WOO HOO! Somali Muslims lose religious discrimination lawsuit against JBS Swift Meat Packing plant in Omaha

c16223087090033df58f64d59b963d-viIn a case that alleged mistreatment of Somali Muslim workers, a federal judge in Omaha ruled last week in favor of the JBS Swift meatpacking plant in Grand Island and against the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp found no evidence of a discriminatory motive. This sets a very good precedent for several other similar lawsuits waged against other companies in the U.S. by Somali Muslims, represented by CAIR.


The Independent  (h/t Henry P) The suit was filed by the EEOC on behalf of close to 80 JBS employees who were fired on Sept. 19, 2008. They alleged religious discrimination in the suit, which was filed in 2010. The dispute began with requests by Somali Muslim employees for religious accommodation involving breaks for prayers.

Dissatisfied with the progress of those talks, a group of Somali Muslim employees refused to work on Sept. 16, 2008.  On Sept. 18, 2008, JBS management told employees that the next group of employees that refused to work would be terminated.

Later that night, JBS terminated about 80 Somali Muslim employees who refused to go back to work. That group included four of the individuals who brought the suit — Shamsho Abshir, Tufah Hassan, Abdiaziz Jama and Shukri Wais. Some of the employees were allowed to return to work when it was found they had not actually walked out the previous night.


The events that triggered the suit occurred during Ramadan in 2008. On Sept. 12, 2008, JBS management and representatives of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local No. 22 met with representatives of JBS’ Somali Muslim employees. Those representatives said Muslim employees desired a mass break at sunset in order to perform their maghrib prayer.

Several accommodations were discussed, including changing meal times to coincide with prayer times. Ultimately, JBS representative Dennis Sydow told Muslim representatives that JBS could not meet their requests because he believed the requests violated the meal-time requirements of the employees’ collective bargaining agreement.


After meeting further on Sept. 15, 2008, JBS executives told the Muslim employees that they could not meet their requests, citing productivity and safety concerns in allowing a large number of employees to leave the line at the same time. They also cited the requirements of the collective bargaining agreement.


That day, a large group of Somali Muslim employees gathered outside the JBS facility to protest the company’s refusal to accommodate their prayer requests. They refused to report for work that day and Sept. 16.

On the afternoon of Sept. 16, JBS management, union officials and Somali Muslim representatives met to discuss prayer accommodations. An agreement was reached that for the remainder of Ramadan, the B-shift meal break would be a mass break at 7:45 p.m. The shift would be shortened by 15 minutes to seven and three-quarter hours. As part of the agreement, the employees who failed to report for work on Sept. 15 and 16 would have a letter placed in their files.


JBS sent a notice to union representatives stating that further work stoppages could result in termination. The lawsuit’s claimants denied that they ever received notice from union officials.

On Sept. 17, a large group of employees, many of them Hispanic, walked off the job and refused to return to the production floor. B-shift operations were canceled that night due to a lack of employees.

The next day, several hundred Hispanic workers on the A shift walked off the job or refused to begin work to protest the company’s decision to provide religious accommodation to the Somalia Muslim employees. In order to get the plant operating and avoid a shutdown, JBS management decided not to implement the agreement for the 7:45 mass break and returned the meal break to its original time.


The company then told employees, through their union leadership, that the next group of employees that refused to work would be terminated.

That night, a group of Somali Muslim employees began to engage in a loud demonstration in the cafeteria to protest JBS’ decision to rescind the break-time agreement. Police were called when approximately 70 to 80 Somali Muslim employees remained in the cafeteria at the end of the meal break.

The employees who did not return to work that night were fired.



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  1. At it’s heart, this is still the same old private property issue being played out over and over. As a private business person, I hire whomever the hell I want to, and there is not a damned thing anyone can say about it.

  2. “Our rights! Our rights!” Those stupid Somalis have the right to go back to their Shariah countries & pray all they want.
    Btw, they don’t HAVE to do their 5 prayers on the dot. They can make them up later. Glad the Mexicans refused to cover for their entitled asses.

  3. Why don’t they hire AMERICANS? I’m sure there a lot of AMERICAN people that would love to have that job. Don’t hire muslims because they will cause trouble everywhere they go with their stupid bigoted religion.

  4. What I find interesting is that the Latinos got in on the act – that tells me that the union was critical to the protest. If the packing company is smart, they’ll fire all the union members, and only rehire after they force out current union bosses.

    • If I remember right, the mexicans left
      their jobs not because of preferential
      religious treatment for the islums, but
      because it left their shifts severely
      undermanned, and that they would
      have to do the islums work as well as
      their own, while getting paid the same.
      The wrong decision in the islums favor,
      would not bode well for the mexicans
      going forward. Therefore this had to
      nipped in the bud now. I can see it,
      plus they hate the islums like all of us.
      The so called translator rambled on
      and on and seemed to make it up as
      he went.The company pushed lots of
      paperwork at them and said “sign,sign,
      sign”,he says, and they didn’t know
      what they were signing. Ok whatever.
      Have you ever seen a more uglier horde?

    • They have been doing it for at least a decade.. Cargill/Tyson is one if the biggest employees.. Research it if you don’t believe me.. I used to run refer coast to coast, a lit of it was from these outfits..

  5. The rule of law won this time. Hygiene should be the number one concern in such a facility, not giving breaks to the arse sniffers.

  6. The owners of JBS Swift Meats had better be extra vigilant now.
    The muzlums will not let it go at that.
    I wouldn’t but it past them to try to destroy the plant, so no one can work there.

  7. Muslims should not be employed in any civilised, Western company. The West has progressed and succeeded as we can function without the constant references/worship/arse lifting to dead gods. About time we stopped patronising their stupid 7th century fantasies – if they can’t handle the real world, they need to return to their backward countries.

  8. Never hire a mudslime.
    If, prior to becoming enlightened, you made the terrible error of hiring a mudslime, never grant any work schedule or dress code accommodations.
    Never accept employment from a mudslime.
    Never sell anything, including real estate, to a mudslime.
    Never buy anything, including real estate, from a mudslime.
    Never rent or lease anything, including real estate, either to or from a mudslime.
    Never eat anything prepared or handled by a mudslime.
    .Refuse to deal with a mudslime in any way, commercially or socially, unless prepared to immediately defend self with deadly force.
    Consider every mudslime you encounter to be at least as dangerous as a rabid dog.