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Nearly 200 Muslim workers fired in Colorado after walkout over prayer dispute

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by AroundTheWorld, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. AroundTheWorld

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    DENVER — Nearly 200 Muslim workers have been fired from their jobs at a Colorado meat-packing plant after walking out in a dispute over accommodating prayer in the workplace.

    The company, Cargill Meat Solutions, fired about 190 workers after they staged a walkout earlier this month after they say they were told to pray at home instead of being allowed to pray in a specially designated room at the plant in Fort Morgan, Colorado.

    Company officials and representatives for the workers, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said they continue to engage in negotiations.

    The dispute appears to center on the time of day at which workers are able to pray, which changes according to the season in the Muslim faith.

    In a statement to 9News in Denver, Cargill said that its policy on accommodating prayer in the workplace had not changed.

    “In the Fort Morgan plant, a reflection area for use by all employees to pray was established in April 2009, and is available during work shifts based on our ability to adequately staff a given work area,” said the statement.

    “While reasonable efforts are made to accommodate employees, accommodation is not guaranteed every day and is dependent on a number of factors that can, and do, change from day to day. This has been clearly communicated to all employees. Cargill makes every reasonable attempt to provide religious accommodation to all employees based on our ability to do so without disruption to our beef processing business at Fort Morgan,” the statement said.

    At a press conference Wednesday in Denver, Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR-Minnesota, said that the families “are only asking for a simple request to pray which they have been granted for a long period of time.”

    He said the dispute was the result of a “misunderstanding on policy changes.”

    “All of these employees are good employees. They don’t have any other issues,” Mr. Hussein said in a video posted on YouTube.

    Cargill said in its statement that the workers were fired only after “multiple attempts were made to discuss the situation with local Somali employees without a successful resolution, including a Tuesday meeting at the plant management’s request.”

    “Plant management and union representatives met with Somali leaders without resolution,” the statement said. “Based on company policy, employees who do not show up for work, or call in, for three consecutive days were are risk for termination of their employment. Efforts were made to communicate to employees who did not show up for work to ensure they understood their jobs would be at jeopardy.”

    Based in Wichita, Kansas, Cargill has 155,000 employees in 68 countries, according to a company fact sheet.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/dec/31/muslim-workers-at-colorado-meat-packing-plant-fire/
     
  2. Rox11

    Rox11 Member

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    Now that is ridiculous!
     
  3. AroundTheWorld

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    What is?
     
  4. Bobbythegreat

    Bobbythegreat Member
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    Well, you walk out on your job, oftentimes you get fired. Not much of a story IMO
     
  5. ipaman

    ipaman Contributing Member

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    Forget the lawyers, start praying for their old jobs back. That will work.
     
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  6. Liberon

    Liberon Rookie

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    Sometimes you can read psychology books to become a well rounded good person and meditate to relax. But to the average person born and indoctrinated into religion that is their whole world and when it is constantly reinforced you can't ever trigger a person's skepticism.
     
  7. Rox11

    Rox11 Member

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    So depending on the shift they might need to pray 3 times a day? Makes sense the company can not afford it. What company is this and how does it have that many muslims?
     
  8. Mathloom

    Mathloom Contributing Member

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    You don't have to pray at those exact times if you have a good reason and work is considered worship in Islam. That's a pretty good reason to postpone prayers.

    I have to side with the company on this one unless they allow people to take, for example, multiple smoking breaks a day or favor any other group like people with children etc. It takes longer to smoke a cigarette than it does to pray.
     
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  9. AroundTheWorld

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    They should favor people with children. Children need more attention than it takes to smoke a cigarette.
     
  10. fchowd0311

    fchowd0311 Contributing Member

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    Valid point. Look, I find doing arbritary motions and murmuring giberish 5 times a day pretty silly but for those who have been indoctrinated with it since childhood, their prayer time often is an outlet to relieve stress like cigarettes. These prayers often take just 5 minutes which is the amount of time a typical cigarette break takes. If you can accommodate cigarette smokers, can't you accommodate these prayers? Or am I looking at it wrong?
     
  11. Ghettostar85

    Ghettostar85 Member

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    As a muslim I agree with you!
     
  12. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    My understanding is that employment law provides for reasonable accommodation of religious practices and in other situations Muslims have been given break time for prayers. There seems like there was another case a few years ago where this came up. It sounds like from Cargill's statement they met the letter of the law so I'm guessing these workers don't have much of a case.
     
  13. Cohete Rojo

    Cohete Rojo Contributing Member

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    They bring in ultra-religious Somali immigrants, and they quit over prayer time. Is Cargill desperate for employees and are the Somalis 5-year-olds?
     
  14. fchowd0311

    fchowd0311 Contributing Member

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    Reminds me of the evangelical base crying persecution at every opportunity.
     
  15. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    Sweet chocolate Christ, he's already agreeing with you.
     
  16. AroundTheWorld

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    Nope, he is saying that he sides with the company on the prayer stuff unless they give people with children more rights than the people who want to all pray together at the same times 5 times a day.
     
  17. sammy

    sammy Contributing Member

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    Prayers are all throughout the day. As an example for most corporate folks (8-5), only the afternoon prayers would be relevant which takes 5 mins to do. I've seen people BS (smoke breaks every 1-2 hours, talk about the Texans game, etc) and it's not a big deal.
     
  18. Dei

    Dei Member

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    Absolutely halal.
     
  19. txtony

    txtony Member

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    Up to the private sector employer. Outside of standard and required break times for employee, they can accommodate or not however they want as long as they are not favoring or discriminating against any group.

    If the standard and required break times isn't adequate, that's where they should work to change the law for ALL to benefit from.
     
  20. ipaman

    ipaman Contributing Member

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    shouldn't take your religion to the workplace as it is work space, not a place of worship. keep that **** to yourself. it offends me when people practice their religion in front of me without my consent. no different than smoking bans due to second hand smoking in my opinion.
     

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