Members of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) who work at the Tyson Foods poultry processing plant in Shelbyville, Tennessee, have exchanged their paid Labor Day holiday for the sacred Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan.
To accommodate Muslim workers, union committee members made the Muslim celebration of Eid al-Fitr a top priority in last November’s contract negotiations. As part of the new contract, Muslim workers were also given a prayer room.
“Eid al-Fitr is one of eight paid holidays for all team members covered by the contract, while Labor Day is not a paid holiday.”—Gary Mickelson, Media Relations Director for Tyson Foods
Approximately 250 employees at the plant are political refugees from Somalia, and most, if not all, of them are believed to be Muslim. Eighty percent of the plants’ 1,000 union members approved the new contract.
The holiday swap does not affect any of Tyson’s 118 other plants.
[The Muslim call to prayer is] ”one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”—Barack Obama
(H-T Chuck Lehmann, Chuck on the Right Side)
For more on the story, see Tyson Plant Drops Labor Day for Muslim Holiday.