Saturday, January 2, 2016

190 Muslim meat-packers fired over prayer dispute.


190 Muslim meat-packers fired over prayer dispute. (Telegraph).

Nearly 200 Muslim employees have been fired from a meat-packing plant after downing tools following a dispute over praying at work.

The workers, mostly Somalian immigrants, staged a walkout to protest what they said was insufficient accommodation of prayer time at Cargill Meat Solutions in Fort Morgan, Colorado.
The company has provided a "reflection room" for Muslim employees to pray since 2009 but the workers claimed there had been a change to the policy.

However, the company, an agribusiness giant that employs 155,000 people in 68 countries, said there had been a "misunderstanding" and its policy of allowing time for prayer had not changed.

A spokesman said plant managers met with the workers, members of the Somali community, and union leaders following the walk-out but were unable to resolve the issue.
He said workers were warned that failing to show up for work three days in a row would jeopardise their employment. After 200 did so they were terminated.
The spokesman added: "Cargill makes every reasonable attempt to provide religious accommodations to all employees based on our ability to do so without disruption to our beef-processing business.

"At no time did Cargill prevent people from prayer at Fort Morgan. Nor have we changed policies related to religious accommodation and attendance. This has been mischaracterised."

The spokesman told the Denver Post: "It's an unfortunate situation that may be based somewhere in a misunderstanding. There has been a desire among some employees to go in larger groups of people to pray.

"We just can't accommodate that. It backs up the flow of all the production. We have to ensure food safety. We have to ensure the products we produce meet consumer expectations.

The workers have previously been using time carved out of a 15-minute break period, or time from their unpaid 30-minute lunch break.

Cargill has a policy stating that any workers who are terminated can not reapply for a position for 6 months.

CAIR continues to talk with Cargill, a teleconference is scheduled next week, and Hussein hopes that the 6-month freeze is waved and that the workers will be allowed back.

Muslims are continually demanding special privileges for themselves. But in the real world of business, a company must make decisions based upon their needs. A spokesman for Cargill told the Greeley Tribune last week,

…employees of all faiths are allowed to use a reflection area, but because employees work on an assembly line, only one or two at a time can use the area, to avoid slowing production.

Though the spokesman said they had not changed their rules, Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. (based out of Kansas) was purchased in October, 2015 by JBS SA, a Brazilian Based Company for $1.45 Billion. It is highly likely that the decision was based on new corporate rules. Hmmm..........I wonder how they do things in Muslim countries in the meat packaging business?

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