"At this point neither candidate has come up with a plan or strategy to assist us," lamented laid off St. Louis flight attendant Roger Graham who was one of many workers that rallied outside of the building housing a recent McCaskill/Talent debate in St. Louis.
There were approximately 12,400 TWA Missouri workers and 20,000 TWA nationwide workers, Graham said, quoting the Missouri Economic Council Report of 2001. Now, he says, the group claims less than 7% have jobs.
"Dating back many years TWA was a legend in both Kansas City and St. Louis," reported Graham, but he said "the legend lost its luster when American Airlines purchased TWA in 2001." Calling attention to a "path of destruction and devastation" left by American Airlines in Missouri, Graham says thousands have lost jobs, millions of subsidies have been misspent and tax revenues forgone, not to mention billions of dollars in economic activity left unrealized. Also included in the AA wake, he says, is a "demolished Missouri system of air transportation with 75% fewer flights".
Former TWA flight attendants, comprising an entire workforce laid off by American Airlines after Sept. 11, recently flew in from all over the USA to Euless, TX to picket their union, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), stating that their union has not done enough to try to save them from termination by extending their 5-year recall. Neither APFA nor AA has negotiated an agreement to save their jobs.
Now in addition to the flight attendants, thousands of mechanics, ramp workers, ticket agents, and pilots laid off by AA want to know just what American Airlines meant by "Two Great Airlines, One Great Future" in sealing the TWA acquisition approval.
Graham said, "losing your career, your pension, and all benefits after decades of service is difficult to sit still for while knowing that American Airlines stood before a U.S. Senate hearing in February 2001 in order to solicit fast track approval of the TWA purchase stating that they would maintain good corporate citizenship for the benefit of the bi-state region".