Wisconsin manufacturer changes prayer-on-the-job policy, Muslims say they’re out of a job

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BRILLION — Dozens of Muslim employees at a Wisconsin manufacturer say they are now out of a job after Ariens Company changed its prayer-on-the-job policy.

The Brillion-based company changed the policy Thursday, January 14th. Until then, Muslim employees were allowed to leave the production line twice a shift to pray.

But Ariens is now asking employees to pray during scheduled breaks. A company representative tells WBAY-TV (http://bit.ly/1OnNcfJ ) the “manufacturing environment does not allow for unscheduled breaks in production.”

The policy change affects 53 workers. Ten of those employees have indicated they wish to stay in their current positions under the new policy.

On Saturday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations called on Ariens to allow Muslim workers to pray at work using the previous policy until the dispute is resolved.

Ariens’ products include snow blowers and lawn mowers.


  • Jim

    Is everyone else allowed to leave the production line several times a day on unscheduled breaks? I think not!
    They chose to leave. There choice. Good bye

  • Jim

    Is everyone else allowed to leave the production line several times a day on unscheduled breaks? I think not!
    They chose to leave. Their choice. Good bye!

  • Fred

    Good – it’s about time someone stops giving special treatment to those who have cultural or religious practices that are a minority. Feel free to worship a you choose, but not on paid time at work. If you don’t like it, open your own gas station and close the doors / shut off the pumps when it’s prayer time.

  • Rose Keeling

    There should NEVER be any special privileges in running a business, that causes tension among employees and is NOT for the good of any company. Break time is just that, break time, and what u do on that time is u’r business, this IS only fair and right. Welcome to America where we all are the same, period. -And hey here’s an idea to this company and all others here in America- why don’t u hire Americans and u wouldn’t have this problem and cair (muslim brotherhood terrorist organization) wouldn’t be breathing down u’r backs. Don’t American lives matter any more and when there are so many in need of jobs?! So u brought this on u’rself for that greed in hiring these people cuz we all know u got a kick-back for each and everyone of them, putting them and money before the America people. Shame on all of u.

    • Fred

      Not all Muslims are terrorists and a whole lot of Muslims are American citizens that were born on US soil. Any American citizen can worship according to the faith of their choice, be it Catholic, Baptist, Methodist etc. or Muslim. Saying the company did wrong by hiring a Muslim is a load of crap. That’s like saying you shouldn’t be hired in the baptist bible belt at a company if you’re Catholic….how do you know the employees in question are not American citizens?
      Disclaimer: any person, regardless of religion, should be dealt with swiftly when proven to engage in terrorist activity.

      • Rose Keeling

        I never said all muslims are terrorist, I said cair- muslim brotherhood is- look it up and this group is now involved in this situation but more to the point is that these companies and another like Ft. Morgan Cargill plant’s woes here as Somalis walked off the job with demands for special accommodation for prayer breaks that Cargill had to change its re-hiring policy to get many of those fired Somalis back to work. (While having given CAIR an opportunity to press for sharia workplace compliance!). I am 100% American and love MY Country and yes We-the-people matter first, if we are to help others we need to be debt free and strong. And here are some facts u should read up on. Resettlement (HHS) fund: They call them Voluntary Agencies (VOLAGs) which is such a joke considering the large amount of federal funding that flows to each one! There are approximately 350 subcontractors in 180 cities working under the nine biggies.

        (An attempt was made to choose a recent year for which all of the nine had submitted financial documents. Although some VOLAGs have slightly different reporting periods and reporting methods, for our purposes the 2012 ‘year’ is adequate. Also, keep in mind that some of the agencies reported their IOM travel loan income, some did not. The IOM is the International Organization for Migration, another huge federal contractor that makes the arrangements for the refugees to prepare to leave for America and it purchases their airline tickets. Refugees must reimburse that taxpayer-funded travel loan, but the VOLAG that collects the loan, pockets a percentage of it—justified as a collection fee.)

        We did not include the two new contractors primarily responsible for the ‘unaccompanied minors.’

