Well, isn’t that interesting. Four days ago, I linked to the Shelbyville, Tennessee Times-Gazette’s report on the decision by the local union at Tyson Foods to replace the paid Labor Day holiday with the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.
New development: The Labor Day holiday has apparently been reinstated.
Here’s an e-mail from Tyson:
Subject: Tyson Foods Shelbyville Plant – New Statement
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2008 09:15:37 -0500
Labor Day Reinstated as Paid Holiday at Shelbyville, TN, Plant
Tyson Foods Requested Change from Union
Springdale, Arkansas – August 8, 2008 – Tyson Foods, Inc. announced today it has reached a new agreement with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), an American union, reinstating Labor Day as one of the designated paid holidays under the contract for covered employees in the Shelbyville, Tennessee, plant.
Tyson 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. The union 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. This means that in 2008 only, Shelbyville employees will have nine paid holidays.
For the remainder of the five-year contract period, the eight paid holidays will include: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and a Personal Holiday, which could either be the employee’s birthday, Eid al-Fitr or another day requested and approved by their supervisor.
This issue concerns only the plant at Shelbyville, Tennessee. Labor Day has always been celebrated, and continues to be, at the other 118 Tyson plants across the country.
The Shelbyville complex employs approximately 1,200 people. Approximately 1,000 workers are covered by the RWDSU union agreement at that location.
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