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The Houston Chronicle reports that as many as four hundred employees at a Smithfield Foods hog slaughterhouse skipped work yesterday to protest the company’s decision not to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a paid holiday.

However, Smithfield said that there were not that many absentees and that it could not confirm the reason for the walkout.

According to the story, “Workers sent a petition to management last week demanding the King holiday. The company said there wasn't time to consider the request but workers could use one of their annual 12 unpaid personal days to observe the holiday. Anyone using up the personal days is subject to being fired after being warned,” the company said.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been a federal holiday since 1986.
KC's View:
We think that giving people the day off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day probably would be the easy thing to do. Though maybe, in the spirit of Dr. King’s legacy, it would make more sense for people to take the day off to actually do something to address the issues of poverty and racism.

That includes all the school kids who get the day off.