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Muslim Electrolux employees file another EEOC complaint

23 August 2011 General 6 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
An Electrolux building in St. Cloud, Minn., as seen in a July 2010 file photo. The company is facing another complaint filed by Muslim employees. (MPR file Photo/Ambar Espinoza)

An Electrolux building in St. Cloud, Minn., as seen in a July 2010 file photo. The company is facing another complaint filed by Muslim employees. (MPR file Photo/Ambar Espinoza)

by Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio August 22, 2011

St. Paul, Minn. — Appliance-maker Electrolux is facing another complaint filed by Muslim employees at the company’s St. Cloud plant.

Last year, a machine operator who worked at the plant alleged that Electrolux ignored employees’ requests to pray and break fast at sunset during the holy month of Ramadan. That led to the company adjusting its meal schedule to accommodate the Muslim workers.

But shortly before the holiday began this year, workers learned that their 30-minute meal breaks would be reduced to 20 minutes.

Machine operator Ahmed Said said 20 minutes is not enough time to eat and pray after sunset during the holy month of Ramadan.

“I hope they will correct this problem so we will have an environment where people can work together, because no matter if you are Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or atheist, in Electrolux, we are one team. And when you are one team, your productivity is good,” Said noted.

Taneeza Islam, civil rights director for the Minnesota chapter for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said workers have not been able to fulfill their religious obligations this month.

“And now that Ramadan is almost done, it’s unfortunate these employees haven’t been able to eat and pray this entire month. But we’re hoping this will not happen again in coming years,” Islam said.

An Electrolux spokesman said in an email to MPR News the current schedule was preferred by the majority of employees, and allows the Muslim workers to eat and pray away from the production line.

Original post: Muslim Electrolux employees file another EEOC complaint

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6 Comments »

  1. This is a joke-it has to be.The company has moved it break times around last year to help the Muslims. Now from what I read here, they still are, but they have cut 10 minutes off. But the majority of employees perfer the 20 min., so be it. Whats not mentioned in this article the company gave the employees 3 choices on how to work breaks.
    From what I understand, there are exceptions made in the Koran for events that can not be controlled by Muslim. If they don’t have enough time to pray in this 20 minutes, pray before and after work. What is stopping a Muslim from praying at there work station. Do you need to show the world that you are praying. Learn to eat fast. Is there a time limit set on Muslim on how long they must pray at a certain time. Do you believe God has a stop watch on you.
    You wonder why people like Geller and Spencer are making a lot of money.

  2. JAW

    That’s sort of true, but this is IN heir control, they can change it by talking to their boss….etc. God was kind of talking about things you REALLY can’t do, like turn back time. If Asr Prayer is missed becasue the sun went down already, the Muslims can combine Asr and Maghrib Prayer. Just thought I’d give you an example.

  3. oh my god, will this never end.

    ““I hope they will correct this problem so we will have an environment where people can work together, because no matter if you are Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or atheist, in Electrolux, we are one team. And when you are one team, your productivity is good,” Said noted.”

    doesn’t sound like a team player to me. to demand scheduling changes to meet your personal/religious obligations. so if the hindus have to change their schedule for some festivals (any idea how many festivals the hindus have), and the christians want a lent schedule, where does it end? we are a secular nation built not on our strict religious obsevances or the “blessings of god” but on business. if you can’t conform to the work schedule of your employer, find a different job.

    i wouldn’t be at all supprised if Electrolux just says screw it. let’s move the factory to china. the chinese workers or government won’t sue us, they will be thrilled to put a few more of their 1.3 billion people to work.

  4. Enhancing sensitivity to employees religious obligations and cultural values at work place leads to greater worker output and productivity; I know this from personal experience. Some of the comments above give notion that Muslim workrs arent team players when infact those opposing this flexibility given to fulfill religious obligations are unwilling to work with this minority as a team player.

  5. nasir,

    “Enhancing sensitivity to employees religious obligations and cultural values at work place leads to greater worker output and productivity; I know this from personal experience.” how so?

    “Some of the comments above give notion that Muslim workrs arent team players when infact those opposing this flexibility given to fulfill religious obligations are unwilling to work with this minority as a team player.” the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

  6. @Jaw, you are simplying lying about Quran, that we can pray in Advance. Sunset prayers cannot be performed as per our desire. This prayer cannot be delayed. As soon as you hear the call of Prayer one has to eat something then within 5 -10 Mins one has to pray. How much can you eat in 5 mins, eating in speed causes health damage. Get the facts correct before discussing Quran

    Only exception is when one is in journey we can combine two prayers, for 30 days people who are working in shifts are not travellers

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