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.