Just imagine this: “JBS has created two chapels for Christian workers inside the plant “” one for Roman Catholics and one for Protestants. Also, the company has installed holy water fonts for Roman Catholics that allow workers to anoint themselves with holy water, which is custom on entering the chapel.”
Imagine what the outcry would be.
But this — this is fine!
Just a day before the beginning of Ramadan, the holy month of fast and prayer for Muslims, talks between meatplant workers, union representatives and company officials continued in earnest.
The objective: Avoid a repeat of the showdown at sundown that flared at JBS USA meatpacking plants in Greeley and Grand Island, Neb., last September.
During Ramadan, Muslims don’t eat or drink during daylight hours. They break their daily fast after sunset prayers.
Miscommunication about how to handle the religious practices resulted in more than 100 Muslim workers “” mostly Somalis, but also other East African refugees who’ve moved to Greeley in recent years “” being fired last September for walking off production lines.
Graen Isse, a Somali who helps operate the East Africa Community Center in Greeley, said he thinks conflicts will be avoided this year.
“We have good communication with the company,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to happen. Before, there was no communication at all. The key is communication.”
Unlike last year at this time, JBS has created two prayer rooms for Muslim workers inside the plant “” one for men and one for women. Also, the company has installed stations in restrooms that allow workers to thoroughly wash, which is custom before prayers.
Still, some Muslims on the B shift, which runs from late afternoon to late evening and runs into prayers at sundown, have requested a monthlong switch to the daytime A shift to avoid conflicts, Isse said.
“I don’t think they’re going to move 400 workers to A shift,” Isse said of JBS. “It’s hard for them to do.”…
Yes, but now that Swift is in “How high?” mode, so now is the time to press for that.