Some of our readers may be following events at the JBS Swift meat-packing plant in Greeley, Colorado, given that several of the articles about the affair have made it into the news feed recently. For comprehensive coverage on the topic, see Refugee Resettlement Watch.
Here’s a brief synopsis of the story:
JBS Swift employed over a hundred Somali immigrants in its plant in Greeley. The Somalis are Muslims, and when Ramadan rolled around, the workers requested that shift schedules be rearranged so that their break times could coincide with the evening breaking of their fast.
Some of the other workers objected to this special treatment. Management, considering the logistical nightmare that restructuring the shift schedules would bring, said no. The Somalis were unhappy, and walked off the job. Asserting that this unofficial work stoppage violated union rules, JBS Swift fired the truant employees.
That’s the story through Thursday, but yesterday the affair took an interesting twist: it seems that the most vigorous antagonists of the Somalis on the factory floor were fellow employees who happen to be Mexican.
News stories that pit one protected minority against another make the MSM very unhappy. Whether it’s Muslims and homosexuals, Eskimo seal hunters, or wife-beating Latinos, news items about conflicts between officially recognized grievance groups give the mainstream news services indigestion. There’s no way that they can shoehorn these stories into the dominant narrative — evil white heterosexual racist men against minorities, gays, and women — so they tend to leave them out.
Up until Thursday the Greeley story made it into at least into some of the regional news outlets. But now we can expect the whole unpleasant affair to disappear down the memory hole.
“I have been working in this country since I was 16,” says Graen Isse, who was informed this week that his job at the JBS Swift & Co. plant in Greeley, Colorado, had been terminated. “I have never faced anything like this.”
The sprawling slaughterhouse, located about 100km north of the state capital, Denver, has sacked more than 100 Muslim employees who walked off the job today after their employers refused to allow them to break their Ramadan fast with prayer, food and water.
Simmering tensions between Hispanic immigrants, mainly from Mexico, and Muslim factory workers, most of them Somalis, erupted during Islam’s holy month when the Muslim employees asked management to shift the break time on the afternoon shift to sunset.
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Farhia Abdi, who like Isse lost her job, said she and other women had their breasts fondled as they prayed in the plant’s locker rooms. She claimed male employees had been kicked while they knelt in prayer.
Abdi and Isse claimed their attackers were mainly Mexican immigrants and described the two ethnic groups as battling over scarce jobs at the plant.
“This is mainly down to misunderstanding,” said Isse. “First we had an agreement and they told us we can have a break at 7.30. Then the Mexicans got together and said we don’t want a break at that time.”
Local news reports described scuffles between Somali and Mexican workers outside the plant on Tuesday, and both Isse and Abdi said police and city officials had been called in to try and settle nerves.
Scuffles between Muslims and Mexicans — doubleplus ungood! We can’t have that on the evening news. How could we ever explain to our dimwitted viewers a mutual enmity between two irreproachable designated-victim minority groups?
Better to drop the story instead.
There were some details on the CAIR response in The Greeley Tribune:
Ibrahim Hooper is a spokesman for the D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. His organization handles hundreds of similar cases a year. He told the Associated Press he’s never seen a conflict escalate to the point it has at the JBS Swift & Co. meatpacking plant in Greeley, where several dozen workers were fired Wednesday.
The reason why the conflict has escalated to this point is that the company didn’t display the normal knee-jerk response to Muslim mau-mauing. Usually a company will immediately cave to CAIR’s demands. Did JBS Swift perhaps feel the hot breath of La Raza breathing down the other side of their neck?
Talk about a rock and a hard place…
“Usually in these cases we’re able to come to an amicable solution,” said Ibrahim Hooper, a CAIR spokesman.
Translation: “Cowardly business executives normally accede to all our demands instantly.”
Hooper said CAIR attorneys in Chicago are now involved as mediators, and may pursue legal action if religious accommodations are denied. But they’re hoping it doesn’t get to that point.
“Really, you don’t need attorneys in these cases,” Hooper said. “You just need a spirit of good will and cooperation.”
And a fear of having your corporate offices torched doesn’t hurt, either.
It will be interesting to see where this story goes next. Now that the Mexicans are in the picture, the entire dynamic has changed.
Hat tip: ACorcoran.