Major Fishing Industry Strike In The Works - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Major Fishing Industry Strike In The Works

Published September 9, 2016

Photo by
Art Bicnick

Iceland’s largest industry may come to a halt this November, as seamen are aiming to go on strike that month if no settlement can be reached between labour and management.

Vísir reports that Iceland’s seamen have been working without a valid collective bargaining agreement since 2011. While ship captains made an agreement with Iceland’s fishing companies last August, the terms of that agreement were rejected by the seamen.

Recent negotiations between seamen and fishing companies have broken down. Valmundur Valmundsson, the director of the Seamen’s Association of Iceland, told reporters that this development has prompted them to take action.

“As [management] quickly rejected our offer, it is clear that we won’t reach an agreement,” he told reporters. “So now we’re organising elections for a strike. If it’s approved, operations will begin in the first days of November, with accompanying setbacks for the economy.”

In fact, numerous fishing industry unions have joined the strike effort, with the aim to cease all fishing operations when the strike begins.

The matter has as yet not been referred to state arbitration.

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