Tyson Foods adds Muslim Holiday

Good thing they have a union at Tyson Foods. The mega-corporation that supplies chicken nuggets to the world has been hiring a large number of recent immigrants, many from Somalia. Most of those immigrants are Muslim. A major Muslim holiday is Eid al-Fitr, a family and religious celebration at the end of Ramadan. Tyson decided to make that day a paid holiday.

Fine. Corporations would usually rather spend huge bucks on human resources consultants than grant their employees a concession that would make them happy and boost morale. What boosts morale more than a day off?

I know that if any of my employers decided to give me Tet or Ephipany off, I’d say ‘God Bless America’ and sleep late. Monday is VJ day, after all, in Rhode Island only.

The problem is that Tyson was too stingy to add a holiday, so they took out Labor Day. I’m sure there was no disrespect intended to the union. Just one of those things.

Naturally it turned out to be gasoline to the right-wing blogosphere. It must have caused some dissonance for some of them when they had to defend Labor. Way to go, Tyson, this will really improve employee cooperation and good relations in the workplace. Take away a traditional American paid holiday in honor of Labor and add a religious holiday that is observed by the newest immigrant employees.

But Labor won this round–

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn., Aug 08, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ — The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) and Tyson Foods have reached an agreement to increase the number of paid days off for workers in the current calendar year to include Labor Day and the Muslim observance Eid al-Fitr as paid holidays for workers in the Shelbyville poultry processing plant.. a worker who does not observe Eid al-Fitr will have the option of selecting another day as a paid Personal Day at their discretion.

“The union is pleased that the will of the workers in Shelbyville to observe and celebrate Eid al-Fitr will be guaranteed as a paid holiday,” said Stuart Appelbaum, national president of the RWDSU. “The RWDSU believes that this is an important sign of respect of deeply held religious beliefs. This Labor Day, the workers at Shelbyville have more reason that ever to be proud of being part of a union.”

They did good. It’s not only Muslims who have minority religious holidays. Many Christians do too. And as a Unitarian I might want to celebrate Ralph Waldo Emerson’s birthday, so I can sympathize.

I’m glad the conflict was defused, and if anyone at Tyson was trying to divide and conquer then they surely overplayed their hand.

8 thoughts on “Tyson Foods adds Muslim Holiday

  1. I am very unhappy about the Muslim Holiday you have allowed. That is exactly how the Muslism will take over the United States just as they have taken over the UK. I will not buy Tyson products. I have several Tyson Chicken products in my freezer that I will put in the trash even though food prices are high.


  2. Tyson Foods-nice to see they’re hiring legal immigrants for a change.They were prosecuted and paid the largest fine in history for knowingly hiring illegal aliens.They also were major Clinton supporters.Just some factoids here.Muslim governments are not known for respecting other religions.Ask any Iranian of the Bahai or Zoroastrian faiths.They came here in large numbers as legitimate refugees in fear of their lives solely because they were in the wrong religions.Even Jews didn’t experience anything like the deadly oppression these folks did in Iran.

  3. My above comment referred to Jews in Iran and not Germany in WW2.The ayatollahs “tolerate” Jews and Christians as “people of the Book”,but barely.Don’t be gay there either.

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  5. No-it doesn’t-I have no problem with respecting anyone’s faith as long as they don’t try to (a)give me a sales pitch about it(b)tell me what I believe is invalid.
    I don’t discuss my beliefs because I am sure they are of interest to no one but me.
    It just isn’t my thing to go for a brand name when it comes to spiritual matters.

  6. I’ve had so many good christians tell me that I’m going to hell that I finally decided to do just what I please. Might as well hang for a sheep as for a lamb. Unfortunately I’m a dull person and a quiet law-abiding life suits me. If you go around mistreating people you are likely to get your retribution in this life and I don’t want that kind of trouble.

  7. Nancy-I don’t know what you mean by “dull”-you post interesting articles here-the one on radiation poisoning you ought to rewrite and send it into the paper-heaven knows they are not overburdened with good writing recently.If by “dull” you mean not always trying to test limits,well,that is not necessarily a bad thing.i waish the last line you wrote was true.It doesn’t seem to work out that way a lot of times.

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