Referenced from Greeley Tribune: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed lawsuits Monday against JBS USA (owners of Swift & Co.), alleging the meat company created a hostile work environment for Somali workers due to their race, national origin and religion. The complaints allege that supervisors and coworkers threw blood, meat and bones at these employees and called them offensive names. The suits state JBS engaged in a pattern of religious discrimination when it failed to reasonably accommodate its workers by refusing to allow them to pray.
Both complaints allege that JBS retaliated against employees by firing them when they requested their evening break be moved so they could break their fast and pray at sundown during Ramadan. The 2008 flareup ended with about 100 Muslim workers in Greeley being fired after being locked out and when they didn't return to work after a brief suspension. A similar fracas occurred at the same time in Grand Island.
Swift has a long history of exploiting workers. Back in 2006, ICE agents raided six Swift & Co. plants arresting over 1200 illegal immigrants working at the plants resulting in Mass Deportations. Afterwards, the company went into dire financial straits, resulting in the plant being sold to a Brazilian conglomerate. Unable to find workers to fill the void, the company recruited and hired Somalian LEGAL Immigrants. However, as the suit charges, American workers and bosses were unable to contain their racism and -- the suit charges -- harassed, abused and fired them. The company has been in such mismanagement and poor working conditions that in 2009, the USDA charged them with contaminating over 4,200 pounds of meat with e coli.
JBS began hiring East Africans in 2006/2007. Their legal refugee status made them an attractive labor pool, in contrast to the Latino workforce, which the raid of 2006 revealed to include illegal immigrants.
The federal judge in Denver will set a pretrial hearing, at which time a schedule for litigation will be set.
JBS USA - wiki
EEOC sues JBS for discrimination
Swift fires 130 Muslim workers after Ramadan dispute 2008 article
ICE Raids Swift Plant; 800 Are Suspected Illegal Workers 2006 article