Iceland’s Seamen’s Union yesterday voted to prepare for strike action, while also passing a motion in favour of making every effort to reach an agreement with vessel owners.
Agreements between unions and owners ended in 2011 and the matter has been with the arbitration service since 2012 without significant progress having been made in bringing the two sides together. There has been an uncomfortably tense relationship between vessel operators’ federation Samtök Fyrirtækja í Sjávarútvegi (Fisheries Iceland) and unions representing seamen, deck officers and engineers since 2011. The dispute involves around 5000 seamen, as well as officers and engineers.
‘This can’t go on any longer, so we have decided to prepare for strike action,’ said Hólmgeir Jónsson, director of the Icelandic Seamen’s Union.