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As the Sino-American War heated up, there was a major push for the complete automation of Appalachia's various mining and industrial operations, spearheaded by Atomic Mining Services, Hornwright Industrial and Poseidon Energy. Many of the replaced employees had no other opportunities, having worked in these places their entire lives. As the few companies retaining a majority human workforce, such as Garrahan Mining, could not afford to hire them, they were reduced to picketing their former workplaces to try and get their old jobs back. These initially peaceful protests later escalated into the Automation riots which rocked Appalachia right before the Great War. After the war, the protesting workers either died or left, leaving their protest signs behind.
Signs found across Appalachia have one of several different slogans printed on them, including:
- "My dad needs a job!"
- "Workers united against automation!"
- "I want to work!"
- "People before machines!"
- "Jobs today or blood tomorrow!"
- "Give our jobs back! Or we'll take yours!"
- "Block the bot!"
- "Work for men! Not machines!"
- "I aint a commie but I get where theyre comin from!"
- All 10 variants can be found outside Poseidon Energy Plant WV-06. Two of them are found at the tents outside of the plant.
- Several protest signs can be found at the miners monument.
- Five can be found in an apartment above the ice cream store in Clarksburg, accessible via a fire escape at the back of the building.
- Two can be found in a small shack outside of Uncanny Caverns.
- Two can be found in the back of a pickup truck parked outside Charleston station.
- A "jobs or blood" sign can be found at Welch station.
- At least fifteen can be found at Striker Row.
- Dropped by Scorched during the event Protest March.