Israeli Train Cars Repaired on Shabbos


israel-trainA worker at the train repair garage in Haifa told reporters that Israel Railways desecrates Shabbos openly by employing dozens of workers to repair cars. He said several train cars that jumped the tracks last week near Kfar Menachem, injuring a number of passengers, were repaired the previous Shabbos.

“The cars were repaired during Shabbat at the locomotive garage in Haifa,” the yard worker told the media. “We worked consecutive shifts on Friday and Shabbat. We removed wheels and carried out various maintenance tasks. About 30 men were working each of the shifts. Not only did we fix the cars, but in order to check them we also did test runs back and forth at the garage. It was on Shabbat at 2 o’clock in the afternoon when Train 28 did a test run, and it was not the only one.”

Following the incident he said the Workers’ Committee contacted the CEO to inquire whether approval had been granted to work on Shabbos. He says the CEO said that they had approval, but an inquiry at the Labor and Welfare Ministry indicated otherwise.

According to the spokeswoman at Israel Railways, “During the course of last Shabbat no work was done at the company’s garages, except for routine tasks approved under the annual permit the company receives from the Regularization and Enforcement Administration at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for work needed for routine maintenance, security and the safety of passengers.”

In response Finance Committee Chairman MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni said, “The train company has no permit to work on Shabbos, not on routine maintenance and certainly not on matters unrelated to pikuach nefesh or security. I intend to file a complaint regarding this matter to ensure it does not get repeated.”

{Deiah veDibur/ Newscenter}