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Wisconsin Manufacturer Stands Firm Against Muslim Employees' Unreasonable "Prayer-Break" Demands—So Far
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February 05, 2016, 12:58 PM
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The Ariens Company, with 900 workers in Brillion, Wisconsin, makes grass mowers and snowblowers.  And it's recently made the news by firing seven Muslim employees who insisted on taking prayer breaks during work shifts.  According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
Ariens Co. says it has fired seven Muslim employees for taking unscheduled prayer breaks, and 14 others have resigned over the issue.

More than 50 Somali immigrant Muslims at the Brillion manufacturer recently protested the company's enforcement of a policy of two 10-minute breaks per work shift — without accommodations for unscheduled prayer time.

The Muslim employees wanted the manufacturer of snowblowers and lawn mowers to continue a previous, more lenient practice of allowing them to leave their work stations at different times — such as at dawn and sunset — to pray as their faith requires of them.

Ariens said it was sticking with a policy that does not accommodate special prayer breaks, despite having bent the rules earlier.

Wednesday, Ariens said 32 of the Muslim employees have chosen to stay with the company and work within the break policy, 14 had resigned and seven were fired for taking unscheduled prayer time.

[Ariens Co. fires seven Muslim employees over unscheduled prayer breaks, by Rick Barrett, February 3, 2016; embedded links in original]

The article goes on to say that the (grievance merchants at the) Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR] are contemplating a discrimination complaint (surprise!) to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, adding:
The Muslim employees at Ariens have said their religious practices, rather than the company's break schedule, should determine their prayer times.

They also have said the brief periods of prayer would not be disruptive to the company's production line, although with more Muslims in the workplace, Ariens said unscheduled work breaks could cost the company millions of dollars annually in lost productivity.

The Muslim employees' sense of entitlement is just what we've come to expect.  As Mark Steyn wrote in his classic August 2008 article Lights Out on Liberty:
After the London Tube bomb­ings and the French riots a few years back, commentators lined up behind the idea that Western Muslims are insufficiently assimilated. But in their mastery of legalisms and the language of victimology, they’re superbly assimilated. Since these are the principal means of discourse in multicultural soci­eties, they’ve mastered all they need to know.
(Ariens also remains politically incorrect regarding Christmas, having held both a Christmas open house and a Christmas dinner in 2015.)

So Ariens is to be commended for standing firm, implicitly taking the heterodox (unfortunately) view that the 72-year-old company knows more about running its business than sidewalk superintendents of any type.

Thinking the family-owned and -led [PDF] company's demonstration of spine deserves approbation—especially considering what tortures the fedgov's sadistic busybodies may inflict, once CAIR has tipped them off—I phoned Ariens on Thursday to give them my "Attaboy!"

The person I spoke with seemed to appreciate my comments, and when I offered to also put them in writing via the feedback form at their website (note the "Give  Feedback" button in that page's right margin), he encouraged me to do so.

Largely duplicating what I'd said in my call, here's what I sent them:

No product issue or question here.  I just wanted to say:

Good for Ariens for standing by your productivity policies instead of kowtowing to incompatible demands by Muslim employees.

Judging by recent history in Western nations, it’s likely that your company will now be subjected to a typical anti-“hate” campaign and be called “Islamophobic” and all that – when you’re really just being refreshingly politically incorrect.

In fact, I’ll bet most American citizens would applaud you for sticking by your established (for good reasons) policies.  After all, we didn’t beg these people to immigrate here, but they did.  So it’s incumbent on them to adjust to us, not for us to accommodate their foreign customs.

And I’m writing because I think it’s important that you hear from those of us who strongly applaud your demonstration of spine in the face of a likely onslaught of thoughtless, politically-correct vituperation.

I encourage VDARE.com readers to do the same.  Judging by the number of rings before my phone call was picked up, I think written input via their website is likely to be far more useful to the company than phone calls.

The conclusion of the Journal-Sentinel's article suggests that Ariens management doesn't fully understand what it may be up against, or perhaps it's just demonstrating a bit of (misdirected) "upper-Midwest nice":

Ariens and the Council on American Islamic Relations agreed that the dispute has stirred up anti-Muslim reactions.

...

Ariens Co. President Dan Ariens said he was surprised at some of the social media comments.

"People in the Facebook world say things they shouldn't. Most of the negativity is aimed at the Muslim population, and I am more worried about that than our business," Ariens said in a recent interview.