Tyson Workers Overturn Labor Contract

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Union members and Tyson Foods workers voted overwhelmingly to overturn a union contract that replaced Labor Day with a Muslim holiday, according to a statement from Tyson.

The decision was announced Friday.

The new agreement increases the number of paid holidays for the current calendar year to include both Labor Day and the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr for workers at the Shelbyville plant in Tennessee, according to a Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) press release.

In a statement by Tyson spokesperson Libby Lawson, the company 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.

Lawson said the union membership voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to reinstate Labor Day as one of the plant's paid holidays.

Only for 2008 will Shelbyville employees have nine paid holidays.

For the remainder of the five-year contract period, employees will receive the traditional eight paid holidays, including a personal holiday, which could either be the employee's birthday, Eid al-Fitr or another day requested and approved by their supervisor.

Source: Tyson, RWDSU, Shelbyville Times-Gazette

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