MN: Somali Workers Return to Phone Firm



About 100 Somali workers are back on the job at the Teleplan Wireless Co.
in Chanhassen, after walking out last week complaining of hiring
discrimination and poor religious accommodations.

The two sides reached an agreement over the weekend, and the employees
returned to work on Monday, they reported. About 200 Somalis had initially
walked off their jobs at Teleplan, a company that assembles and refurbishes
cell phones.

Neither side would reveal the terms of the settlement, but it appears there
is no final resolution yet.

The Somali workers complained the company discriminated against them by
hiring several white people instead of converting some longtime Somali
employees to permanent status. The workers, largely Muslim, also complained
the company's workplace security policies kept them from being able to pray
during their breaks.

"Everybody came back under the same policies, procedures and conditions
they left under," Teleplan human resources director Shirley Curran said.
"We just agreed to look at their concerns, including conversion from
temporary to permanent employees."

Curran said the company agreed to report back to the employees within 60
days..

 


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