Somali workers fired at Colorado packing plant in prayer dispute

Yahoo News – by Keith Coffman

DENVER (Reuters) – Nearly 200 workers, mostly Somali immigrants, have been fired from a meat-packing plant in Colorado after staging a walkout to protest what they said were insufficient prayer accommodations, the company and Islamic advocacy groups said on Thursday.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the workers were treated in a “discriminatory manner” by managers at the Cargill Meat Solutions [CARGIL.UL] facility in Fort Morgan, about 75 miles northeast of Denver.  

Jaylani Hussein, a spokesman for CAIR, said in a YouTube video posted by the group that the workers objected to new restrictions on their ability to worship on the job, “which they had been granted for a long period of time.”

“All of these employees are good employees (and) don’t have any other issues,” Hussein said, adding that the dispute stemmed from a “misunderstanding on policy changes” by Cargill regarding workplace prayer.

Mike Martin, a spokesman for Minneapolis-based Cargill, disputed assertions the company had changed its policy, noting that since 2009 the Fort Morgan plant has set aside an on-site “reflection area” for people of all faiths.

“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,” he said. He said the degree of flexibility the company can extend for prayers depends on a variety of factors, including daily work-flow considerations.

Martin said about 200 workers walked off the job last week and were warned that failing to show up for work on three consecutive days without calling in could jeopardize their employment.

Plant managers met with the workers, members of the Somali community and Teamsters union leaders who represent nearly 2,000 hourly workers at the plant but were unable to resolve the issue, he said.

After 190 workers failed to show up without notice for three days straight, “termination procedures were initiated” and those workers were dismissed, Martin said.

Omar Jamal, executive director of the Somali Human Rights Commission, said Cargill managers may not have understood that depending on the time of year Muslims are required to pray at different times during the day.

Jamal said his organization has contacted Cargill to see if the workers can get their jobs back.

”Hopefully, there can be a clear policy in place that everyone understands that would solve the problem,” he said.

Cargill employs 155,000 people in 68 countries, according to the company’s website.

(Editing by Steve Gorman and Leslie Adler)–finance.html?nf=1

12 thoughts on “Somali workers fired at Colorado packing plant in prayer dispute

  1. These Somali workers need prayer breaks, and are represented by the teamsters’ union, so what makes them more profitable than American workers?

    Absolutely nothing. It’s just part of an organized effort on the part of Zionist-owned corporations to displace Americans because we own the country, and have unalienable rights. We’re being squeezed out.

    1. In 1980 the average pay rate adjusted for inflation for a meatpacker was $18 an hour, most of the plants were unionized and employed American citizens. Today the average pay rate is $10 an hour, almost all non unionized and non citizen.

  2. Paying for other cultures to mass immigrate into your country to out breed and replace you,
    Doesn’t make you a more tolerant or better person

    It makes you a stupid sucker

  3. So what are the 200 skinnies doing while they are out of work? Praying? I would be looking under their rugs for AK’s and such.

  4. Most everyone forgets the fact that these filthy third world invaders being moslem , wipe their ass w/ their hand & return to prepare food for unknowing Americans . Start the ball Tector !!!

  5. Perfect example why people born here can’t find a job. Brings a whole new meaning to “mystery meat”. I think I’m leaning more towards vegetarian now after this article. Until I get my livestock setup. At least I won’t wipe my butt with your chicken or beef dinner.

  6. The solution for Cargill, in this confrontation, is to start processing hogs. Switch beef processing to another plant. Then, put all non-conforming Somali workers in a FEMA Camp, on a steady diet of pork. I have a formula for this: Starvation + beatings= assimilation.

  7. Wow, imagine the outrage if the group had been Christians espousing the same problem. It wouldn’t have even broken squelch with the media!!

  8. Are non-Muslims required to work through prayer breaks?
    Did the Muslims work later or start earlier to make up for the time lost from prayer?
    If you work where Muslims get a paid prayer break, leave your work station and take a break with them. I know non-smokers who took a break when ever the smokers took a smoke break.
    It is the same thing to me.

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published.