Rabbi Litzman: Stop Double Pay for Shabbos Labor

YERUSHALAYIM -
Rabbi Yaakov Litzman speaks at the Health Conference in Tel Aviv, on Tuesday, hours after his resignation took effect. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

After resigning from the Health Ministry Sunday because of work on the train system last Shabbos, MK Rabbi Litzman said he wants to pass a law according to which companies and government bodies will not pay employees who work on Shabbos the double payments they receive today. He claims that the double payment encourages the workers to work on Shabbos unnecessarily.

Ministers or deputy ministers cannot raise private bills. Now, days after his resignation, Rabbi Litzman took advantage of his rights as a Knesset member to bring up a bill that he said came to protect shemiras Shabbos.

According to the bill, wage doubling and tripling will be abolished for employees in companies and government agencies for Shabbos work. In this way Rabbi Litzman is trying to prevent an incentive to work on Shabbos, chas v’shalom.

Rabbi Litzman told Yisrael Hayom: “Unfortunately, in the State of Israel, Shabbos is being trampled on because workers receive 250 percent of their regular wages, like the train workers, and there are government companies that do work on Shabbos, even though work is not a matter of pikuach nefesh.

“It’s not a matter of revenge on Israel Railways,” he stressed, “rather it’s a matter of principle; people work on Shabbos because it’s worth it for them, and it is inconceivable that we’ll give our hand to this.”

Rabbi Litzman emphasized that this is not the first time such a law is being proposed. “Ten years ago, I submitted a proposal that says that anyone who works on Shabbos on behalf of government companies will not receive an additional salary …  it was not advanced then,” said MK Rabbi Litzman.