After members of the flight attendants’ union (FFÍ) voted against a collective bargaining agreement struck by union officials and Icelandair last June, the directorship of Icelandair has opted to fire their flight attendants, RÚV reports. The airline will instead seek “another party in the Icelandic labour market” to attend to security and service on their planes.
Until such time as these new flight attendants are hired, a statement from Icelandair says, they will use their own pilots to oversee security on board their planes, effective July 20th.
Bogi Nils Bogason, the director of Icelandair, told reporters that they had done everything in their power to meet the demands of these flight attendants, to no avail. He described the decision to fire the flight attendants as “heavy but necessary, as it is clear that talks between the two parties aren’t going any further.”
Talks between FFÍ and Icelandair have been fraught since at least last May, in particular regarding wages and time off. These flight attendants have not had a valid contract since the beginning of 2019.
These flight attendants were particularly alarmed by an unnamed source disclosing that Icelandair was considering negotiating with another union. This idea was criticised by union leaders at the time as tantamount to union busting.
UPDATE, 15:02: Drífa Snædal, the president of The Icelandic Confederation of Labour (ASÍ), told Kjarninn that they “are exploring every avenue to prevent this. This is unbelievably shameless on Icelandair’s part. It shows disrespect for the workers and disrespect for the rules in place regarding the Icelandic labour market and those in the midst of negotiations.”
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