From Iceland — First Airplane Of Play Has Arrived And Coincides With Controversy

First Airplane Of Play Has Arrived And Coincides With Controversy

Published June 16, 2021

Brittnee Kiner
Photo by
Play Air/Facebook

The airline Play received its first plane at Keflavík Airport Monday afternoon, with the first flight is scheduled for next week, according to RÚV. However, the airline has faced controversy in recent weeks. The Icelandic Confederation of Labour (ASÍ), the umbrella organization of Iceland’s labor unions, has urged Icelanders to boycott the new low-cost airline Play due to its alleged poor wage agreements, bolstering the rise of company or “yellow” unions.

A controversial celebration of Play’s first aircraft

The airplane was built in Texas in the USA by Airbus, painted in the company’s trademark cherry red. It was quite the event as the plane flew into Keflavík Airport on Monday. The airport fire brigade followed tradition by spraying an arc of water over the newly arrived plane. Snorri Birgisson, director of Play’s security department, was thrilled about the first Play aircraft reaching Iceland, “The first of three,” he remarked. The next one will arrive at the end of this month with the third landing in July.

While the airline Play is ecstatic about the progress towards the first flight that’s scheduled for next week, the company has faced waves of controversy in the past weeks. ASÍ has been one of its most staunch challengers, an organization that consists of 46 trade unions within Iceland. A meeting by ASÍ on Monday is calling for a resolution to make an example of the new airline, due to its increased potential of the undermining of general wage terms in Iceland.

Countering the rise of employer dominated labor unions

The resolution aims to combat the rise of company or “yellow” unions in the country, where employers are the dominant influence in a labor union instead of the workers. It states that companies like Play are notorious for making poorer wage agreements. The resolution further urges The Confederation of Icelandic Employers and the Icelandic Tourism Association “To send a clear message that this behavior will not be tolerated in the Icelandic labor market,” reports Fréttablaðið.

ASÍ maintains its stance against Play

ASÍ steadfastly defends the organized trade union movement in Iceland and hopes that the newly developed resolution can combat the rise of yellow unions. The resolution asserts “Alþýðusamband Íslands and its member associations will strongly oppose any attempt to break behind an organized trade union movement, as the trade union movement plays an important role in the quality of life that the public enjoys in Iceland.”

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