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Muslim group tries mediation in lunch break spat
by Ivan Moreno
A Muslim advocacy group is trying to mediate a solution to a weeklong confrontation between Somali workers and a meatpacking plant over when they can break for prayer, a spokesman for the group said Thursday.
Religious tension between U.S. factories and Muslim workers is nothing new, but a spokesman for the D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations said he's never seen a conflict escalate to the point it has at the JBS Swift & Co. meatpacking plant in Greeley, where several dozen workers were fired Wednesday.
"Usually in these cases we're able to come to an amicable solution," said Ibrahim Hooper, a CAIR spokesman.
Swift announced the terminations in an e-mail Wednesday. Swift spokeswoman Tamara Smid said 101 workers were fired, but United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 spokesman Manny Gonzales said the number was as high as 150, based on what workers told union officials.
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