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June 19, 2012 10:11 am

McDonalds and Israel Butt Heads Over Shabbat Law

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McDonald's restaurant in Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo: wiki commons.

McDonalds in Israel will have to find replacements for 800 youths who have worked at the fast food chain on Shabbat in the past, beginning this Saturday, as Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor begins to enforce a law that ensures young people do not work on the Jewish sabbath.

The fast food chain doesn’t see why it should be forced to find new workers, all of whom will have to be non-Jewish.

“The law, which will come into effect this Saturday, will come into effect even though we’ve been fighting it for 17 years,” McDonalds Israel said in a statement. “We intend to petition the High Court of Justice to change the law. This is religious coercion which should vanish from the world.”

Employees in Israel earn 150% of their normal hourly wages on Saturday, and McDonalds in Israel says that many of the Jewish youths who work at their chains, want to work, despite the law.

“The teenagers want to work on Saturday, a local McDonalds Israel manager told Globes. We’ve begun signing employees on a protest that they want to work, and their parents approve. This decision is a serious blow to the branches. This week, we’ll bring in non-Jews from the north to work at the branch.”

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