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Swift, Muslim Lunch Break Talks Break Down

Talks at meatpacking plant over religious accommodations for Muslim workers broke down, with some workers refusing to return to work and considering legal action.

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) -- Talks at a Greeley meatpacking plant over religious accommodations for Muslim workers have broken down, with some workers saying they will not return to work and may take legal action.

A union official said about 200 workers have been suspended after walking out of JBS Swift & Co. on Friday, saying they were not allowed to take a lunch break at sunset to end their fast during the Muslim observance of Ramadan. Up to 300 workers walked out of the plant.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 and Swift met Tuesday to work out differences, which included time for prayer. After talks broke down some Muslim workers said, "No prayer, no work."

Union leader Fernando Rodriquez told the Greeley Tribune the workers were suspended. Company spokeswoman Tamara Smid did not returned messages left by The Associated Press.

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