The Jerusalem municipality is under investigation for abusing workers’ rights — especially teenage employees — during the Jerusalem Ice Festival, Maariv reported on Wednesday.
According to initial investigations by the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry, Ariel, the municipal company in charge of the exhibition, didn’t uphold several labor regulations.
Ariel allegedly did not allow workers enough down-time between shifts and employed workers on both Friday morning and Saturday evening without allowing a legally mandated day off, and minors aged 16 and 17 worked in temperatures hoving at -10 °C (14 °F) for up to eight hours without appropriate equipment.
The teenage workers were neither informed nor aware of their rights or the labor regulations, the investigation found.
A ministry spokesperson told Maariv that a complaint was filed against Ariel for violating labor laws, and a full investigation was underway. The spokesperson said no further details would be released until after the investigation’s completion.
Ariel’s spokesperson said that representatives of the ministry did visit the site, and all the problems were fixed the same day. All the workers in the frozen area were above the age of 18, and proper winter gear was given to them. “All the problems were fixed right away,” he said.