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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Cross That Brand Off Of My Grocery List

It's not like I bought many Tyson products, anyway. I usually stick to generic brands. But, due to this, they're off the grocery list for good.
Food workers at the Shelbyville, Tenn., plant for Tyson Foods, which boasts on its corporate website that it strives "to honor God," will have time off for Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday closing the month of Ramadan, instead of the American tradition Labor Day.

Officials with the company told WND the labor union representing the 1,200 plant workers, including about 700 immigrants from Somalia who largely are Muslim, sought the holiday change in the new five-year contract, and the company agreed.

..."Union leadership did request and receive Eid al-Fitr (which is apparently spelled various ways including Id al-Fitr and Eid ul-Fitr) as a paid holiday in place of Labor Day," Mickelson told the newspaper.

"Since all Team Members will still have eight paid holidays, the change will not affect production," Mickelson said.

... Mickelson said other holidays for the company workers include birthday, New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Union spokesman Randy Hadley told the newspaper, "The negotiating committee felt this was extremely crucial, since this holiday is as important to Muslims as Christmas is to Christians."

The union also reported "two prayer rooms have been created to allow Muslim workers to pray twice a day and return to work without leaving the plant."

Ironically, the company on its website also promotes a variety of traditional and customary Christian and secular blessings for food – its primary product.
author's note: I had originally written a long rant, but... they're a business, and they can do whatever they want. Over half of their employees are Muslim. If they didn't close that day, they'd probably have a whole lot of people calling in "sick." It's just the way it goes.

Here's the end of the rant I wrote, though. I still stand by it.
I've heard from a few bloggers that they're going to boycott Tyson. (That's just one example.) I have no problem joining that group. Tyson made a business decision. I'm making my own.

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