News
Government Passes Law Making Airline Strike Illegal

Government Passes Law Making Airline Strike Illegal

1939803_10203029542477066_2004537775_n_opt
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
Krispy Kreme Coming To Iceland

Krispy Kreme Coming To Iceland

by

Soon, the number of foreign-owned donut businesses in Iceland will double. Sources close to Nútíminn report that the iconic American

News
Positive Opinion Towards Tourists Decreases Between Years

Positive Opinion Towards Tourists Decreases Between Years

by

A new poll from Market and Media Research shows that while the majority of Icelanders still regard tourists positively, that

News
Victims Of US Bombings Of Japan To Be Remembered

Victims Of US Bombings Of Japan To Be Remembered

by

Iceland’s peace activists – and the general public – will once again hold a “candle floating” ceremony at Reykjavík’s Tjörnin

News
Finance Minister Emphasises Elections “In Late October”

Finance Minister Emphasises Elections “In Late October”

by

Contrary to what his partner in the ruling coalition has said, Minister of Finance and Independence Party chairperson Bjarni Benediktsson

News
Are You An Inside Demon? Innipúkinn Festival Is Here

Are You An Inside Demon? Innipúkinn Festival Is Here

by

The Merchant’s Weekend is a national summer holiday, taking place this year July 30-August 1, when Reykvíkingar pile into cars

News
Icelandic Tour Bus Company Offers Pokémon Go Hunting Trips

Icelandic Tour Bus Company Offers Pokémon Go Hunting Trips

by

If you like Pokémon Go, Reykjavík Excursions has your back. The popular tour bus company has announced that for the

Show Me More!