business

Former Muslim employees at the Ariens Company in Wisconsin have filed a complaint alleging religious discrimination.

The group acting on behalf of the former workers is the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR. CAIR says the company has refused to make accommodations for prayer breaks.

The problems between Muslim employees and Ariens management started earlier this year, according to Maha Sayed, a civil rights attorney for CAIR.

Mitch Teich / WUWM

No matter what our DIY aptitude, nearly all of us have a simple tool kit around the house to take on basic jobs. You probably have a hammer, a couple of screwdrivers, a pair of pliers, an odd assortment of hex keys for your IKEA and Target furniture and often, an adjustable wrench.

One of the main frustrations users have with the adjustable wrench is trying to keep it tightened down on the bolt they're working on.

JUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES

The Council on American Islamic Relations plans to file an EEOC complaint against Ariens, a Wisconsin company about 90 minutes north of Milwaukee.

In January, the firm changed its policy regarding prayer times for Muslim workers. Instead of continuing to allow them to pray when their faith dictates, particularly at sundown – which changes, Ariens set specific times. The 50-plus workers and company management have been unable to come to an agreement.

In January, the company established two set 10-minute breaks per shift, for Muslim employees to say their daily prayers. Beforehand, the 53 workers could say their prayers when their faith requires such as as sunset, which moves with the seasons.

When the company began enforcing the policy, dozens of its Muslim employees of Somali descent walked off the job in protest. Since then, according to the company, 32 of the workers have begun abiding by the policy, 14 resigned and this week, Ariens terminated seven who violated the company edict.

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A Wisconsin manufacturer insists it's being reasonable with its Muslim employees. Starting this month, Ariens Company in Brillion has begun requiring its Muslim workers to pray during pre-assigned breaks, not when their faith requires prayer. The company says otherwise, the production line is disrupted. Dozens of those workers have left, but the group lobbying on their behalf is urging them to return, while it seeks negotiations.

Christian Delbert / Fotolia

Clearing snow from your driveway or a parking lot seems like it’s one of those activities you’d never be able to turn over to an app, but now even snow plowing has entered the Digital Age.

Plowz and Mowz has been called the Uber of snow removal and lawn services. The New York company offers on-demand plowing and mowing, and is now into its second winter of operations in Milwaukee - one of its top growing markets.

Druh Scoff / Flickr

Jessica Bell took a roundabout way to marry her passion for wine with her career. Bell studied economics at Duke and worked as a successful investment banker in New York City before a “quarter-life” crisis led her to move to Spain to work at a winery.

Despite the years it took her to make her career revolve around wine, Bell quickly realized it was a "natural fit."

There are not nearly as many strikes these days versus years ago, but a big one is playing out in Sheboygan. Hundreds of UAW members have been picketing the Kohler Company, while contract talks have stalled. The union reportedly wants Kohler to abandon the two-tier wage system it enacted years ago. Cheryl Maranto says the outcome will be telling, because unions don't wield nearly as much clout as they did years ago.

Svyatoslav Lypynskyy, fotolia

Back in the day, the notion of the family business was a part of our cultural vernacular. But a report in The Economist found that while the number of family-controlled businesses is still growing globally, it is diminishing in this country.

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The headlines have suggested that the third quarter of the fiscal year was not a bright one for Milwaukee's Harley-Davidson.

Ted Eytan / Flickr

Millennials make up the largest portion of Wisconsin's workforce, according to U.S. Census Current Population Surveys data. 

djvass / Flickr

Not too long ago, a friend could call you up and ask if you wanted to get together for dinner at the Bel Air Cantina and you would have known exactly where to meet.  However now you’d have to ask which of three Bel Airs she’s talking about.

And that restaurant is hardly alone.  Many of Milwaukee’s best-known local restaurants have become local chains.  Good for their bottom line, but what does it mean for people deciding where to eat dinner?  Dining contributor Ann Christenson helps tackle the questions and concerns the spread of chains presents:

Andrew Ashton / Flickr

India is known around the world for more things – Bollywood, curry, its textile industry, yoga and its growing tech sector. What you might not think of immediately is its automotive industry.

"Currently (Royal Enfield) makes 300,000 (motorcycles), and within two years they want to double that. So they see the U.S. and the European markets as a huge part of that," Milwaukee Business Journal reporter Olivia Barrow says.

plantoo47 / Flickr

There are many people looking for solutions to complicated social problems. And while people may have ideas, they don't always have the business acumen needed to get started.

"There's a lot of people that have great ideas and want to get them off of the ground, but there is a little bit of a gap in the initial support at the early stage. And that's where we want to focus so that we can help accelerate and scale these organizations to provide broader impact to the community," Marquette social innovation coordinator Kelsey Otero says.

fashionangels.com

When you were around the age of ten, your business experience was probably limited to delivering papers or running a summer lemonade stand. Even if you had a sound business idea, there probably wasn’t much support available to help you realize it. But for young girls all over the country things have changed, thanks to a Milwaukee company called Fashion Angels.

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