Rocky Mountain News: Attorney: Group has Talked with Greeley Plant for Year about Breaks for Muslims

A volunteer attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Wednesday thatCAIR has been negotiating for a year with JBS Swift & Co. about break times for Muslim workers.

Rima Kapitan, with CAIR’s Chicago office, on Wednesday met with Muslim workers recently fired by JBS Swift. She said CAIR is coordinating with an attorney retained by about 60 of the fired workers.

Kapitan said more talks are planned this week between CAIR and national officials with the United Food and Commercial Workers, the union that represents production workers at Swift.

Meanwhile, JBS Swift management on Wednesday agreed to temporarily change the timing of the second-shift lunch break at the company’s Grand Island, Neb., plant. The move will give workers time to pray during the Muslim observance of Ramadan. Workers previously took the 30-minute break in shifts. The change will force the entire line to break at once.

The news comes two days after about 300 Muslim workers walked off the job in Grand Island in protest of the prayer dispute.

Copyright © 2008, The E.W. Scripps Co.