Cargill Meat Solutions Muslims Fired? Prayer Dispute At Colorado Packing Plant Leads To Firing
Cargill Meat Solutions’ Muslims employees were fired over prayer schedule, the meat plant landed in hot water, and is now working on rehiring the 190 people to make the story go away. The Somali Muslims, who most have been at the company for over ten years, claimed that their bosses had always accommodated their prayer time, but after the Paris and San Bernadino attacks, they were told go home if they wanted to pray.
A group of Cargill Meat Solutions Muslim workers claimed that after ten years on the job, on Christmas Eve, they were more or less told they were not welcomed at the company. After the Council on American-Islamic Relations stepped in, the meat packing plant has decided to try to rehire the workers, and that decision has angered many Americans, who say religion should not be welcomed in the workplace.
On December 23, almost 200 Muslim workers – mainly from Somalia, packed their belongings and left the Cargill Meat Solutions plant in Fort Morgan, Colorado. According to the employees, management had always made it possible for them to have time to pray. However, the recent events in San Bernadino and Paris prompted their supervisors to make some drastic changes in the schedule, making it impossible to pray.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations spokesman Jaylani Hussein, who is currently negotiating with Cargill to get the nearly 200 jobs back, explained:
….depending on the season, the Muslim workers prayed at different times of the day. But a decision was made at the plant to change the practice.On Tuesday, Cargill fired most of the workers who walked out.
In a statement issued by the company spokesman Mike Martin, it was revealed that the employees were not fired because of the prayer drama, but because they refused to work on an assembly line and walked out. According to company policy, employees, who do not show up for work or call in for three consecutive days, will be let go.
Martin revealed that the meat plant has a prayer area, but only one or two can go at a time. Martin went on to say that Cargill Meat Solutions made every “reasonable attempt” to provide religious accommodation for all of its employees at the Fort Morgan plant without interrupting operations. Martin added:
“At no time did Cargill prevent people from prayer at Fort Morgan.Nor have we changed policies related to religious accommodation and attendance. This has been mischaracterized. This has been clearly communicated to all employees.”
Several thousands of workers including Somalis trim beef in manufacturing at Cargill Meat Solutions in Fort Morgan for about 14 dollars per hour. Hussein revealed why it is so important for Muslims to pray by saying:
“….the company’s policy changed recently. The workers were told: ‘If you want to pray, go home.’ “Many of the workers banded together and decided to walk off the job in an attempt to sway plant managers to reinstate a prayer schedule.They feel missing their prayer is worse than losing their job. It’s like losing a blessing from God.”
Cargill has a policy stating that workers, who are terminated, can not reapply for a position for six months, but Hussein, who is set to talk with the company next week, is hoping to solve the matter as soon as possible. The Cargill Meat Solutions’ Muslims fiasco has many asking, why is the company giving the workers so much religious freedom?
One person said: “They should stay home and pray for new jobs – they will need all of Allah’s help.” Moreover, another claimed “that they should go to a Muslim country if they have so many crazy religious demands, this is America for God’s sake, when you are hired for a job, you do the job and stop bitching about it.”