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Tyson Foods Drops Labor Day for Muslim Holiday?

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Viral texts claim that a Tyson poultry processing plant in Tennessee dropped Labor Day in favor of a paid day off on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

Description: Viral texts / Forwarded emails
Circulating since: Aug. 2008
Status: Outdated (see below)

2011 example:
Email text contributed by Lowell, June 30, 2011:

Fw: American Food Company eliminates Labor Day Holiday

Tyson Foods eliminates Labor Day in favor of Muslim Holiday!

I think that you will find this very interesting. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you take over America ? One American at a time. Tyson chicken anyone?? None for me thanks!!!! We all need to heed this message!!!!!

TYSON FOODS ELIMINATES LABOR DAY IN FAVOR OF MUSLIM HOLIDAY

Tyson Food in Shelbyville , Tennessee has eliminated Labor Day as a paid holiday in favor of the last day of Ramadan because they have 700 Muslim employees. The fact that they have almost that many non-Muslim employees is beside the point apparently!

I will no longer purchase any Tyson products. It's just one more little chunk of America that's been bitten off. If you wish to join me, then let your e-mail friends know this. If we don't stand up for something we will fall for anything. All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

This was verified:
http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/outrage.asp

I did not believe even Snopes, so I checked it out myself:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,397645,00.html


2008 example:
Email text contributed by Dotty, Aug. 3, 2008:

Tyson Plant Drops Labor Day For Muslim Holiday

More Than Half Of Tyson Plant's Workforce Muslim

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. -- Some workers at a local plant will no longer to be able to take their Labor Day holiday because of religious reasons.

Workers at the Tyson Foods poultry processing plant in Shelbyville will no longer have a paid day off on Labor Day but will instead be granted the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr.

According to a news release from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, a new five-year contract at the plant included the change to accommodate Muslim workers at the plant.

Tyson's director of media relations Gary Mickelson said the contract includes eight paid holidays -- the same number as the old contract.

Eid al-Fitr -- which falls on Oct. 1 this year -- marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.



Analysis: Please note, these messages are about events that happened in 2008.

In July of that year, Tyson Foods, Inc. did, in fact, agree to a contract with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Stores Union providing workers in the company's Shelbyville, Tennessee poultry processing plant a paid day off on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr instead of Labor Day. Union negotiators had asked for the Muslim holiday on behalf of the approximately 250 Somali refugees working at the plant, which employed a total of about 1,200 people at the time.

After a public outcry ensued. the contract was revised to reinstate Labor Day. Per the revised agreement, both Labor Day and Eid al-fitr (or an extra personal day for non-Muslims) will be among the eight paid holidays enjoyed by all of Tyson's Shelbyville employees going forward.


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Sources and further reading:

Tyson Drops Labor Day Holiday for Eid al-Fitr
Shelbyville Times-Gazette, 1 August 2008

About that Labor Day Story...
Shelbyville Times-Gazette blog posting by Brian Mosely, 3 August 2008

Labor Day Still Recognized at Tyson Foods
Tyson Foods press release, 4 August 2008

Labor Day Reinstated as Paid Holiday at Shelbyville TN Plant
Tyson Foods press release, 8 August 2008

Tyson Foods Drops Labor Day for Muslim Holiday
Fox News, 5 August 2008

Tyson Workers Overturn Contract
Shelbyville Times-Gazette, 8 August 2008

Eid al-Fitr
About.com: Islam


Last updated: 06/19/13

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