- Cargill has policies specific to attendance and religious accommodation. They have not changed.
- As a USDA-inspected meat processing facility, Cargill’s Fort Morgan beef processing plant must meet federal government requirements related to food safety, workplace safety and other federal regulations.
- The nearly 2,000 hourly employees at our Fort Morgan beef processing facility also work under a collective bargaining agreement (union contract) with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters labor organization (Local 455).
- Cargill makes every reasonable attempt to provide religious accommodation to all employees based on our ability to do so without disruption to our beef processing business at Fort Morgan.
- In the Fort Morgan plant, a reflection area for use by all employees to pray was established in April 2009, and is available during work shifts based on our ability to adequately staff a given work area.
- While reasonable efforts are made to accommodate employees, accommodation is not guaranteed every day and is dependent on a number of factors that can, and do, change from day to day. This has been clearly communicated to all employees.
- Cargill is an equal opportunity employer that follows all applicable employment regulations.
Situation at Fort Morgan (12/21/15 to 12/28/15)
- Monday, 12/21, the first shift at Fort Morgan was fully staffed and operated normally, although the plant ran at reduced capacity during the second shift due to staffing constraints.
- Approximately 200 Somali employees chose not to report for second shift work Monday (12/21) that began at 2:45 p.m. Mountain Time.
- Multiple attempts were made to discuss the situation with local Somali employees without a successful resolution, including a Tuesday (12/22) meeting at the plant management’s request. Plant management and union representatives met with Somali leaders without resolution.
- Based on company policy, employees that do not show up for work, or call in, for three consecutive days, with Monday 12/21 being the first day, were at risk for termination of their employment.
- Efforts were made to communicate to employees who did not show up for work to ensure they understood their jobs would be at jeopardy.
- After employees chose not to call in or show up for second shift work at Fort Morgan on Tuesday (12/22) and Wednesday (12/23), termination procedures were initiated and the employment relationship with approximately 190 people ended.
- We continue to operate two shifts daily on weekdays at Fort Morgan.