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Muslim Holiday at Tyson Plant Creates Furor
by Steven Greenhouse
The union that represents workers at a Tyson Foods poultry plant in Tennessee has negotiated a contract that substitutes a Muslim holiday for Labor Day as one of the eight paid holidays at the plant.
The provision, which was proposed by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, has delighted the plant's Somali workers, who account for hundreds of its 1,200 employees. But it has infuriated many outsiders, leading some to denounce Tyson and the union alike.
"You are a union that is proud of achieving a Muslim holiday and prayer room?" one person wrote the union. "A union in the U.S.A., a country based on Christianity. You call yourselves Americans? Have you forgotten 9/11?"
Another wrote: "You had no right to drop Labor Day. Muslim employees must integrate Labor Day into THEIR lives if they are going to live in America."
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