In the United States, we have many races, cultures, and religions. Here you are free to practice any religion or no religion. And when you come to work, you maintain that freedom. The freedom to pray when and where you need to has long been established at SeaTac airport. This right is also protected by federal and state laws, work policies, and for SEIU6 airport members, it’s even in the union contract.
It was a shock and disappointment when a Muslim SEIU6 member was harassed by management when praying at the airport. But his co-workers quickly came to his defense. The group decided to hold a labor-management meeting to raise the issue with management. During the meeting, our union read a statement from the worker and shared signatures of support from his co-workers. Several co-workers spoke on the need to respect religious freedom.
However, management was not willing to take the necessary action. Our union took the issue to the Port of Seattle, and the company sent a representative to meet with union leaders and resolve the issue.
At present, the company has acknowledged their wrongdoing and has issued an apology, making it clear that workers’ rights to practice their religion will be respected. Management will also be undergoing sensitivity training. SEIU6 members continue to stand united regardless of our race, nationality, and background against all forms of discrimination. When we fight together we make real change.