NE: Somali Workers Quit Over Prayer Dispute


NE: SOMALI WORKERS IN GRAND ISLAND QUIT OVER PRAYER DISPUTE

Nearly 100 Somali immigrants have quit their jobs at a meatpacking plant here because their prayer times weren't accommodated.

"They kind of issued the company an ultimatum," said Dan Hoppes, president of Local 22 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

"They went in before the shift started (Monday) and said that they'd go unless they could pray when they needed to," Hoppes said Tuesday.

It was his understanding the workers - nearly half the Somali contingent at the packing plant - had been offered jobs at a Kansas plant that would give them time off for prayer and make other accommodations for their Muslim religion. He didn't know the name of the company.

Hoppes said the union contract contained no provisions for prayer, which for many Muslims is a minimum of five times a day.

 


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