Israel: Shochtim Seeking to Unionize – Rabbonim Opposed

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shechShochtim in Eretz Yisrael have organized towards starting a union. They held an urgent kenos to discuss the matter amid strong opposition from civil service rabbonim serving as chief rabbis of cities.

Ladaat reports one of the rabbonim opposed to the unionization effort explained “We cannot have a situation in which a rav will have to be accompanied by an attorney everywhere he goes in fear anything he says or does will lead to a lawsuit”.

The rav added that the ultimately the rav is responsible and the shochet and mashgiach are an extension of him. “A shochet and mashgiach are trusted agents of the rav and it is unthinkable that an outside organization will try to compel dictates on a rav against his will” he is quoted as adding.

The rav continues, explaining that if a mashgiach has to be suspended for failure to perform his job duties, what will occur when the union demands his reinstatement amid a threatened strike? He feels unionization will lead to the destruction of kashrus for in essence the kashrus will be run by the union and not the rabbonim.

The rav explains that he is not against unionization in principle, but stresses the rabbonim must remain the unquestioned authority regarding spiritual matters and not a union of labor court.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)