An ongoing labour dispute that has most directly affected the tourist industry has been resolved.
The Air Mechanics Union of Iceland (FVFÍ) has signed a collective bargaining agreement with Icelandair ehf., Vísir reports. The new contract will be in effect until August 31, 2017.
As reported, air mechanics have over the summer pushed for higher wages and better working conditions, culminating in temporary work shut-downs. While some of these work stoppages lasted no more than a few hours, this was enough to prompt the cancellation of flights during the height of tourist season.
Interior Minister Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir proposed passing a law that would make the strikes illegal, citing the “public interest” as sufficient reason to prevent the air mechanics from walking off of the job. Air mechanics responded by cancelling a strike they had scheduled last month. In turn, Hanna Birna withdrew the parliamentary proposal.
“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 reporters at the time. “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.”