Ramadan Mubarak!

The diversity of our membership is one of the most significant strengths we have as a local union. Our members come from all walks of life and infuse our efforts to build better workplaces and a better world with a wonderful cross-section of experiences and insights.

Many of our members are currently observing the holy month of Ramadan, and we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the significance of the month and share some information with you.

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, is a time of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community for Muslims around the world. This year, Ramadan began on March 10, 2024, and typically lasts 29-to-30 days, depending on the sighting of the moon.

During Ramadan, observant Muslims fast from dawn until sunset, abstaining from food, drink, smoking, and certain activities as a way to purify the soul. The pre-dawn meal, known as Suhoor, and the meal to break the fast at sunset, called Iftar, hold special significance and are often shared with family, friends, and the community.

It’s important to recognize that fasting during Ramadan may have an impact on individuals who observe this religious practice. Some may experience fatigue, dehydration, or changes in energy levels, especially towards the end of the day.

As such, we encourage everyone to be mindful and supportive of their fellow members and co-workers during this time.

However, as Union Labour Relations Office and practicing Muslim Faduma Ahmed notes, “Ramadan is not just about fasting. It is about purifying the soul, refocusing attention on God, practicing self-discipline, and fostering empathy and compassion for those in need.”

We encourage everyone to learn more about Ramadan, its customs, and its cultural importance. There are powerful opportunities for learning and growth that a better understanding of Ramadan can offer all of our members.

By educating ourselves and showing empathy and respect for people’s beliefs and traditions, we can foster more inclusive and understanding workplaces and, ultimately, a more vibrant and valuable union movement.

JBS member Abdalateef Mohamed reinforces how Ramadan is an invitation not just for reflection, but to positively impact the world around us.

“Ramadan is the month to fast, pray, recite the Quran, and increase our good deeds. It’s a time for reflection, self-improvement, and spiritual growth.”

Whether it is Black History Month, Filipino Heritage Month, or any of the other wonderful celebrations we embrace as a local union, acknowledgment of cultural events like Ramadan provide us with invaluable occasions to learn, grow, and build solidarity among our members.

Please join us in wishing all of our observing members a blessed Ramadan.

Ramadan Mubarak!
Thomas Hesse, President
Richelle Stewart, Secretary Treasurer
UFCW Local 401