News
Government Passes Law Making Airline Strike Illegal

Government Passes Law Making Airline Strike Illegal

Photos by
Maarten Visser

Published May 15, 2014

A new law will put striking workers in violation of the law, although the law itself is not without its detractors – even from within management.

The law in question, introduced by Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, would make any kind of interrupting of the workplace at Keflavík International Airport – be it a strike, half-day strike, or sit-in – illegal. If a collective bargaining agreement between the striking workers and management is not reached by June 1, the matter will be referred to a special committee consisting of one representative of The Professional Pilots Union (FÍA), the Confederation of Icelandic Employers (SA) and one judge from the Supreme Court. This committee will then in turn decide on the new collective bargaining agreement by July 1.

The law is a controversial one, as the right to strike is protected by Article 75 of the Icelandic constitution, and may only be limited “if it is necessary to a democratic society due to national security or public interest” by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The legality of the ban on the strike is, therefore, subject to interpretation. In fact, Hanna Birna cited Article 8, RÚV reports, for submitting the ban for parliamentary approval.

Unsurprisingly, airline pilots are not happy with the law, MBL reports. FÍA director Örn­ólf­ur Jóns­son told reporters, “We have the law on our side and we are very unhappy with [the ban]. There’s a lot of anger amongst us.”

At the same time, even management has taken issue with the law. RÚV reports that Icelandair director Björgólfur Jóhannsson puts priority on “having a collective bargaining agreement with all of our employees, and pilots are no exception,” adding that he believes the best outcome for all involved would be a collective bargaining agreement established between the concerned parties.

That being the case, it is expected that labour talks could shift into high gear to prevent the matter from being taken to a 3-person committee – and to prevent striking workers from being arrested.


News
Protest Calls For Resignation Of Government

Protest Calls For Resignation Of Government

by

Over 6,700 people have signed up to take part in protests in front of parliament calling for the resignation of

News
Pirate Party Still Largest, And Growing

Pirate Party Still Largest, And Growing

by

The Pirate Party is still the party with the greatest support, according to a new MMR poll, and has in

News
Name Committee Approves Líam, Rejects Others

Name Committee Approves Líam, Rejects Others

by

Iceland’s Name Committee has given the legal green light to Líam. Other names submitted were not so lucky. RÚV reports

News
Iceland’s Mosque Installation In Venice Closed By Police

Iceland’s Mosque Installation In Venice Closed By Police

by

Iceland’s contribution to this year’s Venice Biennale, ‘THE MOSQUE’, was closed on Friday by the police who claim the artist

News
A Tycoon Lays Claim To His Palace

A Tycoon Lays Claim To His Palace

by

Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson, the last remaining tycoon of the Icelandic financial miracle, has announced that one of the most iconic

News
News In Brief: May 2015

News In Brief: May 2015

by

It’s that time of year again: time to argue about whale hunting! An umbrella organisation of numerous whale-watching companies have

Show Me More!