The right to choose: Somalis move from packing plant to packing plant

This is just another update from the Greeley Tribune about the Somalis fired at the Swift meatpacking plant last fall during a dispute over prayer breaks. (Hat tip:  Blulitespecial)  If you are a new reader, we have a whole category on this long and convoluted subject here.

As we mentioned previously, workers who walked off the job at Swift after being denied the exact times they wanted to pray were given an opportunity to return to work, some did, some didn’t.    Those who did not, were fired.   Some of the fired workers are looking for a monetary settlement according to their lawyer.

At least 90 of the fired workers are seeking an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission review of claims of harassment and discrimination at JBS Swift. They have retained Denver attorney Diane King to file the complaints.

“This is a particularly vulnerable population,” she said. “They’re recent immigrants. They don’t speak the language. They look different, and they don’t have a religion that’s a mainstream religion in this country. So, they’re particularly vulnerable.”

King said she’s not sure how long it will take the EEOC to make a ruling. She believes her Greeley clients have a good case and should be entitled to a “some monetary compensation” for lost wages after being fired.

One worker, happily settled down the road apiece, says he prefers Cargill to Swift.  When I saw this information that some Muslims stayed at Swift, I wondered what that says for their legal case.   Obviously the Swift plant is not discriminating since some Muslims are staying there.

Haji (Abdikarim, the subject of this article) bears no grudge against Muslims who chose to stay at the Greeley plant. He’s not going out of his way to try to recruit East Africans in Greeley to Fort Morgan.

“Everybody has their own mind and belief,” Haji said. “If they ask me, yeah (he’ll speak positively of Cargill). If they don’t, I’m not going to brag about it. It depends on the people. Some people might think Swift is good for them. Some might think Cargill is good for them. Everybody has an option.”

Yup, that’s America, everybody does have an option!

By the way, I was interested to see mention in this article that Haji arrived in Greeley and was hired by Swift  just weeks before the big walkout.   Notice that so did Somali community organizer Graen Isse; now isn’t that a coincidence?

The flow of Somali refugees into the US has been slowed dramatically by the suspension of the family reunification program (P-3) of the US State Department after the Department learned that Africans were commiting immigration fraud on a large scale.   The Tribune does its readers a disservice by continuing to print that all Somalis arrived in the US legally.

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