Supper time again


Ah.  The Grand Island Gossip had a little more information this morning. 

  1. A male supervisor followed a woman into the bathroom
  2. The packing plant denies all of the charges of abuse
  3. The plant runs 24 hours a day, I think. They have light shifts on Saturday and are pretty much closed Sunday.
  4. They process 400 critters an hour, except when large numbers of their workforce are on strike, then it is down to 240 or so.  Sheesh, no wonder we get contamination in our meat! (we get ours from a local locker plant)
  5. They employ 2500 people there, 500 + are Muslim (a minority, but a large one)
  6. The change of supper time means somehow that second shift workers are only able to work 36 hour weeks, not full time.  Employees would be allowed to make it up on Saturdays if they wanted to.  How shifting a meal break would remove four hours from a work week really makes no sense to me, so maybe it is a cost saving technique the plant has implemented in a passive aggressive attempt to pit their workforce against each other and cut costs at the same time
  7. They are also breaking up two 15 minute breaks into 5 minute increments for other prayers
  8. When someone takes a break, everyone has to, because the line can’t keep going
  9. The non-Muslims went on strike yesterday after hearing the new terms
  10. I don’t think it is legal to smoke in Nebraska anymore, so smoke breaks are not an issue

So, I still think they ought to be able to fix things somehow, with some common sense.  For example the Muslims could agree that the sundown prayer is the most important and find a way to skip the daytime prayers so they don’t have to split up the breaks.  It is certainly not fair to make people work part time for one month because of someone else’s religion, but they ought to have enough respect to go along with changing the supper break for a month.

You know, come to think of it, I am not aware of a Muslim house of worship.  I know where to find the Jewish Temple, the LDS and the Salvation Army, but not the Muslims.  If we have 500 at one employer, they must gather somewhere to worship. 

It was hilarious to read someone’s letter to the editor extolling the virtues of the Hispanic immigrants in comparison to the African ones.  He pointed out that they adapted to being Americans much better.  I bet that person got upset just last week when he saw the local Spanish newspaper, the bilingual clerk at the grocery store speaking Spanish to the person in front of him, and signs in the windows of the tiendas on fourth street.

Hypocrisy at its finest.

When is supper?


Our community is full of refugees. Many of them work at a meat packing plant. Earlier this week 500 of them walked off the job because they are Muslim and want to pray at sundown through the month of Ramadan. Someone got kicked while trying to pray and someone’s supervisor followed her into the bathroom to prevent her from praying. The packing plant ultimately decided to modify the supper break to coincide with sundown to accommodate Muslims, for this month only. Now the other workers are up in arms at this concession. What do you think? People are saying things like, “You should go back to your own country where you will have plenty of time to pray while your children starve!”

I can’t help but think that if the story were about Christians trying that hard to pray that the community would be proud of their behavior. I can’t think of the last time I heard a story about American Christians trying that hard to pray.  What does freedom of religion mean in America?