Flight engineers have been in negotiations with management for six months, and a strike over the holidays may be in the cards.
RÚV reports that negotiations between flight engineers and government arbitration concluded yesterday without any meaningful results. While negotiations are expected to resume at 15:30 Icelandic time today, attempts at resolving differences between workers and management have been going on for the last six months now.
If no resolution is reached by the morning of December 17, the strike will begin. Some 700 flights, comprising about 10,000 passengers, are scheduled to use flights to and from the country from this date until New Years.
What effect this strike may have on potential cancelled flights is unknown, but Iceland’s government has in the recent past used legislation to break strikes. In 2014, parliament passed a law declaring the strike of the Professional Pilots Union illegal.
Strike breaking laws are controversial, as the right to strike is protected by Article 75 of the Icelandic constitution, and may only be limited “if it is necessary to a democratic society due to national security or public interest” by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The legality of a ban on a strike is, therefore, subject to interpretation.