About 100 local TWA employees, who lost their jobs when the airline went into bankruptcy, plan to demonstrate outside Transportation Minister Ephraim Sneh's office in Tel Aviv today.
The former TWA workers, backed by the Histadrut labor federation, are protesting against an aviation agreement that allows American Airlines, which purchased TWA, to take over TWA's flight schedule. The agreement was signed by Sneh and Martin Indyk prior to the conclusion of Indyk's tenure as U.S. ambassador to Israel.
The former TWA personnel are also protesting the government's failure to respond to the Histadrut's request that it cancel the permits granted to American Airlines to operate code-sharing flights from the U.S. to Israel via a third country. This complaint apparently refers to American's cooperation with Swiss Air.
Histadrut official Mordechai Geller said yesterday that it is inconceivable that American Airlines should be allowed to operate flights to Israel - directly or indirectly - without first taking care of the rights of TWA workers and retirees. "The workers were abandoned by their employer, which discontinued flights to Israel and closed the company's Israeli branch, while ignoring the collective bargaining agreement," he argued.
The workers say that TWA owes them a total of $14 million, most of this in severance pay.