Parliament yesterday passed into law a bill banning the airplane mechanics’ strike that has shutdown most of Icelandair’s operations.
The bill, introduced by Minister of Transportation Kristján Möller, was approved with 38 votes out of a possible 63. Leftist-Green MP Atli Gíslason abstained, as did seven MPs for the Progressive Party.
Möller argued that the nation cannot afford the financial consequences of its largest airline brought to a halt. Indeed, every single Icelandair plane sat on the tarmac yesterday morning. About 4,000 passengers had flights that day that they had previously booked with Icelandair. Vf.is reported that over a hundred passengers arriving from the United States sat in the airport, none of them offered food, drink or accommodation by Icelandair.
With the outlawing of the strike, flights are to continue as scheduled.
The dispute between airplane mechanics and government officials trying to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement has been quite protracted. In the end, the mechanics rejected an offer of an 11% salary increase, wanting instead 15%. Thus commenced the strike at 1:00 Monday morning.