Almost 200 Muslim workers employed by a Colorado meatpacking plant have been fired over a dispute around religious prayer schedules. The 190 Cargill Meat Solutions employees staged a walkout in response to an issue involving when and how often they were allowed to leave for their daily prayers.
Cargill reps stated 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.”
The Muslim workers claim Cargill Meat Solutions told them earlier this month they were no longer allowed to use the designated room at the plant to pray, and instead were required to pray at home.
Officials representing Cargill say their policy has 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.” (In other words, having 200 workers disappear from the factory floor simultaneously, up to three times per day had a severe impact on production).
The statement continued on to acknowledge the company makes continuous efforts to accommodate every employee’s religious beliefs, but accommodations vary on a day-to-day basis depending on a number of factors that could disrupt business.
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has been in talks with the employer since the walkout stating the workers “are only asking for a simple request to pray which they have been granted for a long period of time.”
After the walk ut, Cargill communicated with employees to make sure they were aware that anyone who did not show up for work for three or more consecutive days would be in danger of termination. Despite these warnings, the majority of employees that took part in the walkout did not return, and many are now attempting to be rehired. Cargill currently has a policy that employees who are terminated are prohibited from reapplying for a job for six months, but CAIR is hoping the company will allow some of these workers to be rehired.
This leaves many watching this case to wonder why the Muslim employees are looking to be hired by a company who they claim is not respectful of their religious beliefs.
Editor’s comment: Another Muslim effort to force their culture on America at great cost to their employer. This time it backfired.