Seamen Strike Continues, New Minister Says Strikebreaking Law “Out Of The Question”

Seamen Strike Continues, New Minister Says Strikebreaking Law “Out Of The Question”

1939803_10203029542477066_2004537775_n_opt
Photos by
Art Bicnick

Published January 11, 2017

While one of the main organisers of a demonstration of seamen has vowed that they will remain on strike, even if parliament passes a law compelling them to go back to work, Iceland’s new Minister of Fisheries has said that such a piece of legislation is “out of the question”.

“If they pass a law on the strike, seamen will not return to their ships,” Þórólf­ur Júlí­an Dags­son told MBL. “We are putting it forward that if they put a law on us, we will not go back out to sea. It’s just really simple.”

As reported, the vast majority of unionised seamen voted in favour of going on strike last October. The length of the strike is indefinite, putting the onus on collective bargaining or state arbitration to resolve the matter.

However, a new government is now in place, and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Þorgerður Katrín Gunnarsdóttir told Vísir that introducing a law compelling the seamen to go back to work is not in the cards.

“It is, to my mind, out of the question,” she told reporters. “This is a matter between seamen and fishing companies, and it’s up to them to resolve this. … It’s up to the involved parties, first and foremost, and legislation should not get involved in labour disputes.”

One of the more contentious parts of the labour dispute is the fact that management of Iceland’s major fisheries intend to offset added government fees by taking the needed funds directly from catch values. This essentially moves money away from the seamen and into the hands of management, to help cover costs that they need to pay for.

Fishing accounts for about 8% of Iceland’s GDP, and is one of the pillars of the economy. As such, management only has about three weeks to offer seamen a satisfactory contract before the strike begins.


News
Trump Was Right: Inside The Swedish Dystopia

Trump Was Right: Inside The Swedish Dystopia

by

US President Donald J. Trump recently gave a speech in Melbourne, Florida wherein he alluded to “what’s happening in Sweden

News
Court Confirms: No Jail For False Passports

Court Confirms: No Jail For False Passports

by

Reykjanes District Court took into consideration changes made to immigration law, which went into effect last January 1, when sentencing

News
Cloth Menstrual Pads Are Popular Again

Cloth Menstrual Pads Are Popular Again

by

Multiple-use, cloth menstrual pads are gaining in popularity once again, and one Icelander is making and selling her own. “We

News
Decision To Deny Muslim School Teacher Flight To US Made By American Authorities

Decision To Deny Muslim School Teacher Flight To US Made By American Authorities

by

The Grapevine has confirmed that a British school teacher who was denied entry onto a flight from Keflavík Airport to

News
Fears “Vape Law” Could Create Black Market For Vaping Liquid

Fears “Vape Law” Could Create Black Market For Vaping Liquid

by

A proposal that would put a number of regulations on the sale and use of e-cigarettes is poorly thought-out, and

News
Fisherman’s Strike Ends: “We Had A Gun To Our Heads”, Says Union Leader

Fisherman’s Strike Ends: “We Had A Gun To Our Heads”, Says Union Leader

by

The strike that went on for about two months has finally drawn to a close, but one union official says

Show Me More!