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Friday, August 8, 2008

Tyson Foods Adopts Muslim Holiday

A Somali worker at a Tyson plant

I'm not sure which is more disturbing -- that a major American company will be providing a paid, Muslim holiday, or the claim that 700 out of 1200 employees at a plant in Shelbyville, Tennessee may be Muslims.

By Robert Spencer

Eid mubarak, Shelbyville! Union employees at Tyson Foods’ poultry processing plant in Shelbyville, Tennessee will enjoy a paid holiday this year on October 1, the date on which the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr falls this year. And on Labor Day, they will be hard at work, per a new agreement that the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) negotiated with Tyson.

The RWDSU explained that the new contract “implements a new holiday to accommodate the...Muslim workers at the plant.”

Since this story has gained attention on Fox News and elsewhere, some observers have called for a boycott of Tyson Foods. But what’s the big deal? The popular blogger “Allahpundit” noted at Hot that “according to Tyson, fully 80 percent of the union’s 1,000 members agreed to the new holiday arrangement. If a workforce with a huge Muslim contingent wants to make a deal with management to have their biggest religious holiday off, who cares? And why are there rumblings about boycotting Tyson when it’s the union that’s driving this?…What am I missing? Is there an anti-Eid exception to freedom of contract?”

Indeed, insofar as this was an agreement freely entered into by the union, by majority vote, no one can reasonably object to it. One does not require that 100% of the plant employees be Christians in order to give Christmas as a day off, and the same principle is operative here.

However, the reason why anyone has any problem with this decision is not because Tyson is not free to negotiate an agreement with its union -- an agreement that has apparently won the approval of the majority of plant employees. The problem is that the accommodation of Islamic holidays and practices abets, however unwittingly, an avowedly supremacist agenda that is directed toward supplanting American laws and mores and imposing Islamic law here. One notable example of this was the refusal several years ago of Muslim cabbies at the Minneapolis Airport to carry passengers who had alcohol with them.

The whole controversy began after a Muslim American Society fatwa forbidding the cabbies to carry passengers with alcohol. Yet in reality, Islam forbids drinking alcohol, but Muhammad’s curse on those who transport (or sell) it has been largely ignored in the West – until now. The Muslim American Society is a Muslim Brotherhood group, suggesting that the cab crisis was a Brotherhood-led attempt to assert the primacy of Islamic law and mores over American society and laws, in accord with what one Brotherhood operative called “a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

Tyson’s new holiday schedule, seen in light of the Brotherhood agenda, strikes many Americans as yet another example of how Islamic supremacists are demanding that America adapt to Islam, rather than that Muslims adapt to and assimilate into American society. And since there is indeed such an initiative going on among many Muslims today, the Tyson decision is indeed short-sighted and ill-advised.

Islamic law covers every aspect of life. Once the principle is accepted that Islamic law must be accommodated, and American customs and laws must give way in order to accommodate it, there is always more Islamic law to accommodate. If we do not draw the line somewhere, the calls for accommodation will end only with the complete Islamization of American society.

However, Stuart Appelbaum, the national president of the RWDSU, dismissed such concerns out of hand: “There’s no question,” he asserted, “that there is a lot of bigotry against Muslims and that this agreement has clearly touched a raw nerve among those who are prejudiced against them. However, the RWDSU has always understood that unions are only strong when they work to protect the dignity of workers of all faiths. That includes Muslims. Our union may be the first to negotiate this kind of agreement, but I have no doubt that others will follow our lead.”

Appelbaum issued this statement even as it came to light that while the union had asserted that 700 of the 1200 Shelbyville plant employees were Somali Muslims, Tyson itself stated that only 250 were Somalis. If Tyson’s number is correct, the supremacist character of this holiday initiative becomes even clearer. In any case, Appelbaum is no doubt correct that other unions will follow the RWDSU’s lead; unfortunately, however, it is also virtually certain that none of them will examine the Muslim Brotherhood’s agenda before they do so. Yet it is that agenda, and that agenda only, that takes the Tyson plant’s decision out of the realm of simple cultural accommodation, and makes it a matter of concern for all free Americans.

Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of seven books, eight monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His next book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs, is coming this November from Regnery Publishing.


Ed Nicholson said...

Labor Day Reinstated as Paid Holiday at Shelbyville, TN, Plant
Tyson Foods Requested Change from Union

Springdale, Arkansas – August 8, 2008 - Tyson Foods, Inc. announced today it has reached a new agreement with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), an American union, reinstating Labor Day as one of the designated paid holidays under the contract for covered employees in the Shelbyville, Tennessee, plant.

Tyson made this request on behalf of its Shelbyville plant employees, some of whom had expressed concern about the new contract provisions relative to paid holidays. In an effort to be responsive, Tyson asked the union to reopen the contract to address the holiday issue, and the union agreed to do so. The union membership voted overwhelmingly Thursday to reinstate Labor Day as one of the plant’s paid holidays, while keeping Eid al-Fitr as an additional paid holiday for this year only. This means that in 2008 only, Shelbyville employees will have nine paid holidays.

