The Labor Court in Tel Aviv issued an injunction Monday against a plan to fire 70 Israel Railway safety inspectors who did not serve in the IDF. The Arab workers were laid off last week in line with a new policy requiring employees to have completed their army service.
Meanwhile, the new Minister for Minority Affairs, Avishay Braverman, turned to the transportation minister and demanded that the layoffs be averted.
The fired employees say Israel Railway's decision to adopt the new policy, a plan first reported by Ynet, is illegal.
"How could it be that for three years we were fit for the job, and right now we're no longer fit and can only serve as security guards at shopping malls?" one worker said.
The court ruled Monday that until a hearing on the matter takes place, after Passover, the layoff notices are on hold. The employees are hoping that the legal procedure will ultimately force Israel Railway to change its policy.
'Moral test'Meanwhile, Minister Braverman sent a scathing letter to Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, demanding that the move be put on hold and later annulled.
"Can't an Arab worker who has been employed in the abovementioned post for three years undergo more safety training?" Braverman wrote. "Is the required military training even relevant for the job?"
The minority affairs minister added that he fears the decision will open the door for similar moves that will serve to undermine Arab citizens.
"What kind of message do we convey to the public when a government company not only closes its doors to such citizens, but goes even further and fires them in practice," he wrote. "This is more of a moral test case than a constitutional test case."