About 100 Muslim workers at the north Greeley JBS Swift & Co. plant were let go Wednesday afternoon.
About 15 Greeley police officers were called to the scene by a Swift security guard as part of the termination. The security guard told police one terminated Swift worker had tried to hit him.
The workers appeared to be all African. The termination appears to be related to the walkout of Muslim employees on Friday. The workers left their jobs Friday night after they were told they would not be given a break to observe the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Swift issued a statement via e-mail Friday evening about the terminations. The statement said the workers were let go as a result of the Ramadan-related work stoppage last week.
“For the past week, JBS management has met with union leadership and local Muslim leaders to address the timing of our second shift lunch break. As a result of those discussions we adjusted the lunch period by over one hour earlier to address their concerns. On Friday many employees walked off of the job without proper authorization,” the statement read.
[Editor’s Note: See yesterday’s story on the Somalis’ strike here.]