We told you yesterday that fired Somali workers in Grand Island, NE were meeting to discuss their options. It seems they have decided to seek a compromise with Swift management, but they still want to pray.
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. – Local Muslim leaders will seek a compromise with officials at a Grand Island meatpacking plant in hopes of resolving a prayer dispute.
More than two dozen representatives from the local Somali community and a Muslim group from Omaha met Sunday to discuss the protests and firings that stemmed from an ongoing confrontation at the JBS Swift & Co. plant.
“The company is asking people to be loyal to God or their employer,” said Mohamed Rage, who leads the Omaha Somali-American Community Organization. “That is not a position (the workers) should be put in.”
I don’t know where the link is now (maybe Blulitespecial knows), but one news account I read said that readers comments to several newspapers were coming in at about 100 to one saying generally that if their religion was more important then their job, they needed to find another job. So, Rage’s argument doesn’t seem like it will get much traction.
However, Rage and fellow big city organizers are now making a threat or two. First, they are saying that if they don’t get satisfaction they will bring in the EEOC (CAIRS handmaiden in Washington). This isn’t a veiled threat, it’s real and they have done it before.
The Muslim group that gathered Sunday decided that their first course of action is to negotiate with company officials to ensure workers’ constitutional rights aren’t violated. If that doesn’t work, they’ll seek help from the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission and its federal counterpart.
But, in case the general public and their co-workers didn’t get how big a deal this is to Somali Muslim fundamentalists and to hammer home the point about how multicultural opposition to them could get ugly, here is what one Omaha Somali community organizer said (veiled threat?):
Khadar Ducaale of the Omaha Somali-American Community Organization said Sunday that tension has been building between the Muslim employees and their co-workers.
“This is a place where people are holding knives, and they can kill each other. They can finish each other, and at the end of the day it would be up to the plant to pay for whatever happened,” he said.
Wait, I thought these were peace-loving folks who just want to work?
New readers, I know this may be getting hard to follow, but check our archives here and see all of our posts on this topic spanning over two weeks now. They are arranged in chronological order from the newest to the oldest.
The Somalis (in large numbers) got to the US through the State Department’s Refugee Resettlement Program.