Union Negotiates Muslim Holiday to Replace Labor Day

Here's something you don't see every day: a union negotiating a new contract that allows its Muslim members to replace the day they get off for Labor Day with one of their own holy days.

After all, since 1894, Labor Day has been a federal holiday designated to celebrate "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations." As such, you would expect a labor union to hold this day in extremely high esteem.

Yet, according to the Shelbyville Times Gazette (Tennessee), some things are more important than Labor Day to at least one of America's unions (h/t NBer motherbelt):

Workers at Tyson Foods' poultry processing plant in Shelbyville will no longer have a paid day off on Labor Day, but will instead take the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr in the fall.

A recent press release from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) stated that a new contract at the Shelbyville facility "implements a new holiday to accommodate the ... Muslim workers at the plant."

The RWDSU stated that "the five-year contract creates an additional paid holiday, Iidal Fitil, a Muslim holiday that occurs toward the end of Ramadan."

Now, in the end, this is indeed a very important day to Muslims. Yet, wouldn't the union involved in this negotiation have wanted to preserve the sanctity of a holiday virtually celebrating itself and, therefore, require a different day to be replaced?

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.