Muslim workers get OK to break fast for Ramadan

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Muslim workers get OK to break fast for Ramadan

Post by TexasBlue on Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:29 pm

65 Muslim Electrolux workers in St. Cloud get OK to break fast for Ramadan

Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 7, 2010

About 165 Muslim employees of an appliance manufacturer in St. Cloud will be able to break their fast, as their religion requires, during the holy month of Ramadan.

The workers and the North American division of the Sweden-based Electrolux Group had been at loggerheads over the company's policy that no food can be consumed on the production floor of its St. Cloud freezer plant.

But the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Friday that the company, the world's largest appliance manufacturer, had changed its policies, allowing Muslim workers to pray and break their fasts away from the production floor.

During Ramadan, which begins this week, Muslims break a day-long fast every day at sunset.

The workers, backed by the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), had charged Electrolux with violating the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Last month, company officials announced that they had shifted the schedule of meal breaks to accommodate its Muslim workers, but the employees balked.

According to CAIR, the company's proposal had the majority of the breaks scheduled to fall before sunset and would have only provided a few minutes for Muslim employees to break their fast, pray the sunset prayer, and eat their Ramadan dinner.

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