Members of Iceland’s seamen’s unions last night accepted the agreements reached with owners’ federation SFS in a ballot held around the country.
Votes have been cast and are now being counted all around Iceland as the seamen’s unions memberships deliver their verdict on the deal hammered out between unions and owners’ federation SFS early on Saturday morning.
After a high-pressure couple of days as the stakes were ratcheted up, Iceland’s Seamen’s Unions have been in intensive talks with the owner’s federation SFS and an agreement was reached late last night. The agreements hinge on being accepted by union memberships that have already voted down two agreements, but this time the deal is expected to be accepted, and the fleet should be back at sea tomorrow.
The chairman of Icelandic Seamen’s Union SSÍ commented last night that a final offer has been made to vessel operators’ federation SFS in the long-running seamen’s strike that has crippled the Icelandic fleet since mid-December.
Iceland’s fishing fleet has been crippled for an unprecedented two months since the current seamen’s strike began mid-December. This is easily the longest dispute to take place in Iceland between seamen and owners, with the government declining to take a hand in ending the strike.
The first meeting since talks broke up two weeks ago was held yesterday between Icelandic seamen’s unions and vessel owners. This is now easily the longest-running seamen’s strike ever to take place in Iceland and has been in progress since mid-December when unions’ memberships voted down an agreement that had previously been reached.
The seamen’s strike that has kept the Icelandic fleet tied up since last year shows no signs of being resolved soon and the strike is now into an unprecedented second month after seamen’s unions voted down the terms of the last negotiated agreements.
One of the Icelandic seamen’s unions, Sjómanasamband Íslands (SSÍ), has announced that negotiations with the vessel owners have come to an end without resolution.
With Iceland’s seamen on strike and negotiations in progress, the Seamen’s Union has rejected a request from the Marine Research Institute for an exemption for research purposes.
The agreements between the Icelandic Seamen’s Union Sjómannasamband Íslands (SÍ) and employers’ federation SFS have been thrown out by the Union’s membership, raising the likelihood of a strike that could last into the New Year.