Labor, religious to tackle Shabbat work

Knesset members from religious parties and Labor united Tuesday in the Knesset Finance Committee to demand increased enforcement of labor and rest hour laws as well as "significantly" higher fines against offending employers. Trade and Industry Minister Eli Yishai told the committee to "take advantage of the unanimity in the committee to reduce the extent of work on Shabbat," deploring what he described as the courts' apathy to enforcement of the law, the committee said. Committee chairman Ya'acov Litzman (UTJ) set up a subcommittee to formulate regulations. The committee convened on the matter after separate petitions to increase enforcement of Shabbat labor laws were submitted by members Shelly Yacimovitch (Labor), Haim Amsalem (Shas), Shmuel Halpert (UTJ) and Nissan Slomianski (National Union-National Religious Party).