Saturday, August 02, 2008

Tyson Foods drops Labor Day for Muslim holiday

August 1, 2008, The Tennessean, SHELBYVILLE — 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. (link)


I don't care. Now, I might be upset if they were taking away Christmas, or Thanksgiving, or July the 4th, but Labor Day? After all, the only reason we celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday in September was to take the steam out the movement by the anarchist, socialist, and Communist, which recognize May 1 as Labor Day. We can do without Labor Day. Anyway, this does not take it away from anyone except the employees of the Tyson chicken plant in Shelbyville, Tennessee.

We have already combined Lincoln's Birthday, Washington's Birthday and Jefferson's Birthday into Presidents' Day. When Martin Luther King's Day became an official holiday, that pretty much killed Columbus Day. Anyway, celebrating a European white guy for discovering a couple continents that were inhabited by the noble, indigenous peoples of the Americas was no longer politically correct, so Columbus Day had to go. If we are going to substitute a holiday, Labor Day is about all we have left.

Shelbyville is a town located about 50 miles south of Nashville. If you have heard of Shelbyille it is probably because it is the headquarters of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. Shelbyville has a population of 16,105 according to the 2000 census. I don't know how many Somalis live there, but apparently, quite a few. Tyson Foods is one of the area's largest employers and the Tyson plant, which processes chickens, employs 1200 people, 700 of whom are Muslim Somalis. Up until a couple of years ago, Tyson employed many illegal, Mexican immigrants. A raid, and subsequently a law suit resulting in Tyson promising not to "knowingly" hire illegals anymore, replaced the Mexicans by Somalis. It seems that it is hard to find Americans who want to pluck chickens for low wages.

The new five-year labor contract with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union still gives the employees eight paid holidays, but the employees will no longer get Labor Day as a holiday. Instead employees will get Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting. This year the day falls on October 1, but it does not fall on the same day every year.

Eid al-Fitr, which means "Festival of the Breaking of the Fast" in Arabic, is one of the Muslim's most important holidays. It is marked by the performance of communal prayer at daybreak. It is a time of official receptions and visits with friends, giving of gifts, wearing of new clothes, and visiting the graves of relatives. It is about as important to Muslims as Christmas is important to Christians.

If I was ever a refugee in a strange land, I would hope my employer would let me have Christmas off. I suspect that the xenophobes will go ballistic over this. I suspect they will be vowing to boycott Tyson chicken.

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  1. Good old political correctness. Wonder where it came from and the influence it has toady. Check out Deep Thinking the Human Condtion by S.A. Odunsi on

  2. Regarding the commentary: it is widely reported that the number of Somali Muslim employees equals around 20%; much less than the exaggerated number submitted by the author. I don't give a $hit about the labor movment either but I hate to see the U S beginning emulate the mistakes of France!