American Renaissance

Muslims Quit Neb. Plant Over Prayer Times

AR Articles on Islam in America
Will America Learn the Lessons of Sept. 11? (Nov. 2001)
The Rise of Islam in America (Nov. 1993)
Feds Raid Nuwaub Nation (Jul. 2002)
Search AmRen.com for Islam in America
More news stories on Islam in America
Kimberly S. Johnson, Denver Post, May 16, 2007

Between 70 and 100 Swift & Co. workers quit their jobs at a meatpacking plant in Grand Island, Neb., over issues involving prayer times.

The workers, according to Swift, are Somali Muslims. Most of them were hired following immigration-related raids at the plant in December, according to union officials.

The workers told the company and the union that their prayer times weren’t being accommodated.

At unionized Swift plants, workers receive one 15-minute paid break and one 30-minute unpaid break during each eight-hour shift, said Swift spokesman Sean McHugh.

{snip}

It’s unclear what kind of additional breaks the workers requested, as those involved could not be reached Tuesday.

But according to Ammar Amonette, imam of the Colorado Muslim Society in Denver, Muslims observe five prayer times each day, at dawn, noon, midafternoon, sunset and nighttime. The prayers last about 10 minutes. There’s also a special prayer ritual observed on Fridays at noon, which is of particular importance to Muslim men.

{snip}

“It is a routine thing in the community that employees request prayer time and to attend Friday services,” he said. “Employers have to provide a reasonable right of accommodation and that is not detrimental to the operation of the business. Normally, Muslim workers pray their prayers on their break.”

It’s unclear if all the Muslim workers at the plant wanted to pray at the same time. Dan Hoppes, president of the local United Food Workers and Commercial Workers of America union representing the Grand Island Swift employees, said the affected workers asked managers for a prayer break at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. that would adversely affect production.

{snip}

Amonette said workers would have a window of time to complete the noon and midafternoon prayers, so they wouldn’t have to leave the factory line all at once. “It would be unreasonable for them to pray all together,” he said.

{snip}

Original article

Email Kimberly S. Johnson at kjohnson@denverpost.com.

(Posted on May 16, 2007)

     Previous story       Next Story       Post a Comment      Search

Comments


Home      Top      Previous story       Next Story      Search

Post a Comment

Commenting guidelines: We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. Statements of fact and well-considered opinion are welcome, but we will not post comments that include obscenities or insults, whether of groups or individuals. We reserve the right to hold our critics to lower standards.




Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)