From Iceland — Air Mechanics Planning Court Action

Air Mechanics Planning Court Action

Published June 18, 2014

"We will not take this quietly," says union official

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Daniel Blok

"We will not take this quietly," says union official

The Air Mechanics’ Union negotiations chairperson has called a possible government ban on their strike “equivalent to government pressure”, and have pledged to take the matter to court.

“We consider this the equivalent of pressuring actions on behalf of the government,” Maríus Sigurjónsson, the chairperson of the Air Mechanics’ Union negotiations team, told Vísir. “This is a very bad development for collective bargaining agreements, or for collective bargaining negotiations in general on the open market, if it is possible to toss out one group after another. It effectively makes it impossible to reach an agreement on the open market.”

The remarks are in response to the calling of an emergency meeting of parliament to attempt to declare their current work stoppages and strikes illegal. Parliament took similar measures against airline pilots last month.

“The Air Mechanics’ Union will not take this quietly, that much is clear,” Maríus said. “As we have said before: we play by the rules, and we will claim our rights in a court of law.”

The strike-ban 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”. The legality of the ban on the strike is, therefore, subject to interpretation.

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