "some business owners" who complained it was hostile to business.

Demeritt declined to name the businesses.

The HuffPo observes that the mural will be moved to Portland's City Hall. According to the local report below, Gov. LePage said that he doesn't care where the mural goes, as long as it doesn't go in the Department of Labor. "I think it's inappropriate to be in the Department of Labor when everyone comes in--employers and employees--and they're confronted with just one side of the equation."

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