For the remainder of the five-year contract period, the eight paid holidays will include: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and a Personal Holiday, which could either be the employee’s birthday, Eid al-Fitr or another day requested and approved by their supervisor.

This issue concerns only the plant at Shelbyville, Tennessee. Labor Day has always been celebrated, and continues to be, at the other 118 Tyson plants across the country.

The Shelbyville complex employs approximately 1,200 people. Approximately 1,000 workers are covered by the RWDSU union agreement at that location.

(the Shelbyville plant has 250 Somali employees [not 700, as was erroneously reported] hired through the Tennessee Department of Employment Security)

Anonymous said...

Tyson Plant Reinstates Labor Day
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE, The New York Times, August 9, 2008

Facing criticism for negotiating a contract that substituted a Muslim holiday for Labor Day as one of the plant’s eight paid holidays, Tyson Foods and the union at its poultry plant in Shelbyville, Tenn., said Friday that they had agreed to reinstate Labor Day as a paid holiday.

In a contract reached in November, the union, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, persuaded Tyson Foods to agree to let the Muslim holiday, Id al-Fitr, replace Labor Day as a paid holiday because many Somali workers at the plant wanted that day off. Of the plant’s 1,000 unionized workers, at least 250 are Somali.

After a Shelbyville newspaper wrote about that contract provision last week, many anti-immigrant groups and conservative bloggers called for a boycott of Tyson, saying the contract betrayed an important American holiday and was an improper concession to Islam.

In a news release on Friday, Tyson said it had asked the union to revise the plant’s contract and restore Labor Day as a paid holiday because some Shelbyville employees had expressed concern about the contract’s provisions.

The revised contract again makes Labor Day a paid holiday but also keeps Id al-Fitr (pronounced eed-al-FIT-tr) — which marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting — as a paid holiday for those who want it. The Muslim holiday will replace a paid personal day. Under the revised agreement, employees who do not want Id al-Fitr off can continue to take a paid personal day of their choice.

“The union is pleased that the will of the workers in Shelbyville to observe and celebrate Id al-Fitr will be guaranteed as a paid holiday,” said Stuart Appelbaum, the union’s president.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe anyone would argue against Muslims getting to enjoy a paid holiday. There are over 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, and over 2 billion Christians. These are the two top religious institutions in the world. Major Muslim holidays are important for many people. Mean while, you are crying about 20% of a company losing national day-off-day.
There is a strong statement in this article, claiming that Muslims are trying to take over our culture (whatever that is). Even if this is true, get over it. All religious people think their god wants them to spread the word.
On the other hand, the Christian "shelters" through-out Africa who force people to "accept Christ" before they offer help are better examples of this behavior. Alternatively, maybe we can examine our white house where there has never been anything but a Christian leader. The last claimed to talk to god, who told him to go to war by the way.
Maybe the way we swear on the bible to take an oath in court, or how in god we trust is on our money should show us how a country where church and state are supposedly separate, is dominated by one god. Try getting rid of these standard religious symbols and activities. Try taking god out of the national anthem.
There is discussion of religious radicalism related to Muslims. All religions have there radicals who want to preach the word and purify the world. Look at back woods Christian rednecks. All of the most ignorant people from any religious organization penetrate deep into ever society. I would like to point out that it is people who corrupt the religion, not the other way around.
The last offense this article commits is attempting to disallow a religious group to practice with equal freedom (this includes paid holidays), taking away the multi-cultural/ religious tolerance practiced within the country. This reduces our melting pot ideology to empty words used as an advertisement to mislead the people of the world, who began mass pilgrimages to the US to escape the fearful and hateful agendas that you yourself represent today.

I am personally not religious, though I would describe myself as spiritual. I think god is a great idea. Not the murdering, vengeful, super ignorant god portrayed by most religions, but a god with Christ or Buddha like behavior. Not one that could be tricked as easily, or become as ill tempered as the Judeo-Christian god.

As for you:
You have never read the Muslim texts. You do not know anything past what your equally misinformed peers and political personalities decide to feed you. Please stop insulting people in the name of America. America is not Christian, you are and that is great.

P.S. Jesus is the most quoted profit in the Qur'an.

Anonymous said...

These comments are all moslem hogwash. The fact remains that they have long been a supplier of islamic halal chicken in the USA. They started under Sec'y Clinton's State Dept. They destroyed the small Tennessee town of Shelbyville by importing over 700 Somali moslem "rapefugees" and their families to work in their plant there. They are dirty with the Obama Regime' globalist money. Twice I contacted Tyson Corp and asked if they produced halal certified chicken in the usa. The corporate PR person said that they did not. When I got conclusive evidence that two islamic halal authorities certified their chicken, from this plant only, as halal, Tyson stated that it was for foreign markets only. When I came by an early Clinton State Dept. presentation commending Tyson Chicken for producing halal chicken for moslems in the USA, I called to have them confirm their 2nd lie.