Minnesota Muslims Fired in WI Over Workplace Prayer

April 2, 2007

Source: CAIR Press Release


(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 4/2/07) - The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today called for an investigation of the alleged firing of Muslim employees at a chicken processing plant in Wisconsin who wanted to offer religiously-mandated prayers in the workplace.

CAIR-MN says two workers were fired and three others quit in protest last night at the Gold'n Plump Poultry plant in Arcadia, Wis. The workers are all of Somali heritage and live in nearby Minnesota.

The workers told CAIR that the dispute centered on a "floating break" used to offer their break-of-dawn (fajr) prayer, one of five daily Islamic prayers. They say the company had accommodated the prayers with a floating break for at least the past several months, but issued a new policy last Friday that forced the workers to choose between their religious practices and their jobs.

Each of the workers contacted by CAIR says the processing line was never shut down while the prayers took place. They said that when the Muslim workers offered their prayers, employees of other faiths filled in for them, and when those workers took their break, the Muslims worked to keep the line moving.