Thursday, September 18, 2008

JBS Swift: Muslim pig in a poke watch.

Meanwhile, back at the JBS Swift plant in Grand Island, NE. (all related posts here.)

400 workers walkout in protest of new work rules.
Some additional deets:

About 400 workers at a Grand Island meatpacking plant have walked off the job in a counterprotest after management altered the workweek to accommodate Muslim workers in a prayer dispute.

White, Hispanic, Vietnamese and African-American workers walked out after clocking in for the second shift Wednesday afternoon. They objected to a temporary break schedule that leaves that shift short hours Monday through Friday. It also forces them to work Saturday to earn at least 40 hours of pay.

(A tip of the meat cleaver to NEWEST posse member and veritable fount of info regarding the refugee time bomb going off in our midst, Refugee Resettlement Watch.)

Man. I would have loved to have been here to see this action going down.
Note: The Sudanese are Christians and have not joined the Muslim Somalis protest.

Odd. The American workers don't like working shorter hours and getting paid less. Or even working on Saturday, their day off, to accommodate the "Muslim Pray, Divide and Conquer Group." What's wrong with them??? Why aren't they honoring their Muslim overlords??? I hope you know me well enough by now to know there's a /sarc tag coming here.

Instead of Norma Ray, we have 'Norman Reyes'.

Plant management speaks to the crowd - but the crowd wasn't having any of it.
And I don't blame them - read on pilgrims.

WTF? Management has to issue AN apology to the workers and the Muslims were given a raise???? Employees who failed to report to work will just get a letter in their file and not FIRED??? Allegations of physical abuse to be further investigated??? I don't blame the other employees for staging a walkout of their own.

Counterprotesters raised objections Wednesday to a pay raise they say the Somalians were given and were bragging about Tuesday and Wednesday.

But "everybody is losing money" when the plant isn't operating, said Swift Human Resources spokeswoman Mary Chmelka. She exited on the plant's north side, stood on the metal staircase and addressed a crowd of about 400 fabrication and trim line workers an hour after they walked off their lines. "Go back to work … get a representative of your culture to come to a meeting at 2 p.m. (Thursday)," she said as the crowd booed. About a half hour later, Plant Manager Dennis Sydow, Operations Manager Mike Helzer and a plant owner from corporate headquarters in Greeley, Colo., stepped out to address the crowd. More booing was heard and no workers made an effort to return to the line.

Reports were that more protesting was occurring inside on the kill and slaughter lines, but calls to the corporate office were not returned.

The counterprotesters finally broke up and marched from the Swift parking lot to Grand Island City Hall at about 6 p.m. The Muslim protesters had also staged a demonstration at Grand Island City Hall both Monday and Tuesday.


Swift supervisors were to apologize to Muslim workers who were accused of taking too long on those breaks, which some had used for prayer, Hoppes said. An accounting of the break time taken was conducted and Hoppes said the company and union found no violations. Hoppes said Muslim workers who did not show up for work, walked out of work, or did not notify supervisors of not coming to work will have a disciplinary letter placed in their personnel file. "They will not be fired, but if it happens again they could be terminated," Hoppes said Wednesday.

The disciplinary letter was viewed by those protesting Wednesday as too light of a punishment.

Hoppes said the union is continuing to investigate allegations that some praying workers were kicked by a supervisor and that a male supervisor followed a female worker into a bathroom as she attempted to pray. He said witnesses to those events have not surfaced and Swift is denying either incident happened.

Ramirez said Wednesday that the Somalians come late, leave early and take frequent breaks and "drop all the time" in prayer right in front of people, so people are literally tripping over their bodies. "They don't do the work and we have to work double," she said. "It's not fair."

Hoppes had heard the rumors of a counterprotest early Wednesday, but hoped it wouldn't happen. "I don't think there will be any problems, but there's always some people who aren't completely satisfied … and there may be a glitch or two," Hoppes said. "Really, the only change is the supper break going from 8 p.m. to 7:45 p.m." B shift workers said the plant has been hampered by the protests this week. Normally, about 400 head of cattle are processed every hour, but that was down to about 220 to 260 an hour this week.

"Everyone has rights. Be equal. Be fair," a protester sign stated in the Swift parking lot Wednesday night.

"We all have religion," Ramirez said.

Yes, but it's not the SPECIAL one...ISLAM.