Intel to Employ Only non-Jews at Jerusalem Plant on Shabbat

Move comes after ultra-Orthodox protesters attacked the microchip plant for operating on Saturday.

Intel will not employ Jewish workers on Saturday shifts in its Jerusalem plant, the chip-maker has suggested in a new compromise proposal. The move comes after large crowds of ultra-Orthodox protesters attacked the plant on Saturday, in protest of it continuing operations on Shabbat. The plant, in the Har Hotzvim industrial area in Jerusalem, employs some 150 workers.

According to the six clauses that make up the proposal, only conveyers producing the most sensitive components will operate on Saturday; only 60 employees will work on Saturday, in three 20-workers shifts; and all Jewish workers who were employed on Saturdays will be replaced by non-Jewish ones that day.

The company will bear the expenses of training those new workers, the proposal said. Representatives of the company said last week that the training of the workers had begun before the crisis began, and should be completed shortly.

Intel would also recruit workers from the ultra-Orthodox community itself.

The proposal was presented to MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) in a meeting chaired by Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin. Maklev is supposed to deliver a response by the ultra-Orthodox rabbis soon. The UTJ deputy mayor of Jerusalem, Yitzhak Pindros, was attacked by the protesters on Saturday.

Intel refused to comment on the agreement Tuesday.