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Hot news from Shelbyville: Union overturns controversial contract

Posted by Ann Corcoran on August 8, 2008

Just in from the Times-Gazette of Shelbyville, TN (see last Friday’s report that started all this):

Members of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) and Tyson Foods workers at the poultry processing plant in Shelbyville overwhelmingly voted to overturn a union contract that replaced Labor Day as a paid holiday with the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, it was announced this morning.

The new agreement will increase the number of paid days off for workers in the current calendar year to include both Labor Day and the Muslim observance as paid holidays for workers in the Shelbyville plant.

The agreement amends the existing contract negotiated last year, according to a press release from the RWDSU.

In a statement by Tyson spokesperson Libby Lawson, the food processing giant made this request on behalf of its Shelbyville plant employees, “some of whom had expressed concern about the new contract provisions relative to paid holidays.”

“In an effort to be responsive, Tyson asked the union to reopen the contract to address the holiday issue, and the union agreed to do so.” Lawson said. 

Although Labor Day is back as a paid holiday,  the Muslim holiday is still on for all plant workers:

The RWDSU membership voted overwhelmingly Thursday to reinstate Labor Day as one of the plant’s paid holidays, while keeping Eid al-Fitr as an additional paid holiday for this year only.

The more interesting part of this article came at the end when Bedford County Mayor Eugene Ray told Tysons that they attracted the Somalis to Shelbyville and it was thus their duty to assimilate them.

Mayor Ray also said that a lot of work needs to be done to help the Somalis “get along with people, how to work with people … and how to be kind to one another.”

This is in reference to the frequent reports from the public of the refugee’s “rude and demanding” attitude that the T-G reported in the Somalis on Shelbyville series published in December 2007.

Ray said he is “still working on that,” meeting with Imam Haji Yousuf, of Shelbyville’s Muslim mosque.

The mayor said the problems stem from the customs of the Somalis, “not them (the refugees) so much, but the way they are used to operating in their country, which is more aggressive than most people that come here.”

“Their custom is to negotiate everything, but here you go into stores, you don’t negotiate, you make your mind up if you want to pay for it or not.”

“They’re here, they are part of the community, they are part of the economy, so it’s not like you can just tell them to leave … but Tyson is the reason why they are here, they are attracted by them, they come from different places to work here,” Ray said.

“Tyson’s got a big stake in this to help the community, to orientate the people (Somalis) to be kind, to be nice, to be polite,” Ray said.

I predict this last will be hard to do because we (non-Muslims) are all infidels and that is the root of this arrogance we are seeing.

P.S. I would still like to know what was going on in that Shelbyville mosque a few weeks ago prior to a Somali going on a rampage.  Maybe Mayor Ray can ask the Imam when he meets with him.


10 Responses to “Hot news from Shelbyville: Union overturns controversial contract”

  1. […] elected as a county mayor in Tennessee and he called for the Shelbyville Somalis to assimilate here.   And, notably the Tennessean has NOT quoted him, I suspect because it is counter to their […]


  2. […] Hot news from Shelbyville: Union overturns controversial contract […]


  3. […] Gates of Vienna Posted in Islam, WTF. […]


  4. blulitespecial said

    I meant to get across-don’t don’t think because of my earlier post I’ve forgotten what this fight is all about.(I kant cee or type anymore!)It’s to stop the dismantling of America.We must keep the pressure on these companies,and the politicians that think these resettlement programs are the way of the muddled future as they see it.Tyson,Cargill,all of them.Tyson got a bit of a wake-up call,that’s about all this was.Keep the pressure on! Perhaps concentrating on one company,the others will “see the light”.


  5. blulitespecial said

    Don’t think because of my earlier post(#5) I haven’t lost sight of what the muslim resettlement process and companies like these big meatpackers are doing to the US and Europe.Refugee and immigration programs need to be shut down and dismantled.Time to take care of America first.


  6. blulitespecial said

    The RWDSU local seems to be headed back in the right direction.I’ve read comments that state this is a company controlled union,and the members have little,if any, say in what is put forth.Let’s hope that changes now,and there is better representation of the people there.A decent paying safe job should be the norm there.It is not now,but the public and members of the local can keep up the pressure to make it so.
    Tyson is coming under even more public and international scrutiny because of things like this.They’re going to have to react somehow.I’ve heard the only reason this fairly weak union is tolerated there is because some unionized chains like Kroger (as a Tyson product buyer) require it.But the union is tightly controlled by Tyson.

    This is rare thing to have union at all in a packing house.I hope this is the beginning in Shelbyville of a better,safer place to work.The workers there and the union local could probably use a little community support right about now.If we help them become stronger,it helps our towns and cities all over the country.People feel better about going to work.They spend a little more in the shops.They give a little more in time and donations back to their towns.That makes this a better country for all of us.All these men and women make our lives a lot easier- They feed us and a good part of the world!They deserve a decent,fair,and safe job.


  7. […] Refugee Resettlement watch has the more interesting aspect here: […]


  8. jim said

    An impressive commentary by MM. I suggest the U.S State dept. refugee program mandate companies who hire refugees to begin subsidizing them instead of the U.S. taxpayer. Since the companies are benefiting from cheap labor.

    I also recommend/mandate the company CEOs/board of directors be required to attend “sensitivity” community training This would require the company officers to attend monthly meetings so the surrounding community can vent their frustrations at the problems created by having cheap labor move into a community degrade it and not assimilate. Then require the company directors to build a new church for the American citizen Christian community who now feels slighted at these foreigners.

    The company officers should also be required to invite the muslims to their home for “cross cultural” awareness.

    Finally the company should be required to have a minimum amount of refugees on the board which gives them equal representation. If during the course of board meetings the refugee has his or her “feelings” hurt due to misunderstanding with the boards protocol, the board members should wear the appropriate no offense attire, learn the refugees language and possibly give up their position to “accommodate” the needs of the newly arrived refugee….


  9. acorcoran said

    This is a comment from someone identified as MM who posted it on the fact sheet above (where it would be lost to most readers):

    First, the issue of refugee resettlement is annoying by the fact that it involves the use of some of our tax dollars, this like foreign aid given out by a nation that is deeply in debt is ridiculous. As the economy continues to go downward, our government should not be importing cheap labor to aid companies like Tyson’s who benefit from these poor people being brought in to work cheaper than American born labor. That Shelbyville plant, like many other food processing plants across this country have been able to toss American workers who wanted to have decent wages in exchange for cheap labor of these poor refugees who are located with help from us-mostly unknown to the average citizen. When this nation is debt free, then we should give aid, both home and abroad. There does seem to be a lot on this site directed toward islamic refugees, as for the muslim convert who was critical of those who were upset about the Shelbyville comments. You sir were able to convert from Christianity without fear of any reprisal, your new faith is one in which if you did change back to Christianity from islam, and lived in a nation under sharia law-you could be condemned to death. The fear of this backward, barbaric sharia islamic law is what most American’s fear. So why don’t you shut your mouth with your comments being critical of Christian and Jewish people-Christian’s especially since you can be sure, no mostly islamic nation would ever welcome or pay for the resettlement of Christian refugees among them if they were to remain Christian. No sir, Christian faith based societies have their downfall when they are kind to the likes of people like muslims. As your numbers grow, you will and do start trouble. The proof is in the history of the nation’s overrun by them. Enough said, let us all work to end this stupid program of resettling what amounts to near slave labor for the profit of people like shareholders of Tyson’s Food. Shame on Shelby ville for putting up with this vile company and the dirt they bring into the community.


  10. […] Hot news from Shelbyville: Union overturns controversial contract […]


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