DENVER – A union official on Friday filed grievances on behalf of Muslim workers who were fired from a meatpacking plant after a dispute about prayer breaks.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 filed the grievances against JBS Swift & Co., after more than 100 workers were fired Wednesday from the company’s Greeley, Colo. plant, spokesman Manny Gonzales reportedly said. He said the grievances were for discrimination and wrongful termination.

Plant workers had said they were refused a request to time their breaks at sunset so they could pray and end their fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

Swift spokeswoman Tamara Smid said she hadn't seen any grievances but that the company would not "comment publicly on these types of issues," according to media reports.

The company said the workers were fired because they walked away from work Sept. 5 before their shifts ended.

Muslim workers at a Swift plant in Grand Island, Neb., reportedly quit last year, citing the same concerns. They eventually returned to work.


Source: Associated Press