Muslims faced discrimination at US meatpacking plant

August 31, 2010 07:54


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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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