Mubarek Mohamed says he was working at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as a cabin-cleaner for about three months when he was told to hand over his badge.
He and five or six coworkers had stepped aside from cleaning up an aircraft for daily prayer on Friday night. He says he was gone for about five minutes. That’s when he says a supervisor started yelling at him, asking him what he was doing.
“‘You have to come here to work, not to pray,’” Mohamed says he told him. He says the manager yelled at them the whole way back to the plane.
The manager demanded their badges and told them to “get out of here,” he says.
As it happened, Tuesday was supposed to be a day of action hosted by the SEIU Local 26 Union. Workers and supporters planned to demonstrate outside the Delta offices for their own union and a pay raise.
Friday’s incident meant the rally also became a day to back these fired workers, who, according to the union’s press release, “were fired for exercising their freedom to practice their religion as protected by the law.”