Plant Drops Labor Day For Muslim Holiday

Discussion in 'News Articles' started by slim jim, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. slim jim

    slim jim Official News Guy

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    WSMV.com


    Plant Drops Labor Day For Muslim Holiday
    More Than Half Of Tyson Plant's Workforce Muslim

    POSTED: 12:18 pm CDT August 1, 2008
    UPDATED: 6:29 pm CDT August 1, 2008
    SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. -- Some workers at a local plant will no longer to be able to take their Labor Day holiday because of religious reasons.

    Survey: Drop Labor Day? | Scroll Below To Post Your Comments | Video

    Workers at the Tyson Foods poultry processing plant in Shelbyville will no longer have a paid day off on Labor Day but will instead be granted the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr.

    According to a news release from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, a new five-year contract at the plant included the change to accommodate Muslim workers at the plant.

    Tyson's director of media relations Gary Mickelson said the contract includes eight paid holidays -- the same number as the old contract.

    Eid al-Fitr -- which falls on Oct. 1 this year -- marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.

    Union leaders said implementing the holiday was important for the nearly 700 Muslims, many of them Somalis, who work at the plant that employs a total of 1,200 people.

    Nineteen-year plant veteran William Pentecost doesn’t agree with the decision.

    "I don’t think it's right. I really don't think it's right," he said.

    Tyson company spokeswoman Libby Lawson said by phone that, "This isn't a religious accommodation, this is a contractual agreement. The majority asked for it."

    The change didn’t bother some workers.

    "I think it's fine. I don’t have any problem with it. There's a whole bunch of them here, so they've got to do something for them," said worker John Smith.

    "It shouldn't happen. I mean, I think, we're in America, you're in America, I think that they should go with our holidays," Pentecost said.

    Channel 4's Cynthia Williams could not reach any of the plant’s Muslim workers, because Channel 4 News' crew was not permitted on the property.

    Former employee and Shelbyville resident Anthony Proctor said he thinks what's happening is wrong.

    He said he helped build a special Muslim prayer room that's located inside the plant and that no other Tyson facility has been that accommodating for any other religion.

    "If we want to go pray, we don’t have one for Christians," he said.

    Tyson is headquartered in Arkansas.

    Lawson said they consider religious accommodations on a case-by-case basis. She said that so far, no one has asked for any other type of religious prayer room.

    No one at the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union’s regional office answered phone calls placed by Williams on Friday.

    A representative in New York said that no one there knew specifics about the new contract with the workers, but a person in research told Williams that holidays aren't usually replaced and are more likely to be added on.

    The decision will only apply to workers at the plant who are union members. All other employees at the plant will still have their normal Labor Day holiday.

    Watch Channel 4 News at 5:00 p.m. for a full report on this story. WSMV talks to at 19-year veteran employee of the plant to get his thoughts.

    http://www.wsmv.com/news/17063986/detail.html#-

    "This is America, founded by the blood of our forefathers and should not be challenged by Somalians, Hispanics, or any other immigrants. If they come to America, they need to learn our language and our ways. They can practice their culture in private if they so please, but not shove it down our throats. Would they let us go there and change there country? I have banned Tyson's products from my home for years because of the illegals they were hiring. I am sorry for the producers that are supplying them, but Tyson's has once again crossed the line with the American people. Labor Day was here long before Tyson's. What holiday will be next to be taken away and replaced to accommodate an immigrant. This stinks worse than the plant," said another anonymous forum participant.

    "Disgusting ... appalling ... horrifying ... there just aren't enough words to describe this situation. There will never be another Tyson product in my home EVER!! Bedford County and the rest of the nation needs to take notice. Is this what we are coming to?" said another.

    A Muslim website says the holiday is a "joyous three-day celebration" that concludes Ramadan, during which Muslims fast during the day.

    According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the national holiday dates from Sept. 5, 1882, and is "dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=...mp;pageId=71218
     


  2. Texas1911

    Texas1911 TGT Addict

    May 29, 2017
    Austin, TX
    These people that are up in arms need to re-read the 1st Amendment and understand what it means. These people have the right to practice their religion and to formulate their own decisions just the same. Tyson has the right to conduct it's business as it sees fit.

    They should have made it a floating holiday, to be used for Labor Day, or whatever.
     
  3. 308nato

    308nato TGT Addict

    I wont be buying Tyson products anytime soon.
     
  4. JKTex

    JKTex Well-Known

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    Like most topics, people don't read and learn the facts.

    Tyson didn't do it. The union negotiated, on behalf of the "majority", to get it in their new contract.

    BTW, the "majority" is the Muslim's that make up 70% of their represented workforce.
     
  5. DoubleActionCHL

    DoubleActionCHL Well-Known

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    Yes, a union. Hmmm.... Labor Day... Labor Union... could there be a connection???? Irony abounds. :eek:
     
  6. BeNotAfraid

    BeNotAfraid Active Member

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    Red River, Texas
    un-flippin believable!

    you got people (even Judges) getting fired for displaying the Ten Commandments, and Tyson caves on this?

    ...ain't buyin their stuff no more.....
     
  7. JKTex

    JKTex Well-Known

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    Y'all just don't get it do you? It's the basis of what America was built on that make it possible for religious freedom to be exercised like this. The union brought it to the table. They swapped one holiday for another so that the Muslims, who actually celebrate religious holidays can celebrate instead of getting drunk at the lake or taking along weekend to Mexico or paint a house, wash a car etc. And they make up 70% of the represented labor. Maybe it's the unions fault for representing them? Lord knows unions are at the root of many other real problems.

    Everyone gets bent out of shape as if it's un-American. It's as American as American gets, like it or not.

    And Tyson (that specific plant) had to put the business first instead of trying to make some point that would be anti-America, as in a violation of our Constitutional rights.

    And no, I'm not Muslim. :rofl:
     
  8. Texas1911

    Texas1911 TGT Addict

    May 29, 2017
    Austin, TX
    Tis' indeed a tad ironic.
     
  9. midnightrider

    midnightrider Member

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    I would agree that they have a right to practice their religion, but not at others expense. Trivial though it might be there are 30% of the workforce who now are forced to take a Muslim day off instead of a recognized "national holiday". I would say +1 on the floating holiday idea, which is what the majority of companies I consult with do.
    Everyday in white and blue collar America we cave-in more and more to ethnic and religious customs of non-Americans that demand we cater to their country's or groups view of the ideal universe.
     
  10. JKTex

    JKTex Well-Known

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    I'm sure Tyson can and will work something out since it's a minority group. I don't know how they staff, but 70% staff should be more than enough to cover a 7x24 or near, operation. But those 30% are in the minority thus on the losing end of a democracy. Majority wins.

    Those 30% also choose to be represented. They don't have to be part of the union nor keep that job. But even so, how many Muslims or Jews or other religions have been (and are across the country) forced to take Christmas or other Christian Holidays off? It's just a day off to them. What do most of us do on Labor Day anyway? Extra chores, hit the lake, play golf, hang out...... but I'm sure if they want it off, they can work that out.

    Thanks to the media, I'm sure we're making it out ot be a much bigger deal that it is to them. :D
     

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