Some people just want something to complain about.
Cargill Meat Solutions owns a beef processing plant in Fort Morgan, CO which employs a large number of Somali Muslims. The plant had accommodated these employees, allowing them to take breaks to pray in 5-10 minute blocks, and even created a reflection area used by Muslim employees in April 2009.
So here’s the ridiculous cause of outrage: they recently changed the policy to allow only two 5-minute prayer breaks per shift.
Muslims must pray five times a day according to their religion – but this doesn’t necessarily mean it would interfere with work. Praying according to a schedule isn’t always seen as necessary – and even in Muslim countries like Iran, prayers are commonly “made up for” after work and school.
So management at the plant wasn’t exactly out of line when they reportedly told the workers “If you want to pray, go home.”But apparently this warranted protest, and nearly 200 workers staged a walkout. So how did the plant respond? Well, it’s almost Reaganesque. As the Denver Post reported:
About 150 workers, most of them immigrants from Somalia, have been fired from a meat packing and distribution plant on Colorado’s Eastern Plains for walking off the job to protest a workplace prayer dispute.
Ten days ago more than 200 workers walked off their jobs at Cargill Meat Solutions in Fort Morgan.
Some workers later returned, but the majority stayed away as representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) negotiated on their behalf.
On Tuesday Cargill, through its attorneys, fired the workers who were holding out, said Jaylani Hussein, a spokesman and executive director of CAIR.
Apparently building a prayer space and allotting time to allow 2/5ths of their daily prayers wasn’t enough. Liberals would likely see it as ridiculous if Christians were behaving in this manner.
Just a random thought: while we’re on the topic of religious accommodations on the job, how would liberals react if a Muslim baker refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding?
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]