The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations announced Friday that the group has filed claims of discrimination and unfair labor practices on behalf of 15 Somali bus drivers fired by Monarch Bus Service and Minneapolis & Suburban Bus Co.

The companies fired the drivers when they formed a group called United Community of Drivers to negotiate work conditions and curtail discrimination, said complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the National Labor Relations Board.

"The companies' owners refused to listen to them. They told them to leave. They said they were going to call the police if they didn't leave," said Ellen Longfellow, the civil rights attorney for CAIR-MN. "So clearly that is a violation of the National Labor Relations Act, which allows groups of employees to form groups to talk to employers about working conditions."

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