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Tyson Foods: Muslim Holiday In Shelbyville, Labor Day Recognized

Armen Hareyan's picture

After the controversy around the Tyson Foods and Muslim religious holiday observation the company said Labor Day still is recognized at Tyson Foods; Union Contract Provision is only at Shelbyville, TN Plant. One can wonder, is Tyson Foods setting a new treat in religious holiday observation in USA?

Springdale, Arkansas – August 4, 2008 – Contrary to recent reports, Labor Day is still a holiday at Tyson Foods. This issue concerns only the plant at Shelbyville, TN. The majority of employees at the Tyson plant in Shelbyville, TN, are represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Stores Union (RWDSU), an American union that asked for and received Eid al-Fitr, as one of their eight paid holidays, in place of Labor Day. This applies only to the Shelbyville plant and resulted as part of the union contract negotiated last fall. This change does not apply to Tyson Foods' other 118 plants. This is not a religious accommodation, rather, it is part of a union-initiated contract demand.

This change came about as a result of union demands brought to the negotiating table, and was agreed upon by Tyson in an effort to reach a contractual agreement with the union. The contract that calls for this change was unanimously recommended by the 12-person union bargaining committee, which included three Somali employees. The contract was then overwhelmingly agreed to by 80 percent of the rank and file membership of the union at the Shelbyville plant.

The Muslim population at the Shelbyville plant is primarily composed of approximately 250 Somali employees, who are political refugees, most of whom came to the plant as a result of refugee resettlement efforts based in Nashville. They were employed at the plant through the Tennessee Department of Employment Security office.

The Shelbyville complex employs approximately 1,200 people. Approximately 1,000 workers are covered by the union agreement at Shelbyville.

Contact: Libby Lawson, Tyson Foods, Inc.
(479) 290-3486


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Yet another example of Muslims refusing to assimilate. We need to get our heads out of the sand. God Bless & Protect America

Submitted by Tom SKI (not verified) on
Tyson and the Union had to both agree on this. I will not spend any of my $s on tyson food products and anything made by the AFL-CIO. I will not miss Tyson or the AFL-CIO . . .I wonder if they will miss the $s in their pockets ? Tom SKI

Submitted by frenchliberty (not verified) on
You can count me out of ever buying any TYSON product anymore : the chicken can go sours, and the pork can be given to all their Somalian Muslim employees to celebrate the end of the Holiday !! I am absolutely discusted by TYSON decision !

Submitted by Joe Tumminia (not verified) on
I will not buy anything with your name on it. Thank You God Bless America In God we Trust

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
You over anxious zealots are reading this wrong... " is part of a union-initiated contract demand" One thinks, knowing Unions and all, that there's more politics in this than religion...

Submitted by Melody51 (not verified) on
Looks like Tyson refused to stand up to the union and just bent over. I will no longer buy Tyson products. Further, since Tyson is the largest supplier of chicken nuggets to McDonald's, I won't be visiting there either. What happens when the union wants to trade off July 4th, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving or Christmas?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Workers at the plant who don't celebrate Eid al-Fitr can chose to take another day off instead of that, so it's not forcing anyone to celebrate a religion they don't want to. Christmas, on the other hand, does. As a Jew, I do not celebrate Christmas, nor do I care about having the day off. It is forcing all workers to observe a holiday even when they do not celebrate it. All people and all workers should have the freedom to practice whatever religion they wish and should be free from harassment. That is what this country was founded on,and it should still be respected.

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