From Iceland — Ferry Company Possibly Breaking Labour Law

Ferry Company Possibly Breaking Labour Law

Published June 5, 2015

Photo by
Steinunn Jakobsdóttir

A ferry company has made a separate collective bargaining agreement for its temp workers with a separate union, for much lower wages, possibly breaking Icelandic labour law. The original union the company made a wage agreement with has called the situation “a harsh attack on working people”.

MBL reports that Sæ­ferðir, the company which operates the ferry Baldur from Stykkishólmur across Breiðafjörður to the Westfjords, made a collective bargaining agreement with the Seamens’ Society of Iceland (SÍ) labour union on April 1. However, it has come to light that on May 28, this same company negotiated a separate contract for its temporary summertime workers with a separate union, Verkalýðsfélag Snæ­fell­inga. This agreement outlined wages for temp workers that were far lower than the wages agreed upon with SÍ.

“It is a clear violation of labour law to negotiate a separate contract with a third party on the wages of temporary workers,” a statement from SÍ reads. “The incident is without precedent in the recent history of relations between workers and management, a harsh attack on working people and a violation of national law on minimum wages.”

SÍ demands that all of Sæ­ferðir’s workers receive the same wages, as agreed upon in the original collective bargaining agreement. Sæferðir has yet to respond.

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