business news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Chicago Tribune reports that Walmart “plans to hold a farmers market on Saturday at the vacant site where it wants to build its second Chicago store, as it steps up pressure on the city to allow it to expand. The truckloads of fresh fruits and vegetables, supplied by Wal-Mart vendors, are slated to be for sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, and radio station WVON-AM 1690 will be broadcasting from the event.”

Walmart’s continued pressing for a second Chicago store is opposed by local labor unions, and it is anticipated that the tensions could erupt into a public political battle…which wouldn’t necessarily help the city of Chicago’s image at a time when it is trying to land the 2016 Summer Olympics.

• The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) announced today that a Wal-Mart store in that state has agreed to accommodate a Muslim employee's right to pray in the workplace.

According to the announcement, “CAIR-MN said the religious accommodation came after its intervention in the case of a Muslim Wal-Mart employee who was reportedly fired for violating a new supervisor's ban on prayer during work breaks. A previous supervisor had allowed the worker to perform his daily prayers. Following discussions between CAIR-MN and local and national representatives of Wal-Mart, the Muslim worker was re-hired and allowed to perform his prayers during breaks.”
KC's View:
With the Muslim population in the US growing significantly, this is the kind of issue that a lot of companies are going to face…and tolerance really is the only policy that makes sense.

That doesn’t mean that people should be allowed to prostyletize in the workplace…because that would, by inference, be intolerant of non-believers … who also happen to be part of growing demographic.