Tyson Foods Substituted Labor Day with a Moslem holiday –Truth! But Decision was Reversed!
Summary of eRumor:
The eRumor claims that Tyson foods agreed to substitute Labor Day with a Muslim holiday at its plant in Shelbyville, Tennessee because of a request from a union whose membership includes several hundred immigrants from Somalia, who are largely Muslim.
This story was true but the company changed the policy to now include both Labor Day and Eid al-Fitr.
It all started when union workers and officials of Tyson foods agreed to swap labor day as a holiday with the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. This is the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.
After measuring the reaction to the decision, however, the union workers and Tyson Foods reinstated Labor Day as a paid holiday but also kept Eid al-Fitr as a holiday as well in 2008. Then for the remainder of the contract workers can choose Labor Day and another personal day for a holiday, which Muslim workers can use for their holiday if desired.
Tyson Foods in Tennessee: Replacing Labor Day with Eid al-Fitr
Workers at Tyson Foods’ poultry processing plant in Shelbyville will no longer have a paid day off on Labor Day, but will instead take the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr in the fall.
A recent press release from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) stated that a new contract at the Shelbyville facility “implements a new holiday to accommodate the … Muslim workers at the plant.”
The RWDSU stated that “the five-year contract creates an additional paid holiday, Iidal Fitil, a Muslim holiday that occurs toward the end of Ramadan.”
Eid al-Fitr falls on Oct. 1 this year.
…The press release stated there are approximatly 700 Muslims working at Tyson, but Mickelson said that Somalis only represent approximately 250 of the 1,200 employed at the plant, a little over 20 percent of the workforce.
“All Team Members who have completed their probationary period are eligible for all eight paid holidays including Eid al-Fitr,” the Tyson spokeman said.
The union also claimed that in addition to the observance of the Muslim holiday, “two prayer rooms have been created to allow Muslim workers to pray twice a day and return to work without leaving the plant.”