Iceland's Seamen Are About To Go On Strike - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Iceland’s Seamen Are About To Go On Strike

Published October 19, 2016

Photos by
Art Bicnick

Workers in one of Iceland’s largest industries are about to walk out, having been without a contract for six years, and with management proposing to cut their salaries further.

DV reports that the vast majority of unionised seamen voted in favour of going on strike, which is set to begin on November 10. The length of the strike is indefinite, putting the onus on collective bargaining or state arbitration to resolve the matter.

One of the more contentious parts of the labour dispute is the fact that management of Iceland’s major fisheries intend to offset added government fees by taking the needed funds directly from catch values. This essentially moves money away from the seamen and into the hands of management, to help cover costs that they need to pay for.

Fishing accounts for about 8% of Iceland’s GDP, and is one of the pillars of the economy. As such, management only has about three weeks to offer seamen a satisfactory contract before the strike begins.

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