Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Packing Plant Protest

Packing Plant Protest, originally uploaded by echobase_2000.

There are weeks when a proposed $70 million dollar plant coming to town, creating 300 jobs will lead the news.

Other weeks, a story about 600 goats mowing down weeds alongside the interstate might be as good as it gets.

And then there was last week.

An estimated 500 Muslim employees of JBS Swift & Co., a beef packing plant, walked off the line, asking to pray during the Muslim observance of Ramadan.

After two days of protests, the union and plant agreed to move the evening meal break closer to sundown.

That brought on two days of counter protests from White, Hispanic, and Sudanese employees, mostly Christian.

There was plenty of shouting, strange for a situation about prayer. But it's not all about prayer; to the employees at the plant it's about what they see as special treatment.

By Friday the police stepped up their presence, with dozens of cops posted around the plant.

Now Somali leaders threaten to sue.

Instead of arguing about prayer, I think people need to go to prayer. Certainly sounds better than shouting.

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