Muslims faced discrimination at US meatpacking plant

August 31, 2010 07:54

OMAHA, Nebraska — Federal officials claimed a JBS Swift & Co. meatpacking plant in Nebraska should provide Muslim employees with prayer time and not retaliate against workers who ask to pray.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit Monday on behalf of more than 80 Somali Muslims.A message left at JBS Swift's US headquarters in Colorado wasn't immediately returned.

Hundreds of Muslim workers walked off the job at a Nebraska plant during Ramadan in 2008, saying they wanted time to pray at sunset and break a daylong fast. Plant management adjusted the work schedule the next day.

Non-Muslims counterprotested and management ended the accommodations. The company fired 86 Muslim workers for walking off the job, but have said the firings weren't about religion.

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