Nebraska meat plant sued for Muslim prayer time

Islam means submission, JBS is finding that out the hard way, via The Associated Press: Swift sued over treatment of Muslims at Neb. plant.

OMAHA, Neb. — Somali Muslim workers at a meatpacking plant in Grand Island were denied prayer time and faced harassment and even termination for asking to pray, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The lawsuit filed on behalf on more than 80 Somali Muslims says JBS Swift & Co. has failed to make reasonable religious accommodations, violating the workers’ civil rights, since at least December 2007.

Plant supervisors and non-Somali employees also harassed the Muslim workers, “interrupted their prayers, refused to let them pray, threw meat at them, called them names,” among other things, the lawsuit says.

A message left Monday at JBS Swift’s U.S. headquarters in Greeley, Colo., wasn’t immediately returned.

The tensions over prayer time at the Grand Island plant have been building since 2007. That was when East Africans began filling the gaps left after a 2006 immigration raid cleared illegal Hispanic workers from the plant.

The situation came to a head in September 2008, during Ramadan, when hundreds of Muslim workers walked off the job and picketed in protest, saying they wanted time to pray at sunset and break a daylong fast. Plant management responded the next day by adjusting the work schedule to accommodate them.

Non-Muslims — including Latinos, Sudanese and whites — counterprotested such accommodations, calling it special treatment that would burden the rest of the work force. Management then ended the accommodations, which sent Muslim workers back to the picket lines.

The company fired 86 Muslim workers for walking off the job. It eventually hired back about a dozen.

JBS Swift has disputed the firings were over religion.

Dozens of Somali Muslim workers filed complaints with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after the dispute.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Omaha seeks an order requiring JBS Swift to provide prayer time and to refrain from retaliating against workers who ask to pray. It also seeks payment for the fired workers.

A message left Monday with the union representing the plant’s workers wasn’t immediately returned.

Nebraska meat plant cedes prayer time to Muslims

Somalis take over another US plant, protests, riots over Ramadan

Muslims protest for right to prayer – this time Nebraska

Muslim employees fired after Islamic prayer breaks abused, police oversee

Colorado meat plant adds footbaths & ass-washes for Somali Muslims

20 Responses

  1. The non Muslim workers don’t get extra break time, or the Muslim Sudanese, who don’t appear to require it. It is normal and reasonable for people to work their prayer time into the work day. The Koran does not specify WHEN to pray. The courts have gone mad.

  2. Yes, the courts have gone mad. So have the Executive and Legislative sides of the government. There are many Christians who are required to work on Sunday. I do not believe it is Constitutional to require a company to halt their production just because it is a religious inconvenience to some workers.

    Not too many years ago some states had “Blue Laws” which required that businesses not open on Suncay except for certain necessary products, i.e. pharmacies. That was declared unconstitutional. Why would it then be Constitutional to require a business to accommodage Muslims when it was Unconstitional to accomodate Christians? There is no answer except that the President is a Muslim and that he and his ilk have infiltrated the courts and law making bodies.

  3. I’m surprised Muslims would even work at a meat packing plant. Doesn’t Islam consider that to be unclean? Especially in the case of pork? Besides, I bet they never prayed a single moment of their lives til they came here.

  4. This is totally ridiculous to say the least! No way should provisions be made to accommodate these people in the workplace or otherwise. I know I’m not alone in being sick ‘n tired and ticked off about all this muslim crap! This is the United States of America and some how – some way we best be getting Her back where she belongs or we can not only “kiss her good-bye,” but kiss ourselves, family, friends, and fellow Americans good-bye! May God have mercy on us and show us the way.

  5. This is insane. We better wake up, or all will be lost.
    FUCK EM, AND FIRE THEIR ASS. There’s plenty of ASSIMILATED AMERICANS that want those jobs.

  6. Are we waking up yet?

  7. We have the same problem at a meat packing plant in Chicago. Pray on your own god damn time!

  8. If this case is allowed to proceed, it would be a travesty of justice.

    @NSH,TA – there are still blue laws on the books in certain parts of the USA, and it’s the case in Bergen County, NJ (where it puts both Muslims and Jews as well as some Christians at a disadvantage).

    They knew (or should have known) the rules going in, and if the plant is unionized, their union reps should have told them that they can’t help them.

  9. Splash the whole entrance and paths to the factory with pigs blood. See them run.

  10. I do not know how long each instance of Muslim prayer time is so I do not know the cumulative time this takes out of the day. There are non-Muslim employees who take smoke breaks aside from their regular breaks and lunch. I am not a smoker or a Muslim but I have a few observations. First, according to this report and previous news accounts, Swift has a history of hiring undocumented workers which, I might add, is illegal and breaking the law. They have also been found of being abusive in several areas including pay range, sexual harassment, etc. Second, many non-Muslim,s at the very least, know Muslims pray 5 times a day so what right does Swift have to complain about this after hiring Muslims? Third, generally speaking, Somalians have fled their country to get away from horrible conditions only to come here and be victimized again. Fourth, Swift is known for violations beyond human rights, extending to animal rights violations as documented in the film ‘Food Inc.’ and as evidenced by fines levied against them by regulatory agencies. I do not support Swift products because of their violations (and, no, I am not a member of PETA). In summary, it sounds like karma is coming back to bite Swift in the a**.

  11. As an afterthought, I understand how this creeps Shariah law into our legal system and I do not support Shariah law which has been responsbile for horrendous human rights violations worldwide. Nor do I support the mosque at Ground Zero.

  12. ENOUGH: Give them their time, just dock it from their PAY. Do you think management will give those employees promotions or raises. You have to work above and beyond the call of duty to get promotions and raises. Oh wait isn’t that an AMERICAN saying.

  13. What the hell is this? I think our judicial system needs to RETHINK their dicision. We can’t even pray in school as we once. The Americans our losing ground fast. The Muslims can pray 50 time a day but, do in the middle east not here. Go home we don’t need your kind here.

  14. They are praying for the Shariah law to be implemented and Christian,and Jewish infidels to be slaughtered. Let us pray to nip this in the bud.

    • With prayer and the Will of God we can do more than nip it in the bud – at least I like to believe so. We need One – just One person to get the ball rolling and others will surely follow. For a fact I would.

    • Dan B: I would say they’re in the right place for the tables to be turned, no? :-O I didn’t say that……

  15. Let them do their praying during breaks or at mealtimes.
    If it HAS to be done at a specific time they should get a job with flexibility.

  16. Certainly time to pray!

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