        Church World Service
        (From 2012 Form 990)

        Total revenue: $76,185,774
        Govt. grants and contracts: $45,431,781
        Percent taxpayer funded: 60%
        Top salary: $286,000 (Top salaries throughout include benefits and income from related activities)

        Ethiopian Community Development Council (secular)
        (From 2012 Form 990)

        Total revenue: $15,244,802
        Govt. grants: $14,609,687
        Percent taxpayer funded: 96%
        Top salary: $233,228

        Episcopal Migration Ministries

        This gets tricky. Apparently EMM (or now known as Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church of America), does not produce a Form 990 (no response from them to a recent inquiry was received) nor do they publish their federal income in their annual report.

        The only accounting we could find is an independent auditor’s report that reveals they received $17,365,325 from the federal government for their refugee program in 2012.

        Further examination by a qualified accountant would be needed to find out how they spent the $17 million.

        Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
        (From 2012 Form 990 for HIAS, Inc. Can’t be found at Guidestar under its full name only as HIAS,Inc, just one of those things that makes tracking these VOLAGs very difficult. LOL! we have learned that they have dropped the “Hebrew” from their name.)

        Total revenue: $25,418,714
        Govt. grants and contracts (including travel loan income): $15,426,116
        Percent taxpayer funded: 61%
        Top salary: $323,162

        International Rescue Committee (secular)
        (From 2012 Form 990)

        Total revenue: $456,122,865
        Govt. grants and contracts (including travel loan income): $332,271,151
        Percent taxpayer funded: 73%
        Top salary: $485,321

        US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (secular)
        (From 2012 Form 990)

        Total revenue: $39,205,548
        Govt. grants and contracts: $38,817,939
        Percent taxpayer funded: 99%
        Top salary: $289,192

        Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
        (From 2012 Form 990)

        Total revenue: $43,563,804
        Govt. grants and contracts: $42,047,935
        Percent taxpayer funded: 97%
        Top salary: $214,237

        World Relief (National Association of Evangelicals)
        (From 2012 Form 990)

        Total revenue: $56,842,649
        Govt. grants and contracts: $38,837,294
        Percent taxpayer funded: 68%
        Top salary: $211,651 (again the ‘salaries’ include other related compensation)

        US Conference of Catholic Bishops

        Last, but by far not least, is the US Catholic Bishops whose finances now require further explanation. The USCCB, by the way, resettles the largest number of refugees in the US with the help of Catholic Charities located throughout America. They make no effort to single out Christians for resettlement and in fact, in 2013 they were requesting that the US State Department bring more Rohingya Muslims from Burma (Myanmar) to America.

        Up until recently we could access their annual reports to determine their direct income from the federal taxpayer (for their migration program), however, it appears that since RRW and others began publishing the information, we are no longer able to access those reports.

        To our knowledge, no Form 990 is filed. Churches are not required to file 990s, so perhaps the Bishops consider themselves a church.
        Also, since federal funds go directly to myriad Catholic Charities around the country especially to states such as Tennessee where Catholic Charities and the federal government have complete control of who comes and where they are placed with virtually no state input (called the Wilson-Fish program), it would require very knowledgeable forensic accountants to follow the money.

        Here is the information we previously obtained from the USCCB’s 2012 Annual Report (it is a good thing we captured it at the time!).

        Total revenue: $70,975,237
        Govt. grants and contracts (includes over $3 million in travel loan income): $69,534,230
        Percent taxpayer funded: 98%
        We have no idea what salaries are paid in the USCCB Washington office.

        A billion dollars a year!

        That is how much we are spending (that we know of!) for refugee resettlement, here. That figure does not include subsidized housing, most healthcare, food stamps, other cash assistance, educating the kids or the costs to the criminal justice system!

  • Dan Spurling

    The company is making a sensible and reasonable business decision. Unscheduled breaks are a tax on the businesses bottom line. They increase cost and the company gets nothing in return for it. If they don’t like it perhaps there are some moslem companies out there in America who are willing to hire them and bow to their “needs”.

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