WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- A national Islamic civil rights group was retained as legal counsel by 21 of 30 Muslim employees who were allegedly forced from a Dell Inc. (DELL) plant in Nashville, Tenn., for seeking to pray in their workplace.
In a press release Tuesday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, said the workers signed retainer agreements with the council in Nashville on Saturday.
The council’s Legal Affairs Director Arsalan Iftikhar said in an interview that the group is optimistic about a settlement over the Feb. 4 incident, which involved workers of Somali origin hired through a contract with the staffing company Spherion Corp. (SFN).
“I do feel that Dell as been responsive so far,” Iftikhir said, adding that any settlement acceptable to the group would include reinstatement for the workers as well as back pay.
The council helped settle a similar dispute involving contract workers for Solectron Corp. (SLR) in 1999.
The Dell case is expected to be mediated through the City of Nashville’s Human Relations Commission.
Last week, CAIR asked that the Muslim workers who were forced from their jobs be rehired pending resolution of the issues involved. The group also offered to mediate a mutually agreeable settlement to the dispute….
Dell Corp., through a spokesman, said the company is “confident a resolution is going to be reached” between the company and the displaced Muslim contract employees in Nashville…