Icelandair And Flight Attendants Union Sign Agreement; Firings Rescinded

Icelandair And Flight Attendants Union Sign Agreement; Firings Rescinded

Published July 20, 2020

Photo by
Arpingstone/Wikimedia Commons

Icelandair and the flight attendants’ union (FFÍ) have signed a new collective bargaining agreement, Vísir reports. The news comes just days after Icelandair abruptly ended talks with FFÍ last Friday, telling the flight attendants that they were fired, prompting concerted criticism for Iceland’s labour unions.

In point of fact, the Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise (SA) negotiated the contract with FFÍ on behalf of Icelandair. Icelandair’s flight attendants have been without a contract since January 2019, but this new contract will be valid until September 30th, 2025. However, its final approval is still pending, as the flight attendants themselves have to vote on it.

The timing of the agreement could not have been better, as today was meant to be the day when Icelandair’s pilots were to take over security operations on their planes.

Last Friday’s announcement prompted a strong response from The Icelandic Confederation of Labour (ASÍ), amongst others. Plans were being discussed to withdraw union pension funds from any investment in Icelandair Group.

Bogi Nils Bogason, the director of Icelandair, was somewhat reticent about the exact details of the new contract, but told Vísir that he did not believe the company acted in haste, saying, “We took measures that were of course very difficult, difficult decisions were taken in the situation we were in yesterday [Friday], and that was the situation then, but now a new situation is on the table.”

Talks between FFÍ and Icelandair have been fraught since at least last May, in particular regarding wages and time off. A final vote from FFÍ members is still pending.

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