From Iceland — Coast Guard Mechanics Strike Could Have Grave Consequences

Coast Guard Mechanics Strike Could Have Grave Consequences

Published November 20, 2020

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If no conclusion is reached to the wage dispute among the Coast Guard aircraft mechanics, it could be that no rescue helicopters will be operational next week, Vísir reports.

The Coast Guard has three helicopters, but only one has been operational since the mechanics’ strike started at the start of the month. Georg Lárusson, the director of the Coast Guard, describes the situation as grave saying, “This has the consequence that no one is available to go out to sea or inland in an emergency. It is totally unacceptable not to have minimum rescue service in this country. It really doesn’t not matter which way it is done, our duty is to maintain a rescue service, and we have done everything we can to do so.”

The indefinite strike applies to all aircraft mechanics working for the Coast Guard who do not provide emergency services. An announcement from the Coast guard states that, if things go to plan, the helicopter fleet will stop, at the latest, in the middle of next week, when regular inspections of the TF-GRO, the Guard’s only operational helicopter, must take place. “The other rescue helicopter will not be available as planned, as work on the inspection has stalled during the strike” the announcement said.

Georg added “The role of the Coast Guard is to ensure that emergencies can be dealt with. The situation has already become grave, but it is clear that an emergency situation will prevail next week when no helicopters are available.”

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