Skip to main content

Prayer dispute leads to nearly 200 jobs lost at Cargill plant

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Nearly 200 workers at a Colorado Cargill plant are out of a job after a dispute over prayer time.

The Fort Morgan Times reports the workers at the meat processing plant, many of whom are Somali, claim management stopped letting them take five-minute prayer breaks (which their religion requires) this past month.

On Tuesday, after a walkout by more than 100 employees last week, about 190 workers were fired, 9 News reports. The company says its policy is, three straight days off work without calling in puts your job at risk – and that's what led to the terminations.

Jaylani Hussein, who heads the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told KSTP for some reason things seemed to change on Dec. 18, and workers were told to "go home if they wanted to pray."

Cargill, which is headquartered in Wayzata, Minnesota, argues the situation has been "mischaracterized" – the company says it makes a reasonable effort to accommodate religious practices, though it isn't guaranteed every day depending on business, the Denver Post reports.

They've offered a "reflection room" at the plant since 2009, the Denver Post had earlier reported, where workers could wash and pray.

CAIR said in a news release on Wednesday it will "review all legal options to protect the workers' rights."

In 2013, Al-Jazeera America ran a photo gallery about the sudden influx of Somalis in Fort Morgan, many drawn there by work at the Cargill plant. The plant employs about 2,100, and one-third or so are Somali, the news organization reported.

Next Up

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Here’s what the Vikings owners say about new GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

The Vikings announced his hiring on Wednesday night.

raiaing canes brooklyn park crop

After 3-month delay, newest Twin Cities Raising Cane's opens

The restaurant was originally scheduled to open in October.

st anthony armed robbery screengrab

Armed man robs Twin Cities thrift store, flees in carjacked pickup

He pulled out a handgun shortly after chatting with the cashier about his scarf.

red wing 6

Gallery: Pagoda-inspired home on Lake Pepin for sale for $2M

The home has 425 feet of private shoreline on the Mississippi River.

Walz, Flanagan

Walz proposes legalizing marijuana in massive supplemental budget

It's among the provisions in his "Budget to Move Minnesota Forward."

Plow 2 (1)

Photos reveal damage from gunshots to Minneapolis snowplow

A hydraulic line and three tires were damaged in the shooting.

unsplash - school classroom students

Minneapolis schools confirm return to in-person teaching Monday

The school district shifted to online learning almost two weeks ago as rising COVID cases led to staff and bus driver shortages.

Flickr - Superior National Forest Boundary Waters

Mineral leases for proposed Twin Metals mine near Boundary Waters canceled

A review by the DOI found "significant legal deficiencies" with the leases' 2019 renewal.

cats

Reward to find person who left kittens to die in freezing WI cold

The cats were thrown from a vehicle, according to a witness.

metro mobility bus

Charges: Man led police on multi-city pursuit in stolen Metro Mobility bus

The bus had been left unattended with the keys inside when it was stolen.

Bell Ramsey Co. Jan 22 - crop

Charges: Man fatally shot mother of his child during argument

Officers found her on the ground outside the couple's home.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, January 26

More than 15,000 new cases in today's update.

Related

Cargill to invest nearly $400 million in Africa

Bloomberg News is reporting Cargill Inc. plans to develop industrial palm-oil plantations and processing facilities in Ivory Coast within five years. The Minnetonka-based agribusiness giant may invest $380 million in the project. Cargill is one of the biggest cocoa exporters in the West African nation, the world’s top grower of the crop.

Cargill to open $250 million chicken broiler in China

Wayzata-based Cargill Inc. says the company plans to operate one the largest poultry broiler production facilities in China next year. The facility currently under construction will raise 65 million birds a year. Cargill invested $250 million into the plant. China's poultry industry is rapidly expanding with annual growth at 5 to 6 percent.