Teamsters Union and Garda agree on interim solution for suspended airport screener who wore a longer skirt to conform to her religious beliefs

    TORONTO, Nov. 21 /CNW/ - The Teamsters Union and Garda World Security
Corp. have agreed on an interim solution in the case of a female Muslim
airport screener who has been suspended without pay for the past three months
for wearing a skirt longer than the one supplied with her company's uniform.
    Garda has agreed to offer the screener, Halima Muse, 33, a full-time
administrative position in civilian attire at her previous salary. She will be
paid full back pay for the time she lost due to this issue. She will remain in
the administrative position until the Canadian Air Transport Security
Authority (CATSA) can evaluate its policy on uniforms. CATSA, a federal
agency, sets the regulations for screeners' uniforms and objected to the
longer skirt which Ms Muse wore for religious reasons.
    Ms Muse, a practicing Muslim, wanted to wear the longer skirt to conform
with the Islamic dress code that calls for women to wear loose fitting clothes
that cover the entire body except the face, hands and feet. The skirt issued
to airport screeners falls just below the knee. Ms Muse commissioned a tailor
to make her a longer skirt, hemmed just above the ankle. She had two skirts
made and wore them for about six months before she was suspended.

    Teamsters Local Union 847 and the Canadian Council on American-Islamic
Relations (Canada), a non profit advocacy organization dedicated to educating
non-Muslims about Islam, jointly filed a complaint on behalf of Ms Muse with
the Canadian Human Rights Commission. The complaint stated that Ms Muse has
been discriminated against on the basis of her religion by CATSA and Garda.
    Teamsters Local Union 847 and the Council have agreed to hold the
complaint in abeyance to allow all parties, including CATSA and Ms Muse to
discuss the issue.

For further information:

For further information: James Robbins, Cavalluzzo Hayes Shilton
McIntyre & Cornish LLP, (416) 964-5509; Jo-Anne Pickel, Cavalluzzo Hayes
Shilton McIntyre & Cornish LLP, (416) 964-5537; Mihad Fahmy, Canadian Council
on American-Islamic Relations, 1-866-524-0004; Ed Hawrysh, Teamsters Local
Union 847, tel: (647) 220-1898

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