Trade Unionists Warn Algeria of Boycott if Israeli Plane, Captives Are Not Released
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Trade Unionists Warn Algeria of Boycott if Israeli Plane, Captives Are Not Released

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The International Transport Labor Federation Joined the Maritime Committee of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations in the United States today in threatening to boycott Algeria unless Algerian authorities .releases the El Al Israeli plane and 12 Israeli citizens it has detained since the airliner was hijacked on July 23. The federation voted this action unanimously at its 29th congress in Wiesbaden as other labor groups moved to take similar action.

The West German Trade Union Congress issued a strong protest today against Algeria’s continued detention of the plane and the captured Israelis.

In Basle, the Federation of Swiss Trade Unions cabled an appeal to the Algerian trade union organization to exert its influence with the Algerian Government to secure the release of the airliner and the Israeli detainees. The Swiss unionists stressed that trade unionists everywhere were vitally concerned that there be no interference with air traffic.

The German-Israel Society, with headquarters in Bonn, asked the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to suspend Air Algerie, the Algerian airline, from the IATA because of Algerian participation in “air piracy.” The society also asked the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to take similar action.

In Buenos Aires, a group of outstanding Argentine intellectuals transmitted a plea to the Algerian Ambassador for the immediate release of the hijacked Israeli airliner and the detained Israeli citizens. The letter warned that the continued detention of the plane and the prisoners had shocked public opinion, was a violation of international law and agreements, and the attempt to depict innocent civilians as prisoners of war “endangers the peace and creates a dangerous precedent.” Among the signatories to the protest were Cordova Iturburu, president of the Argentine Writers Association; Antonio Berni, famed Argentine painter; Abelardo Castillo, the writer; and Dr. Jose Bleger, a psychiatrist.


No progress was revealed at the United Nations in the efforts directed by Secretary-General U Thant to persuade the Algerian authorities to release the plane and prisoners. Mr. Thant and his staff were reported in constant touch with Algiers but were without definitive word as to the Algerian regime’s intentions.

In London, the International Association of Airline Pilots said that its two representatives, Capt. O. L. A, Forsberg and Capt. J. J. O’Grady, had not completed negotiations in Algiers for the release of the El Al airliner and the Israeli citizens. The two men, who had been scheduled to return to London today, will remain another day or two in the Algerian capital.

In New York, a group of 100 teenagers picketed the headquarters of the Algerian mission to the United Nations today with placards demanding the release of the jetliner and the Israeli captives. The demonstration was sponsored by the New York Jewish Youth Council. Jerry Epstein and Mark Saperstein, co-chairmen of the youth group, tried to present a protest directly to the Algerian Ambassador. A secretary took a protest note inside the mission and then returned to tell the youth leaders that the envoy had nothing to say to them. The demonstration lasted about an hour.

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